Beautiful blend of past and present
Norwegian treasures mix with modern classics in this contemporary stunner
THE past sits beautifully with the present in Anna Lofts’ stunning Elwood home.
The founder and owner of bedding and soft-furnishing business L&M Home has mixed family heirlooms from her native Norway with contemporary furnishings, and a smattering of exotic global treasures, in her two-storey abode. And the look is sophisticated and serene with a beguiling worldly edge.
Ms Lofts, who moved to Australia from Oslo more than 30 years ago, has lived in the home for four years.
“I was living in Windsor and looking around there (for a new home) when this came up,” Ms Lofts explained. “I liked the light and the architecture. It’s about 15 years old now and I think it’s architecturally still very current.”
The ground floor is filled with natural light thanks to the double-height wall of windows along one side and another large window on the opposite side of the space.
The front door opens on to an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area overlooked by a clear sheet-glass balustrade on the floor above.
“I wanted a home with a big kitchen/living space and I love the fact this has that. And I like that you have light from two sides into this space. It looks much bigger than it is because of the big windows looking into the courtyards (on either side),” Ms Lofts said.
Rugs warm up the polished-concrete floor down here, while upstairs houses a guest room, a large main bedroom and a truly sumptuous ensuite with enough room to hold a small dinner party. Ms Lofts has added to the house by cleverly placing the laundry, originally in the garage, behind cupboard doors in the ensuite.
She has had the wall behind the vanity tiled in small white-and-caramel printed tiles, with their intricate, individual patterns carefully mixed and matched to create an eye-catching display.
The ensuite was originally open to the main bedroom. “I wasn’t having that,” said Ms Lofts. So she redesigned the entry and enclosed the ensuite with a doorway.
In the living area, built-in bookshelves have been added, while in the kitchen, a single open shelf on a wall was deemed “a complete waste of space” and has been replaced with a wall of more functional cupboards.
Ms Lofts described her decor style as “a bit of everything”. The house is full of beloved pieces she has collected from around the world while travelling for work to source products for her business.
Particularly eye-catching is a painting of a herd of elephants on the move by Australian artist Donald Green. The work comprises multiple panels that sit together to create the whole, the grey tones working beautifully with other shades of grey found elsewhere in the home.
“I have moved homes with that piece of art so many times,” Ms Lofts said. “If I move somewhere, the elephants always have to fit in.”
Under the elephants sits a pair of carved wooden antique chairs. “My grandparents got those two chairs as a wedding present from their parents so they’re very old,” Ms Lofts said.
“It is the original tapestry on them and people say I should get them redone, but I can’t do that to that old tapestry.”
Another nod to Norwegian textiles hangs above the bed in the main bedroom in the form of a colourful and intricate tapestry. “My grandmother’s sister did that,” Ms Lofts explained. “It’s a copy of a Viking tapestry in the textile museum in Oslo. I inherited it and have always loved it.”