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.
So it’s time for a new kitchen? Getting the best one isn’t as simple as looking around a kitchen showroom or through a magazine and picking one. There are a number of considerations required to plan the kitchen of your dreams.
Every household will find their needs different in terms of what they want within their kitchen and how it is to be used.
Here are our top tips for planning your new kitchen...
Consider Size and Shape
You may want a kitchen with an island in the middle of the room, but is this achievable in the size of your room? The last thing you want is to find that you don’t have room for the essentials because you’ve incorporated a kitchen design layout that doesn’t suit the size or shape of your room. Consider the size of your room and be realistic in your kitchen design. The size of your kitchen may limit the layout options you can have and if your budget allows, moving walls or relocating your kitchen may be the best option.
Think About What You Need
Each household will function differently in their kitchen and therefore have different needs. For example, if you entertain frequently you may want to design your kitchen with a large island bench where guests can sit and chat whilst you prepare dinner. Or if you buy in bulk when you do your grocery shopping you will need a kitchen that has plenty of storage.
In order to make it easier in the planning process, make a list of all the things you require within your new kitchen, in terms of what appliances you want to include; the proximity of these appliances to other areas within the kitchen; what you need to store and what activities will be carried out within the kitchen (i.e. entertaining, single-person cooking, kids doing homework whilst parents cooking or prepping).
Consider Cupboard Heights
The height of all your cupboards is something you do need to consider carefully. You want cupboards at a level that you can reach, but also out of the way of your head. There are many accessory options that allow you to have storage up out of the way but still easily accessible including several different styles of lift up doors. It is worth researching the different types of storage systems available to create a kitchen design that maximises your space.
Include adequate Storage Space
When you’re looking into kitchen design, think carefully about all the items you will need to store and use in the kitchen. Create a list of everything that needs to be stored in your kitchen including appliances, cooking utensils, crockery, cutlery etc. Use large corner cupboards for larger items like slow cookers, rice cookers, blenders and the like. Frequently used items need to be easy to access and daily crockery and cutlery easily accessible to the dishwasher. Enlist the help of drawer accessories to keep drawers tidy and maximise storage.
When trying to decide what area will go where, think about how you work within your kitchen and the flow you want to create to make your time in the kitchen easier. Place your washing up amenities and spaces together, put your refrigerator within close proximity of your prep area, which should also be close to your cooktop. Take the time to think about how to make cooking and/or cleaning more efficient. Maintaining a work triangle will greatly improve the flow of your kitchen.
Planning your new kitchen design will definitely pay benefits in the long term, as you will have created a kitchen that works for you, and you enjoy spending time in. If in doubt, consider consulting an interior designer to create the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of.
Images via Pinterest
It’s been far too long between blog posts so today I’m catching up on some rather overdue sharing with a kitchen, bathroom and laundry completed earlier this year.
Recently one of my former clients, photographer Rowanne Bowman, spent some time photographing one of my completed projects. Working on this traditional-style kitchen, bathroom and laundry was a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with a client with a definite style in mind, and was a chance to transform three lack-lustre rooms into rooms with style and personality.
In this renovation the laundry between the kitchen and bathroom was removed and space given to each of these areas to create a more functional home for the client. The laundry was incorporated into the bathroom providing valuable storage and a feature butler’s sink. The bathroom standout is undoubtedly the beautiful floor tiling featuring greens, cream and burgundy. A luxurious bath sits along side a window to the rear garden allowing light and greenery to enhance the room.
The new kitchen opens into living areas featuring bold colour choices with traditional storage and display cabinetry and my role was to design a kitchen that matched this style and provided the client with the dream kitchen she desired. V-groove paneled doors, a large corner pantry, silestone bench tops and glass display cupboards were all features included to deliver the required outcome. The bold burgundy subway tiles and cornices are a standout and the final finishing touch is a contemporary timber tile which adds warm and and delivers a durable, practical floor for the space.
The client was very hands-on making all the selections for fixtures and fittings and I was on hand to bring her vision to life by designing a practical layout that took into account her requirements now and into the future.
With so many requests for contemporary kitchens and bathrooms, it was great to be involved with a project that offers diversity and broadens my portfolio. While a traditional style may not be something you’d incorporate into your own home, you must agree that seeing someone bring his or her vision to life is certainly heart-warming.
Interior Designers are influencing bathroom design and transforming bathrooms into retreats that offer relaxation, luxury and style in both new homes and renovations. With people now spending more time in bathrooms and a list of ‘must haves’ including glamorous freestanding baths, large vanities, creative lighting and luxurious double showers, getting your bathroom design right is now more important than ever.
Bathrooms are now among the top priorities when building a new house or renovating an existing home, with many homes now having multiple bathrooms and ensuites. Designing and selecting fixtures and finishes for this small area is crucial when it comes to planning what should be included in your bathroom to ensure it meets your needs and is aesthetically consistent with the rest of your home. This is where an interior designer can simplify the process of creating your new bathroom.
