I have always been intrigued to see how artists and designers curate their own homes. Some of them can be a bit bizarre as they are let loose with their creative vision, but this home in Australia has found the perfect balance between striking design elements and day to day functionality. It’s owned and designed by Chris Bosse, director of architecture firm LAVA.
Chris fell in love with this ’80s terraced house at his very first visit. His recent trip to Tuscany might have influenced the decision. The brick wall in the courtyard, the arched window in the living room and the bedroom balcony with the iron railing, do give out a slightly Italian vibe. Also, his recently adopted pup needed space to play around.
Love at first sight wasn’t enough to move in. The house was in desperate need of renovation, but Chris wanted to preserve some of the existing structural features while bringing in the new.
The entire house is centered around the kitchen which extends out to the courtyard. The sliding screens have been used for shade and privacy. They also control the amount of light and air that enters the house. Similar screens have been used on the staircase, that act as a balustrade and create space for storage under the stairs. The continuity in style around the house makes the downstairs link to the upper level.
The stunning kitchen island was custom made and cut out in the shape of an island. It does look absolutely befitting to an architect’s kitchen. The luminous glass splashback, that is used on the kitchen walls and extends to the concealed glass door of the bathroom and laundry, helps amp up the light. All the kitchen cabinets were readjusted and streamlined to be of same width. Considering the perfectionist that Chris is as a designer, irregularity in shapes and sizes was dealt with in great detail.
The floor originally had terracotta tiles and wood blocks, which were not removed. Instead, timber was laid directly over the top. It is interesting to note that small detail, because it helped reduce the overall cost of the renovation. Something to consider when you are dealing with a big project like this one! Now the floor looks gorgeous as it flows through the entire house.
Small homes need creative thinking, especially for storage space hacks. Floor to ceiling shelves in the living room provide the solution beautifully, almost like lego blocks stacked on top of each other. On the shelves are some of Chris’ prized possessions from his various travels.
Another important element to note throughout the house is the emphasis given to lighting. The showstopper is the LED uplight with laser cut plywood ribs, in the kitchen. It was designed by Chris himself and looks like a floating cloud above the island. What a delight to look at from the courtyard.
The other lighting elements in the house have a bit of personal story to each of them. The trumpet shaped lights above the dining table were sent over by the designer Karim Rashid after Chris’ chance meeting with him. They look spectacular, and the white and gold combination blends well with the rest of the house. The upstairs bamboo lights are designed by David Truebridge who Chris met at a design show; and discovered they had a lot in common in terms of design inspiration.
Chris was particular about the furniture being original designer pieces, so all was bought second hand on eBay. This includes the original ’50s Arne Jacobsen chairs and a table by Hong Kong-based furniture designer Seann Dix. This makes me see all second hand stuff in new light.
The Jetmaster fireplace with glass trim is sleek yet warm and welcoming. Splashes of color in the form of paintings are like perfect accessories on the plain white walls.
The shoe rack has been given prime spot under the television. It was made from the leftover timber that had been bought to construct the staircase. It’s a bold move I think; you need really nice shoes to be put on display like that.
I love the all-white and minimalist look, which continues to the upper level, but with bright orange and green couches in the living area. It kind of breaks the monotony of the overall white and is refreshing.
The bedrooms are simple, with built-in closets and original fireplaces. Just what you need to unwind after a busy day. A music system integrates through all the rooms to wake you up to your favorite beat.
I admire how every little thing has been thought out with such care and style. Now all I want to do is take a cup of coffee and relax in this beautiful courtyard!