HOM E S
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.