Beau­ti­ful blend of past and present

Nor­we­gian trea­sures mix with mod­ern clas­sics in this con­tem­po­rary stun­ner

Herald Sun - Property - - FRONT PAGE - lmhome.com.au WORDS: SHAUNAGH O’CON­NOR PHO­TOS: CHRIS GROENHOUT

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.”

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