Achieving a perfect balance between fine design and personal touch is always a challenge when it comes to home interiors.
Unlike hospitality, F&B and other interior design projects, an abode is inhabited 24/7 by the individual or family that owns it, and so should cater to their specific needs and personalities. When award-winning South African interior design studio ARRCC was commissioned to do the interiors for a stunning, two-storey house in the Double Bay suburb in Sydney, its designers were working with South African architecture firm SAOTA’s eye-catching shell as well as the clients’ brief for a space that would allow for ample entertaining and quality family time.
The overall design for the interior of the house is a contemporary approach that balances the clients’ requirement of formal social functions with more relaxed, casual living and small family gatherings, says Mark Rielly, ARRCC’s director.
The home is distinctive for its geometric elements and unusual layout, which seamlessly integrates the interior and exterior spaces, creating a number of airy entertaining areas. Upon entering the lobby, you’re immediately greeted by a winding staircase framed with wooden slats — which is also visible from outside thanks to the ground floor being completely transparent, allowing the family to enjoy the surrounding stellar views of the harbour.
The floor-to-ceiling windows also easily connect the indoor living areas with the outdoor terrace and greenery. The upper floors, on the other hand, are solid, granting additional privacy to the bedrooms and powder rooms therein. The outdoor area is striking indeed. Flanked by a shimmering pool, the terrace is furnished with woven outdoor furniture by Paola Lenti, featuring blue and grey tones that mirror the interior spaces. Transparent glass dividers connect the terrace to the surrounding pool just as the floor-to-ceiling windows allow for uninterrupted views.
The location and contemporary language of the architecture influenced our approach to the interior spaces
Furnishings are sculptural, statement-making, and work harmoniously with the home’s palette and surrounding nature. ARRCC worked closely with the clients to meticulously select the artworks and artistic accents featured prominently throughout the abode: custom-made brass discs created by local Sydney craftsman Andrew Earp grace the lobby, while a mirrored sculpture by Arik Levy adds impact to the open courtyard and a large foil artwork by Pae White takes pride of place in the living area. (The client came across the work in Los Angeles and was so taken with it that she requested ARRCC to source it specifically.)
While the home’s colour palette is mostly neutral with plenty of light woods and grey tones, metallic accents and pops of bright blues and yellows abound, granting a playful, tropical touch to the space. The clients’ favourite colour, blue, was added to the neutral palette to provide little bursts of colour that capture and reflect the hues of the waterfront, says Mark.
Like the architects, the concept of barefoot luxury has allowed us to create a signature design aesthetic.
Glimmering glassware sits on coffee tables and is tucked among shelves, while lighting pieces are as sculptural as some of the artworks seen throughout the home. Chamber marble and glass feature pendant lights dangle from the ceiling in the stairwell, contrasting with the brass discs on the wall, while the abstract Polygonal Ring pendant light by Italian studio Henge hovers above the dining table. Marble features prominently throughout the living spaces — an OKHA marble coffee table and Falata & Taksim black marble tables sit next to sofas by Minotti — while bespoke rugs add texture.
Ultimately, the most striking aspect of this beautiful home is how well the interior and exterior spaces complement each other, which is largely due to ARRCC taking ample inspiration from the home’s existing shell and surroundings to conceive of its design. The location and contemporary language of the architecture influenced our approach to the interior spaces, explains Mark. Like the architects, the concept of barefoot luxury has allowed us to create a signature design aesthetic.
This story was originally published in our September 2018 issue as ‘Summer Haven.’ For more glamorous homes in Hong Kong and abroad, grab a copy of our September issue, on newsstands now.
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