3 Top Tips for Planning your perfect bathroom…
Time and Budget
Your budget is probably the most important factor when planning your new bathroom. With so many different trades required when completing a bathroom it’s easy for the project cost to creep up. An experienced designer will know what you will be able to include and the things you may need to reevaluate. They can guide you with layout and selection of fixtures and fittings to keep the cost of your new bathroom within budget.
Knowing when you need to have your project completed can determine some of your selections. It could be that the imported designer tiles you love have a lead-time of 8-12 weeks or you’d like to time the project to coincide with a trip away to minimise the disruption to your household.
Family and Lifestyle
When planning your bathroom renovation or new bathroom it's important to consider inclusions to meet the needs of your family and lifestyle and future considerations. The hotel style bathroom you have your heart set on may need some modifications to be practical for you and your lifestyle. Consideration should be given for the number and ages of people using the bathroom, activities that will take place in the bathroom and any special features that need to be included. Inclusions in modern bathrooms can include such things as heated floors and towel ladders, frameless or semi frameless glass, shower niches, laundry baskets all designed to enhance your lifestyle.
Design and Style
Planning your bathroom layout can be easier and more cost effective if you are simply updating the fixtures and finishes to suit existing plumbing or electrical. You may want to undertake structural changes to improve your design? Either way, knowing what you like/dislike about your current bathroom will assist with the new design. Think about the items you need to store in your new bathroom and whether you prefer drawers, open shelving or cupboards. Custom joinery can enhance both the look and functionality of your bathroom. Another vitally important aspect of a bathroom is the lighting and getting the right mix of ambient and task lighting will enhance your everyday experience in your new bathroom.
Once the layout is established, selecting the fixtures, finishes and lighting to create your dream bathroom is all that is left. While some people know they style of bathroom they desire and this is the fun part, others are happy to be guided by a professional to achieve their dream bathroom.
Designer Advice… Creating a bathroom that has that ‘wow’ factor and will meet your expectations is challenging; take the time and seek advice. If full service interior design is out of your budget and you feel confident with making the selections of fixtures and fittings, engaging an Interior Designer to create a cohesive design concept allows you to shop around and secure ‘like for like’ trade quotes with your own set of drawings.
Click here for further information on bathroom design packages.
Images via Bekdon Richards, Bisazza and Pinterest.
A bathroom is possibly one of the most used rooms in a house and with so many amazing products available making the most of a small bathroom isn’t as hard as you think.
Before you rush off to choose new bathroom fittings it’s really important to plan your project carefully. While a bathroom is generally a small room, it is also a complex room to renovate with several different trades required to get the job done.
Set a budget and get quotes before you start. A lot of your budget will go on tradesmen so it is important to know all your costs upfront. Advice from a professional during the planning stage could save you from making costly mistakes and oversights. An Interior Designer specialising in bathroom design can help you make the most of the available space and provide invaluable advice on small bathroom ideas.
Whether you are renovating your existing bathroom or building a new bathroom, it’s important to consider the primary function of the room. This will determine the most practical layout for creating a functional small bathroom.
Here are my favourite small bathroom ideas to get you started with planning your bathroom project…
Maximise floor space… Finding ways to maximise your floor space will always make your bathroom appear larger
A wall-hung toilet with an in-wall cistern takes up considerably less space than a traditional toilet suite. If you can’t stretch your budget to a wall hung toilet, consider a compact back to wall toilet suite. A rounded shape will allow for better movement around the pan and take up less space than a toilet with a more square shape.
A floating vanity gives the illusion of more space and allows floor tiles to extend right to the wall making the floor appear larger. If your vanity floor waste can’t be moved a set back plinth can be designed to hide pipes and still give your vanity a floating appearance.
Maximise light... consider colour choices and lighting to instantly create space in a small bathroom.
Pale colours create brightness and reflect light. Choosing the right colour to suit the orientation of your room is important. A small bathroom that doesn’t receive much natural light relies on clever colour choices along with the addition of the right artificial light.
Lighting needs to provide enough brightness for early morning and late night. Task lighting at the vanity is essential to allow sufficient light for shaving and make-up application. Feature pendants can be included provided they are not obtrusive. Look for pendants that are small or made from glass.
Include mirrors where possible. A polished edge mirror or mirrored shaving cabinet above the vanity is a must. Consider the front of tall cabinets for full-length mirrors to create the illusion of space.
Armed with these small bathroom ideas you can now start planning the layout of your bathroom renovation or new bathroom. If it all seems too daunting, enlist the help of an Interior designer. Bathroom design packages are available to make planning your project easier and professional advice can save you money on your bathroom project.
For Bathroom design inspiration see Bella Vie Interiors on Pinterest, Facebook, Houzz and Twitter.
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Images from Pinterest, Houzz
Founder and Interior Designer - Bella Vie Interiors.