STEP OUT OF THE COLD AND INTO AN APPEALING DESIGN THAT YOU’LL LOVE COMING HOME TO
here’s a warm vibe as you walk in the Amesbury Alfresco design by Hickinbotham at Mt Barker’s Bluestone development. I say that with a sense of relief, because on this visit to the Hills’ land development, it was a chilly day despite the sun being out and shining.
It’s always nice to enter a home and immediately feel warm – which also says a lot about the reverse-cycle heating which was doing on excellent job throughout the home.
But it wasn’t just the heating making this large four-bedroom family home feel inviting; it was also the sunshine streaming through tall windows – with several windows in some rooms – and the paint colour on walls, an off white/light latte from Taubmans called Torte Half.
My colour description may not technically be 100 per cent accurate but the colour has a lovely warming effect, from the entry through to the main living and bedrooms.
It appealed to me straight off and I made a quick note to ask Hickinbotham for its details, as I’m sure many other visitors will also like this tone.
Walking into the Amesbury Alfresco, you’re greeted by a wide entry hall and an open front lounge room/home theatre, where a gorgeous golden stone fireplace is the centre of attention. A gas fire inset in the stone, built-in joinery on either side and thick carpet complement this lounge which overlooks the rolling hills of the Bluestone development. I can just imagine sitting here on a wet, wintry day, looking out to lovely views and enjoying a cup of soup in front of the fire.
The Amesbury Alfresco display is one of those homes which immediately has a good feel. It’s apparent all the way through to the two other living spaces, the kitchen and dining, and out to the kids’ bedrooms off the side wing.
Hickinbotham’s design director Ruth Vagnarelli says the Amesbury Alfresco’s warm aesthetic has been created with the use of rich, modern tones, such as red, gold and ochre, and textural layers including velvet.
“The use of wood finishes, natural stone, textured furniture and plush soft furnishings all create a sense of warmth in this house,” she says.
“The eye-catching stone-style fireplace is the focal point of the home theatre/living room and features a contemporary easy-to-light gas fire. The stone next to the in-built entertainment unit, being a timber-style product, gives the room a beautiful warmth. With its spectacular fireplace, it will be the perfect winter retreat.”
The high 2.7m ceilings, the decorative cornices and textural stone-look floor tiles used in the main living zones and hallways were other points I quickly noted as favourites.
Then I saw the kitchen, which is central within the large open-plan family/dining/alfresco zone, and gravitated towards its long island bench.
The Essatone bench with flecks of quartz (the colour is Sandstone Cape) add another textured element and combined with the timber-look laminate on cabinetry – this one is Egger’s Grey Beige Gladstone Oak, it’s a stunning combination and you just want to reach out and touch the surfaces.
For a good flow, these materials also have been used in the bathroom, ensuite and the storage-laden jaw-dropping laundry, and it’s a fabulous result.
“The white slimline Essastone used for the kitchen benchtops looks sleek and sophisticated, but it is also a highly stain-resistant, non-porous material, ensuring it will look as good in 10 years as it does now,” Ruth says. “Similarly, the use of beautiful finishes in the bathrooms and laundry elevates essential everyday tasks. Being in these spaces will feel enjoyable.”
Back in the sleek kitchen, a choice of drawer sizes is also shown which I liked, with extra -wide shallow and deep drawers, and extra-high cupboards above the splashback, to show how you can maximise storage up to the ceiling.
“The fantastic storage has become a priority in the everyday home,” Ruth says. “We have also created a sense of tranquillity by including generous storage to avoid clutter – such as the store or what some people term the mud room, expansive walk-in robe in the master suite as well as a built-in linen press and wardrobes in the children’s bedroom and a huge walk-in pantry off the kitchen.
“There is no excuse to be messy in this laundry. With two walls of cupboards, everything has a place and the natural timber style joinery makes it a beautiful space.”
While the master suite at the front of the home enjoys a double-sided walk-through robe leading to the elegant ensuite, I was really impressed that the three children’s bedrooms further back in the home have triple-door built-in mirrored wardrobes. Each bedroom is large, and it was while I was looking at these rooms that I realised how generous this home is in its dimensions. There’s no skimping on space anywhere in this 320.62sqm design, yet is doesn’t feel cavernous or cold, and there’s a cosy vibe throughout.
The large games room at the rear is the third living zone and it links to both the alfresco and the rear yard via two sets of sliding doors. This is easily the space you’d keep for parties, celebrations or for kids to hang out with friends, particularly as you can close the double doors.
“The flow of this house is both highly functional – with separate zones for coming together and retreat – but also really visually pleasing. It just ‘feels’ right and that comes down to good design,” Ruth says.
“The success lies in its multiple opportunities Being‘i‘ n these spaces will feel enjoyable If I had to choose one interior design feature it would have to be the natural beauty of the gas stone-style fireplace.... for families to both come together and then retreat to their own relaxation zones.
“Life is busier than ever; families need their homes to be places for entertainment, but also calm. With two separate entertainment areas, open plan living/dining as well as large bedrooms there is ample space for every family member to relax and unwind.”
The Amesbury Alfresco display home is showcased on a corner block with a gentle slope, and I have to say it does this home justice to see it with a bit of space round it on all sides, and from my perspective it would like great on a big block or a rural one.
Of course, inside, there’s no way you’ll want to move from that fireplace and front lounge this winter, and Ruth agrees.
“If I had to choose one interior design feature it would have to be the natural beauty of the gas stone-style fireplace. I love spending time in the home theatre and could imagine watching a movie with the family there on a cold winter’s night, or entertaining friends,” Ruth says. “It is a really beautiful, uplifting space.”