By focusing on clean lines and quality materials, Bella Vie Interiors transformed a much loved but out of date house in Canberra into a fresh and beautiful retreat.
Following on from Part 1 we share how a 30 year old extension was given a makeover to totally transform its dated peach coloured interior to a fresh and light retreat for its owners.
A neutral palette is balanced with black accents and American walnut timber in a contemporary interior design by Bella Vie Interiors.
The owners of this new build home in rural Goulburn purchased the property with a frame, roof and set of plans that didn’t really meet the needs of their family or lifestyle. They needed a design that suited the rigours of day-to-day life with children, with an aesthetic and practicality to cater for their frequent large-scale entertaining. To help them with their project they approached Canberra interior design firm Bella Vie Interiors.
Style and Function
To meet the owners’ needs, the original floor plan was modified to accommodate six bedrooms, a scullery, activities room and three-car garage. The owners’ knew that they wanted a brick exterior, neutral colour scheme and contemporary style; outside of this the interior design was completely in the hands of interior designer, Lisa Alward. The owner’s style leans towards a more traditional style with timber and square, masculine elements. This was balanced by turning on the glamour in the formal entertaining rooms, and incorporating wallpaper and feature pendants throughout the house.
The first site visit revealed just how vast this project really was and exposed its shortcomings. The key challenges were apparent even at frame up stage with a lack of light in the central kitchen that was overshadowed by the outdoor alfresco and just how large the proportions of the rooms were. This large house needed to feel homely and spacious and not austere and unwelcoming.
The design was approached with two clear outcomes; firstly to create comfort and practicality within the spaces frequently used by the family, and secondly to add glamour, elegance and luxury to the spaces used by guests. Custom designed joinery and careful consideration to finishes selections throughout, allowed the interior design to remain cohesive through both these zones.
The Key Elements
An elegant entry into the house with a striking central black feature pendant and an adjoining study, with custom joinery rich in American walnut timber and dark plantation shutters, reveal a glimpse of what lies beyond. Beautiful layers of lighting lead guests through to the formal lounge and dining room where the proportions of this home become apparent.
A bespoke 6.2 metre dining table designed to seat 24 people runs parallel to a 4.5 metre American walnut bar. A bronzed mirrored splashback, copper coloured sink, black tapware and Caesarstone ‘Emperadoro’ bench top are combined with graphic wallpaper, statement pendants and 15 metres of floor to ceiling curtains to set the scene for a 70’s inspired entertaining area.
By contrast, the kitchen is white, light and bright with Dulux ‘vivid white’ and ‘beige royal’ accented by Caesarstone ‘Calacutta Nuvo’ and ‘Linen’ benchtops. Meile appliances, integrated fridges and extensive storage cater for entertaining and the large scullery provides a place to clean up the mess, whilst the kitchen remains pristine and on show.
The wet areas have not been immune to the segregation of zoning with the powder room and master en-suite elegantly tiled walls offset with polyurethane joinery, 80mm bench tops, black tap ware and feature pendants. Three additional bathrooms feature a more pared back style with soft grey tiles, functional lighting and practical, family friendly finishes that maintain the overall style of the interior design.
In our next blog post, we'll share the finishing touches and more images from this beautiful project. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this project and love you to share it with your friends.
Most people are unaware of how much light can impact an interior. Whether it is natural or artificial, lighting can make or break a space and is often an area overlooked during a renovation or new build.
If you’ve gone to the effort, spent the money, and invested your time renovating or building, you want your newly created interior to look its best. Effective use of lighting can make your space appear more desirable. You want your lighting to draw you into a space and keep you there. If the lighting is perfect, you’ll never want to leave!
Here are our top tips to consider when applying lighting to any interior space…
1. Consider what activities will be carried out in the room. This will help determine what type of lighting should be used. If it is a walk-through space, then general lighting from an overhead source is appropriate. If it is an area where studious activities take place then consider dedicating task lighting to that area.
2. Consider what sort of mood is trying to be achieved. Is this space somewhere to relax and unwind or is it a workspace? The choice of light levels and intensity of light needs adjusting to suit the type of environment you are creating.
3. Consider using multiple sources of light in the one space. To create a multipurpose space you can apply several sources of light, such as LED down lights (general lighting), wall lights (ambient lighting) or LED strip (task lighting). The result is a room that can be used for different purposes depending on which type of lighting is in use at any given time.
4. Where possible opt for environmentally friendly lighting technology. With the fast rate at which LED technology is moving, and with such successful lighting techniques, there really isn’t an excuse not to apply sustainability into your space through lighting. Whether it’s LED down lights, LED strip or simply replacing your existing lamps with LED options. You will not only reduce your energy bills in the long term but will also reduce your carbon footprint on the environment.
5. Consider colour temperature (Kelvin). This is especially important when it comes to the finishes and colours that you have selected for your interior. Whilst a warm white (3000K) will make your space feel comfortable, it can make your space appear yellow. Likewise, if you use a cool white (4000K) you may be able to see better in the space, but the space can feel colder. It can be a good idea to test different colour temperatures to see which makes your space look its best.
6. Make your lighting a feature! This can be achieved by hiding the light source, creating beautiful lighting techniques and making the spread of light a decorative element that is also functional. When choosing pendants, wall sconces or lamps select something that has a wow factor and that is beautiful in its own right.
Designer Advice... In a renovation or new build the lighting will be one of last jobs to be completed and no doubt you’ll be tiring of the endless list of decisions that are required during this process. Our advice is to take the time to consider the impact of lighting in your space. Incorporating the right light sources into your home will make all the difference to your interior space.
Remember, the careful considerations undertaken when choosing lighting will accentuate your home’s beautiful features, by highlighting them and making them look as perfect as was your intention.
