Ba­li­nese idyll

In the heart of Carl­ton, this home’s de­sign evokes the owner’s child­hood in In­done­sia

Herald Sun - Property - - HOME LIVING - LIN FONG sonelo.com.au

STEP­PING into Arya Tri­adi’s home from Carl­ton’s bustling El­gin St is to en­ter an oa­sis of calm.

The her­itage-listed res­i­dence has been re­designed from a “comfy but pretty old, draughty house” into a de­light­ful fu­sion of mod­ern min­i­mal­ism and Bali-in­spired de­sign.

And the ar­chi­tec­ture grad­u­ate is chuffed, as are his mates. “My house is like a base camp for my friends,” said Mr Tri­adi (pic­tured).

“It’s very close to Mel­bourne Uni so when we were still study­ing we’d come and chill here to cook din­ner, play games or have a drink. That tra­di­tion has con­tin­ued on from there.”

Mr Tri­adi was born in Jakarta, In­done­sia, but spent five years liv­ing with his fam­ily in Bali. He ex­plained the house re­flected his child­hood. “I was try­ing to chan­nel my up­bring­ing in a clas­si­cal trop­i­cal house by in­tro­duc­ing tim­ber floors, good air cir­cu­la­tion and in­te­grat­ing na­ture.”

The na­ture bit plays out in the form of a sooth­ing court­yard and trop­i­cal plants. And the plant theme ex­tends to his bed­room, where he has home­made ter­rar­i­ums.

“I made the first one around the time I fin­ished study­ing and found my­self think­ing: what am I go­ing to do with my life? I bet­ter start fill­ing the house!” he re­called, with a smile.

Mr Tri­adi and brother Rama Ari­adi snapped up the Vic­to­rian ter­race with fam­ily after a short hunt, at­tracted by its lo­ca­tion. The de­ci­sion to buy was prompted by a rather hairy co-liv­ing sit­u­a­tion.

“I was liv­ing with my brother in one-bed­room twin­share student ac­com­mo­da­tion in Ly­gon St,” Mr Tri­adi ex­plained. “It was very tight. We fought a lot be­cause I needed more space for model mak­ing and mak­ing my big draw­ings. He stud­ied in­ter­na­tional pol­i­tics so all he needed was enough room for a lap­top and a note­book.”

His brother has now moved back to In­done­sia (yes, they’re still on good terms). Mr Tri­adi cur­rently shares with one house­mate and an ami­able cat, Karlo, whose colours per­fectly match with the black and white walls.

Mr Tri­adi hasn’t al­ways ex­pe­ri­enced the house in its sub­lime state. For three years, he lived in it while it was unrenovated, be­fore en­list­ing the tal­ents of ar­chi­tect Wil­son Tang of Sonelo De­sign Stu­dio.

Be­cause of the her­itage list­ing, the fa­cade had to be pre­served. How­ever, some walls in the gloomy back part of the house could be knocked down, which opened it right up into a cen­tral hang­out zone. An up­stairs level was also added, turn­ing the home from a squeezy two-bed­room abode into a three-bed­room ter­race house.

“Ma­nip­u­lat­ing the sense of spa­cious­ness and giv­ing the house room to breathe were core to the al­ter­ations we made,” Mr Tang said.

“We placed a new lush court­yard be­fore the new dou­ble-storey brick ad­di­tion to pro­vide a tran­quil breath­ing space be­tween the old and new, while the use of grey-tinted mir­rors in­side visu­ally ex­tends the depth of space.”

Other de­sign high­lights in­clude an in­ward-open­ing tim­ber door to the rear lane that gives ven­ti­la­tion while en­sur­ing pri­vacy, and a very cool slid­ing ta­ble.

“The be­spoke din­ing ta­ble is hung from a mir­ror­clad wall and can ef­fort­lessly slide away to free up space for loung­ing,” Mr Tang said.

“It’s in­formed by Arya’s cul­tural her­itage be­cause in In­done­sia, loung­ing on the floor is a com­mon rit­ual for vis­it­ing guests or fam­ily.”

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