Spread over three levels, Shutter House in the suburb of Wembley in Perth, is a 6,768-square-foot concrete residence that received its namesake from the unique shutter mechanism of its battened timber facade. 

“This mechanical shutter system – which is the nucleus of our design concept – imbues the home with movement and animates its interaction with the street front,” says Alessandra French, director of State of Kin, the Perth-based architectural and interior design studio that built and furnished the house. The mechanical façade enables the interiors of the house to remain sequestered and private but still open enough that its residents can enjoy unobstructed views of a lake nearby. Scroll through the galley below (Photography: Jack Lovel [Unless stated otherwise]) to find out more:

The project had begun as a speculative collaboration for Alessandra and her designers, but evolved into a space that expressed State of Kin’s collective experience as a practice. “As one of the first projects State of Kin worked on as a collective entity, Shutter House was an exciting opportunity for us to test design ideas and work cohesively with the construction team to ensure the best outcome,” says Alessandra. The practice’s architecture and interior departments worked simultaneously on the construction and the interiors, aligning their work to create a light-filled sanctuary that’s rich in colour and materiality.

The living and dining room located on the second floor of the house is punctuated with pops of colour.

On the ground floor is a four-car garage, wine cellar, and an entryway that draws one upwards and into the home via an elevator and a skeletal, sculptural staircase surrounded by vast glazing that frame lake views.

Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a laundry room and central gallery are situated on the first floor. Each of the bedrooms has adjoining courtyard and balcony spaces. The master suite faces the lake, while the secondary bedrooms are set toward the centre of the site and the pool. 

All the social spaces were located on the top floor of the house to make the best of the views and natural light. An open plan living, dining and kitchen on the second floor presents a panorama of the lake. The social zones lead out to a terrace, pool deck and separate studio at the rear of the property.

The layout of the house was influenced by the topography of the site, with its programme oriented towards the rear of the house where the outdoor entertainment area and pool is located. French staggered the terraces across levels so they interact with both the first and second floors of the house, bringing the outdoors in. 

“A focus on unique and hand-crafted finishes is evident throughout – the hand-seeded terrazzo at ground level and stained-oak parquetry on the upper levels accentuate the highly considered palette throughout the home,” says Alessandra who had scaled the parquetry in different sections of the house to better suit the scale of the different spaces.

“We included pops of colour throughout – burnt orange, olive green, and dusty pinks. A quarter-circle window defines in the outdoor spaces, and the swimming pool was designed with layered steps in varied hues,” she adds.

Bright, white walls and tiling contrast the warm timber foundations and form an understated canvas for the more striking colours and textures of furniture and decor. Exposed concrete ceilings and carefully sourced Bianco Chiavara granite, Aphrodite quartzite and Noce Eschillo travertine provide rich, robust surfaces that the designers accentuated with flourishes of colour, a curation of playfully sophisticated furniture pieces, and contemporary abstract art.

Working with high-end, Australian designer furniture distributorship Mobilia, Alessandra and her team sourced stunning, graphic rugs from CC-Tapis, sumptuous beds and sofas from Moroso, chic Kettal outdoor furniture, Bosa objets d’art, Glas Italia complements, and lamps by Astep, Marset and Michael Anastassiades to create a home with a strong and memorable personality.

“The overall energy and feeling of this home is unique. It is both surprising yet welcoming. The elements are familiar but the expression is entirely new. At its’ core, Shutter House is expressive, it provokes you to look closer, it does not hide,” says Alessandra. 

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