Images via Pinterest
Today I’m sharing my shortlist of kitchen design ideas that are trending for 2015. So if you are building a new kitchen or renovating a kitchen, read on for my hottest kitchen design trends in 2015:
Naturals / Neutrals
Think timber, concrete, natural stone and neutral colours. Stark minimalist kitchen are being replaced with the warmth and texture of natural materials, a trend driven by people’s desire to create more comfortable and inviting homes.
Concrete flooring and bench tops are two big trends in kitchen design. The look of concrete bench tops can now easily be incorporated in your kitchen using engineered stone like the Caesarstone Sleek Concrete. The options for floor tiles that look like concrete are endless and if you are building a new home you may consider a polished concrete floor. If you’d like a hint of concrete I’d suggest some simple pendant lights that feature concrete.
Natural stone is still a strong look with marble being one of the most desirable bench tops. If budget allows then selecting the slab for your kitchen can be a rewarding experience. For durability and price look no further than the engineered stone bench tops available. The range of colours and styles of engineered marble is growing all the time. We’re also seeing a hint of precious stones coming through. Could this be a sign of things to come for kitchen trends for 2016?
Neutral colours are strong in contemporary kitchens as we see a trend towards the more muted tones that imply comfort and warmth. A mix of colours and finishes features strongly in modern kitchens to provide contrast and visual interest. Kitchens now combine the warmer shades of bone or griege or charcoal and contrast it with concrete, stone and / or timber.
Matt finishes are becoming more popular across flooring, cabinetry and bench tops. The Silestone 'suede finish' delivers a unique Matt finish for bench tops in a range of desirable colours.
There is shift towards adding open shelving as a feature and practical storage solution. Combining open shelves with cabinets allows some things to be hidden away while other items can be displayed for beauty or function. Open shelving is also being used as we see the use of overhead cabinets being minimised in kitchen design. Changes in window styles and range hood styles appears to be driving this trend as we focus on creating more openness in our kitchens.
Look no further than stand out pendant lights, feature tiles and luxe metallics to make a statement in your kitchen.
There are so many beautiful pendant lights available to dress up your kitchen. I’m a huge of fan of copper pendants and love the warmth it brings to a space. You could equally choose glass, timber, brass or a pendant with a solid matt surface.
2015 kitchens are bringing back the tiled splash back! There are so many amazing tiles available ranging from handcrafted, glass mosaics, patterned, plain, textured, marble, metallic and a huge selection of shapes and sizes. Tiles add another element to kitchen design and your options are unlimited.
Luxe metallics are a must for me. We’ve seen copper featured in interiors in recent years and now we’re also seeing brass, pewter, brushed nickel and gold being used in feature tap ware and handles. Metallics can provide a touch of glamour to most kitchen colour palettes.
While Contemporary style kitchens are still the most requested by my clients I’ve also seen an increase in the Modern Traditional style. This style sees elements from modern and traditional styles combined to deliver a warm, homely kitchen. Shaker doors feature strongly along with coloured cabinetry, marble bench tops, black tap ware and handles and glass pendants.
Whatever your kitchen style, the kitchen trends for 2015 can be interpreted to create your dream kitchen.
For further inspiration visit Bella Vie Interiors on Facebook, Houzz and Pinterest.
With lighting being one of the most important features in a home, the search for the perfect pendant can seem like a never-ending task at times, even as an Interior Designer. Pendant lighting provides direct task lighting to an area and can create a beautiful ambience in areas with higher ceilings.
I've been working on one particular project for five months now. It's a new home that is now in the build phase so things are finally starting to take shape with most of the selections finalised. One area has been under consideration for the entire time... the formal dining room.
The Room Design... The style of a pendant needs to suit the style of the room and the ambience being created. A dining room I'm currently working on is for entertaining on a grand scale with the room design featuring a super glamorous four and a half metre Ebony Macassar bar with a bronze mirror splash back and a six metre dining table. The lighting needs to make a statement and enhance the space.
The pendant light I've had in my mind since the design concept stage has been the Jason Miller Modo Chandelier and now I've seen this grouping I'm convinced it will be the right choice. Just the right amount of glamour for a modern chandelier. See my tips below on choosing the perfect pendant for your dining room.
Choosing the right type of pendant for over a dining table adds to the ambience of the room and the mood you want to create.
Selecting a style of pendant depends very much on the size and shape of your dining table. Choose from the following styles of pendant lights for the best results;
Drum pendants - when used alone these are best suited to round or square dining tables, and should be used as a pair over a longer rectangle table. The proportion of a drum pendant must suit the size of your dining table and not overwhelm it. Drum pendants suit modern dining rooms and the fabric can be customised to suit the room style and a diffuser minimises glare over the table.
Small pendants and multi-lamp pendants - small pendants of the same or different shapes and sizes can be grouped together at different heights to suit your dining table. A linear grouping suits a rectangle table while a round grouping suits a square or round table. Hanging them at different heights can add visual interest to the arrangement. A multi-lamp pendant can be a modern style pendant or chandelier. Depending on their size, these can be used alone or as pair (as I'm planning in a current design project). Their pre-configured design takes the guesswork out of arranging individual pendants and are available with mounting plates of different size and shape to suit most dining tables.
Medium and large pendants - can be used to make a great statement over a dining table. Selecting the right size to complement your dining table is important. I recommend the pendant sits about 15-20cm in from the side of your dining table.
Mounting height - to choose the height for mounting, your pendants should be higher than eye level and low enough to provide sufficient light on the dining table. Carefully view the pendant lights you are hanging at the installation stage to ensure you are happy with the height and placement.
If you have any lighting questions feel free to contact me at Bella Vie Interiors.
Images from Pinterest, Nika Zupanc, The Contemporist, Jason Miller
Founder and Interior Designer - Bella Vie Interiors.