Belle - - Belle Promotion Belle Promotion - COL­LEC­TOR’S PIECE

Un­der­stated el­e­gance is al­ways de­sir­able and these homes ex­em­plify this even when the set­ting and the dec­o­ra­tion are pal­pa­bly glam­orous.

Co­pi­ous con­crete is used both struc­turally and for the fin­ishes. Board-form con­crete soft­ens the ceil­ings: “Con­crete when smooth can be bru­tal and hard. With board-form, it takes on the form of tim­ber grain. The brain sees it dif­fer­ently – it’s a warm, beau­ti­fully tex­tured ma­te­rial,” says Shaun, who has also used slicker off-form con­crete on the walls to cre­ate a coun­ter­point. But, lest the rooms be­come “a tim­ber sand­wich”, says Jus­tine, in­stead of wood, the floors fea­ture ter­razzo in its in­fi­nite va­ri­ety of colour and pat­tern.

Through­out, rich tex­tures and pops of colour add warmth and in­ter­est. “The liv­ing area is like a jew­ellery box, with the teal vel­vet so­fas, the gold-leaf ac­ces­sories and the rich, deep silk rug,” Jus­tine says. Sap­phire blue chairs in the ad­join­ing din­ing area heighten the ef­fect. “The beau­ti­ful jewel-like colours are re­flec­tive against the raw con­crete. The con­trast gives it an en­ergy; it may sur­prise when you ex­pect to see a more min­i­mal­is­tic style, but I wanted im­pact.”

The liv­ing room, adds Jus­tine, “is a grand state­ment, but also very com­fort­able”. While the Minotti fur­ni­ture is el­e­gant and glam­orous, “at the end of the project, this an­i­mal ap­peared, the whim­si­cal Bax­ter furry chair”. That and other un­pre­dictable, quirky touches en­sure the house does not take it­self too se­ri­ously. “The red door with its huge weath­ered brass han­dle is like a call­ing card – stylish, but fun and laid-back in its ef­fect,” she says. As is the cam­ou­flage fabric on the ban­quette, the cit­rus green din­ing chairs at the break­fast bar, and the turquoisetiled spa on the ground floor. “I love the sur­prise of the colour against the sil­ver traver­tine; it’s an­other jewel space that says ‘look at me’,” ac­cord­ing to Jus­tine.

By con­trast – and she has used con­trast to great ef­fect through­out this home – the in­for­mal liv­ing area makes an earth­ier state­ment. In ochres, choco­lates and ter­ra­cot­tas, with brown leather chairs sit­ting on an eth­nic rug un­der two mas­sive vin­tage ‘Artichoke’ lights with an aged patina, it cre­ates a cosy nook be­neath soar­ing con­crete ceil­ings.

The Us-born owner is to­tally at home in this house with not only South Amer­i­can ref­er­ences, but a few North Amer­i­can ones, too. “It bor­rows on the US aes­thetic of wide, flat houses with all the liv­ing spa­ces on one level and the bed­rooms on an­other,” she says. “It’s a big house that doesn’t feel that way. The rooms are in­ti­mate spa­ces, thanks to the use of tex­ture and sub­tle di­vi­sions in the open plan.”

The in­ter­play be­tween ex­pan­sive­ness and a hu­man scale per­vades. “My favourite as­pect is the in­door-out­door liv­ing,” says the owner. “With all the doors wide open, there’s no dif­fer­ence be­tween in­side and out­side. All the out­door spa­ces are cov­ered, so you can sit there in com­fort and watch it rain­ing.” #

For more go to justine­hughjones.com; lock­y­er­ar­chi­tects.com.au; williamdan­gar.com.au.

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