While there are many ways to harmonize contemporary design with traditional building forms, the example set in this Australian home is a beautiful medley of calm and tranquility. Welcome to the Balancing Home.
This house stands in a suburb on Sydney’s North Shore, Australia. It was designed by Luigi Rosselli Architects who were tasked with updating the style into something modern, but not intimidatingly so. To keep it balanced with the traditional image of a home, there are many of the old features that you would expect, though newer elements help to create an overall contemporary harmony.
You can still see the gable roof in place – an appearance familiar to many Australian homes. Perched on the top floor and jutting out over the garden is the bedroom wing. It creates such a striking image from the front gate of the property, balancing over the terraced patio area. We were drawn instantly to the composition of this home, with its solid strength and shape grounding the house, and the lightness of the barn-like paneling upstairs.
The white timber and shutters are reminiscent of that typical bevel siding often found on homes from this part of the world. Yet, by pairing this familiar feature with the subtle clay color used on the ground floor walls, the whole design of the house has been made to look more refined and accessible.
Downstairs there are full height sliding doors that can be pushed away into the wall cavities for that indoor-outdoor living vibe. The light curtain provides a delicate veil between the two areas
Shutters, cross ventilation and a gap in the roof space all work to keep the rooms cool. There’s no air conditioning in the building, but a series of stylish Haiku fans help to maintain livable temperatures during the scorching summers.
We adore the dark wood of this stairwell. The deep oak contrasts well with the white walls, and the sleek roundness of the balustrade complements the strong lines of the angular tiling.
Speaking of strong lines, there are a great variety of lines and structures playing through the downstairs interior. There’s the shelving across the back wall for example, and those steel window partitions. Matching it all thematically is the striking brown tartan pattern of the rug.
To soften the harder edges of the room, the furnishings picked out by Decus Interiors boast plush textures and curved edges. Hanging overhead are high vaulted ceilings, held up with white timber frames and their contrasting support panels.
Here, a sleek storage unit offers both style and function. We like the way the panels allow you to tuck items away that you don’t want to display. The different shapes on show are a nice mix that help to draw the eye.
The lounge area flows through to the kitchen. Both parts of the room have a polished concrete floor, but the textured rug adds a softer touch that makes this area feel warmer and more comfortable.
In the kitchen, electric blue accents and dark paneling create an unexpected contrast. Notice that the same brass mesh found on the bookshelf unit in the living room appears again above the sink area. This is a common theme throughout this home; colors and styles are repeated again and again in different spaces so that the rooms stay cohesive in flow and taste.
Upstairs in the bedrooms, solid walnut wood makes a rich statement. Paired with white surroundings and lighter fittings though, these wood details don’t overpower the design. Instead, light and dark balance each other out to create a space that feels both modern and traditional at the same time.
In the Balancing Home, what we’re particularly impressed with is the astute way the designers have paired elements of light and dark, modern and traditional, to create a harmonious space that embodies the very best elements of interior design.