#darwin interior design
Our favourite looks from the 2015 Australian Interior Design Awards
What are the outstanding features of Australia s best interior designs for 2015? Are the coolest kitchens black or white? Do bathrooms boast curvilinear tubs or square wooden plunge pools? Are our top designers decorating living rooms with modern Shaker styles or Italian Memphis suites? And are bedrooms swathed in subdued pastels or wallpapered and padded with pops of bright colour?
The answer to these questions and more can be discovered by taking a sneak peak inside the houses nominated in the Residential Design and Residential Decoration categories for the Australian Interior Design Awards 2015 (AIDA).
While no steadfast trends are forming, collective ideas are afloat. To identify some of these looks, we preview a selection of this year s shortlisted finalists room by room.
Dark or black kitchens are popular, but can be rather sombre if not given a lift with some eye-popping highlights. An acid yellow pendant offsets black cabinetry in the kitchen of this house extension by MAKE Architecture, which also features a playful layout with an all-in-one breakfast bar, dining area and chill-out bench beside the garden. Designer inspiration came from thinking about how the family who live here enjoy life: Spaces are playful; conceived more like a favourite local caf than a private house, reflecting the family s desire to create a home that allows them to connect with friends, family and their local community.
The Living Room
Rustic wooden planks for walls, floors and cabinetry are a feature of this renovated and extended house in Malvern Victoria by Robson Rak Architects. In the living room American oak timber floorboards in mink grey enter via the hallway and wrap around the walls to form extensive cabinetry along one side. Cool polished concrete floors and a central dark red brick fireplace provide contrast, while a soft grey sectional sofa and plush woven floor rugs complement the warmth of so much timber.
The Dining Room
This super sleek and modern dining room sits within its own pavilion on a site overlooking Lake Wendouree in rural Victoria. The pavilions are in turn located in a landscape of varied garden types formal, rambling, kitchen and courtyard. The design is a fitting homage to the beautiful gardens of the town of Ballarat where it is built. Designed by John Wardle Architects, the dining room features a vaulted ceiling lined in red timber giving the room a sense of grandeur.
In the penthouse of The Strand apartments, Melbourne, is a sublime example of the playfulness that is evident in current trends in bathroom design. Delightful Argyle-patterned tiling forms a backdrop to complement a freestanding oval bath and large round wall mirror. Whiting Architects have essentially decorated this apartment in a monotone palette of black, white and grey, but this strict colour code is balanced by the use of sensual textures and delightful patterns throughout, and this is particularly evident in the bathroom.
Shots and blocks of bold colour plus a liberal use of natural materials characterise the interior design of this highly functional inner-city terrace in Melbourne. The bedroom is light and airy and is decorated in an easy breezy style. Soft grey carpet and checked curtains complement the striped bed, while a headboard of timber planks extends out along the width of the wall, cleverly concealing ample storage. A bank of built-in robes lines the opposite wall, affording the sleek room ample space.
Why make the nursery any different to any other room of the house? Design practice Atticus and Milo ensured that this townhouse had the same design credentials throughout the home. Baby s room was given a grown-up look but retained a sense of wonder with all-over wallpaper patterned with maps and a bank of built-ins with black chalkboard fronts.
The Outdoor Room
Many of the finalist homes, including Curraweena House in Sydney, feature large open-plan living areas that blended seamlessly with outside paved patios and garden decks. Hare + Klein is one design firm that is not afraid to decorate these areas with living room style furniture covered in weatherproof fabrics. What s more, contemporary outdoor furniture is reasonably light so it s easy to pick up, reposition and later store away after use.
The Indoor Courtyard
Open-air courtyards provide light and ventilation in the home, but new to the trend is the idea that floor space should blend from inside to out. This house designed by Matt Gibson Architecture and Design has an internal courtyard at its heart. Rooms border the timber-lined courtyard separating private areas, such as bedrooms and studies, from the open living, kitchen, and dining spaces. The courtyard also provides a meeting place for entertaining and leisure activities.
Somewhere to work, somewhere to relax, the study is a getaway room. But it need not be bland. Colour excites the senses and drives creative thinking. In this Victorian terrace, Nexus Designs considers comfort and style as important as functionality. We added blackened timber joinery to the invite-only library space and a round, swivelling sofa in velvety burnt orange on a circular rug. It s the nourishing, private heart of the home where bedtime stories are read, parents collapse with a book or snuggle by the fire in winter.
The Chill-out Room
Andrew Maynard likes to challenge his clients with ideas that might seem better suited to a playground than a home. Whether designing a reading tower, an outdoor bathroom, a mezzanine trampoline stretcher for relaxing, all his ideas are about having fun at home. Maynard says this Tower House, a group of buildings assembled together is anti-monolith, a village externally and a home internally a home where community, art and nature to come together .
Domain Home Price Guide Find out what your property’s worth