Given the opportunity to design and build from scratch, the owner of this Perth home created the ultimate sanctuary – with a little help from her friends.
Occupying a corner plot in beachside Perth, this new build offers a peaceful sanctuary and represents a dream come true.
Stepping into Michelle Williams’ home in beachside Perth is a peaceful experience. Inside and out, the aesthetic is a lesson in how to evoke calm and soul through texture and restraint. It’s a reflection of the way Michelle likes to live and the manifestation of a very personal collaboration.
Michelle and her husband Kevin bought the vacant 355m2 corner block in 2010. Fast-forward to 2014 and the couple was finally ready to begin building. Michelle turned to three long-time friends to help make her dream home a reality: retired architect Karen, interior designer Adri-Ann Brown of Blupeter Homestore and builder Russell Smail of Lime St Projects.
Kevin and Michelle’s brief was clear. “We wanted a simple home, one with an indoor-outdoor feel and no wasted space,” says Michelle. “We also love having visitors – our house is like a bed-and-breakfast at times!” When it came to pinning down the details, working with friends was a distinct advantage. “Not only do Karen, Adri-Ann and I have similar taste, I really admire their work,” says Michelle. “And because we are friends, we could be totally honest with each other.”
A rammed-earth nib wall at the front of the property hints at the textural delights within. The front door opens to an extra-wide hallway that leads to Kevin’s study to the east and the double garage and a powder room to the west. Beyond the study is the open-plan kitchen/ dining/living area with off-form concrete ceiling, which extends the width of the north-facing rear of the home.
The first floor, accessed via a staircase with a whimsical balustrade of white-painted branches, contains Michelle and Kevin’s generous bedroom suite, a second bedroom, second bathroom and a spacious retreat/study. The main bedroom, at the rear of the home, is a large yet minimally furnished room with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that
‘The instant I step through the door, I feel more relaxed. This is my happy place.’ Michelle
open to a generous balcony. It’s a beautiful space as is, but the real gem is the organic-luxe ensuite, accessed via a walk-through wardrobe. With river-pebble flooring, lighting designed to emulate the night sky and private balcony access, this serene sanctuary is where you will find Michelle most Friday nights after a hectic week.
AsperMichelleandKevin’srequest,there’splentyofroomforentertaining and a strong connection between the indoor and outdoor areas. The kitchen/dining area opens up to a covered verandah and the living zone adjoins a terrace, so there’s ample space to spread out. Yet there is also intimacy: a bulkhead in the living area creates a cocooning feel and the furniture is arranged to facilitate relaxation and easy conversation.
Rammed earth reappears as a feature wall that runs the length of the home; its subtle texture and sandy tones soften the predominantly white interior. Thoughtfully edited layers of natural materials – linen, raw timber, seagrass and stone – deliver depth and soul. “I love white and I love linen,” says Michelle. “It makes me feel at peace and has a luxurious look that isn’t pretentious.
“The instant I step through the door, I feel more relaxed,” she adds. “It’s incredibly tranquil and the attention to detail makes it so special. This is my happy place.” # Blupeter Homestore, North Fremantle, WA; (08) 9433 1782 or blupeter.com.au. Lime St Projects, Claremont, WA; 1300 797 456 or www.limestreet.com.au.
BATHROOM Made from river pebbles, the above, left and right tactile floor tiles are a calming influence on the room. Bath and Hansgrohe tapware, Tuck Plumbing Fixtures. Stool, Blupeter Homestore. Wall hooks, The Wall Collective. Baskets, Freedom. Custom-made vanity. Air-plant vessels, Birds of Passage. Towels, Cool Galah.
Smart buy: ROC White River Pebble interlocking tiles,
$95/m2, M2 Tiles.
COVERED VERANDAH The north-facing verandah is a lovely spot to while away an afternoon. Armchairs, Corner Store. Cushions, coffee table, bamileke tables and stools, all Blupeter Homestore. Plantation shutters, Boardwalk. For Where to Buy,
KITCHEN/DINING Michelle (pictured) took the photo of a Masai woman while on holiday in Kenya. Chandelier, dining table, dining chairs, cushion and tray, all Blupeter Homestore. Stelton jug, Remedy. Kitchen designed by Indesign WA. Tempered-glass benchtop. Essastone splashback. Tapware, Grohe. Porcelain floor tiles, Tile Boutique. For Where to Buy, see page 188.