GREAT BONES

Mercury (Hobart) - Magazine - - AT HOME - WORDS DALE CAMP­ISI PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BRADY MICHAELS

Bi­sected by a hall­way so broad it could al­most dou­ble as a drive­way, Amanda York’s four-bed­room Ge­or­gian house seam­lessly blends pe­riod fea­tures with stun­ning in­te­rior de­sign.

“We were look­ing for some­thing with a sense of place and his­tory, some­thing we could bring our own per­sonal style to as well,” she says of the de­ci­sion to set­tle in his­toric Bat­tery Point.

Amanda and hus­band Camp­bell York, a car sales­man, had been look­ing for the right place for months. “It took us a long time to find the right place. Qual­ity of space is re­ally im­por­tant. For me that means vol­ume and light.”

They also wanted a her­itage prop­erty, though such prop­er­ties aren’t typ­i­cally char­ac­terised by abun­dant nat­u­ral light.

“I be­lieve her­itage homes should show their wrin­kles,” Amanda says. “That’s their his­tory, that’s how we know they’re old. If you don’t like that stuff you might as well buy a faux Vic­to­rian!”

Amanda — who has worked as an in­te­rior de­signer for clients such as Perth’s Op­tus Sta­dium, Wes­farm­ers and WMC, and is work­ing with Tas­ma­nian ar­chi­tec­ture prac­tice Cu­mu­lus Stu­dio — was so ex­cited about the prospect of her new home that she had mea­sured up and planned the in­te­rior of the whole house be­fore they moved in.

“I love the front step. I love how worn it is,” Amanda says of one of her favourite fea­tures. “In her­itage homes it’s of­ten the case that you have lots of de­tail at the front of the house, but the fur­ther you get in to the house the more func­tional and plain it gets.”

That’s cer­tainly the case here, but the pen­dant lights in the hall­way draped in black net­ting point to the play­ful con­tem­po­rary style through­out.

“I just felt like the hall­way needed a bit of drama,” Amanda says. “Hall­ways are tran­si­tion spa­ces so they are good places for a lit­tle fun, and the net­ting is easy to swap out when I want to mix things up. Best of all, the net­ting cre­ates shad­ows when the lights are on.”

The house was a blank can­vas when they moved in, Amanda says, but she notes “ar­chi­tec­ture is a ves­sel. In or­der to do good work you need good bones”.

The four bed­room home def­i­nitely has good bones, though the high ceil­ings present par­tic­u­lar chal­lenges. Amanda has ad­dressed this with light­ing. “A mix of light­ing op­tions — up­lights, down­lights and dimmable — al­low you to cre­ate mood,” she says.

The high ceil­ings are made smaller — more do­mes­tic — with the use of stand­ing lamps and low hang­ing pen­dants.

The in­te­rior de­sign of the bed­rooms in par­tic­u­lar is stun­ning. “Ori­en­ta­tion of the bed is re­ally im­por­tant,” Amanda says. “I like to view the bed from the foot be­cause it gives a sense of grandeur. The room’s ori­en­ta­tion is also im­por­tant. Ideally the bed­room should be south fac­ing, with the liv­ing rooms north fac­ing. That way you wake up with morn­ing light, and the room re­mains cool through­out the day.”

The con­tem­po­rary kitchen out the back is flooded with nat­u­ral light cour­tesy of a large land­scape win­dow and small sun room ex­ten­sion. An iconic Alessi ket­tle and juice press grace the bench; items as beau­ti­ful as they are func­tional.

Through­out the house are count­less other ex­am­ples of iconic de­sign: Pierre Paulin’s or­ange slice arm­chairs for Ar­ti­fort; Philippe Starck’s ghost bar stools for Kartell; and Charles and Ray Eames’ eif­fel chairs for Vi­tra.

These are all orig­i­nals, too. “I don’t like fakes, it’s not sus­tain­able for the de­sign in­dus­try,” Amanda says. “You only have to pay a lit­tle bit more for the orig­i­nal, and you can tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween orig­i­nals and copies when you sit in the chair and feel the de­sign that has gone into the com­fort and sup­port of the seat.”

For her first Tas­ma­nian job de­sign­ing new ac­com­mo­da­tion for Launce­s­ton’s Still­wa­ter Restau­rant, Amanda must bal­ance her­itage tex­ture and con­tem­po­rary lux­ury. “My phi­los­o­phy is less is more; the her­itage fab­rics are so rich and beau­ti­ful,” she says. “I’ve got great bones to work with in those old mills. It’s go­ing to be a beau­ti­ful mar­riage be­tween food and ac­com­mo­da­tion.”

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