Friday, April 29, 2016

Hamptons Revival

Last year we arrived at our clients home with the brief of decorating and refurbishing the interiors.

Our first impression was how stately this home was, the gardens were beautiful but the house was desperately in need of an external makeover. The home was over 18 years old and had a distinct Mediterranean-feel, there as no doubt in my mind that this home had great bones and my creative mind was already flowing with the possibilities.

Once we were greeted by our clients, we instantly started to get inspired by the internal house possibilities but I had to be honest, what was the point of a beautiful interior if the exterior would let the home down. Our clients totally agreed and felt instantly inspired and excited by the possibilities.

First we needed to tackle the rear of the home (refer the before photos of the curved iron balustrade above. I knew straight away this large property and home lacked entertaining areas to take in the beautiful views and gardens. I wanted to create two large exterior pavilions, one for outdoor dining off the kitchen area and the other an outdoor living space. At this stage we are visualising the balustrade design, the millwork to posts, the white painted timber windows, the stonework and the lanterns. One of the greatest gifts as a designer is that we are visionaries, we can see the end result even before we have voiced the concept.

Our clients were as excited as we were and we were given the green light to start the process. So what is the process? Apart from engaging a builder, building plans & approvals etc... every single material for the home needs to be selected prior to commencement. The balustrade for example was complex, the trellised patios were needed to dress up the exterior, the millwork details, the external paint colours, the french travertine, lighting etc. all needed to be considered. The builder with his quality workmanship, planning and skills brings our vision to life!

One of the most exciting parts of our job is not only to develop the concept from the beginning but to work on the project long after the builders and tradesmen leave. During the entire building process we were busy designing and manufacturing a range of outdoor furniture suitable for the outdoor environment, but more importantly we had a specific look we wanted for our clients. In Australia we don't always have access to furniture like the rest of the world so we prefer to custom-make most of our products so that we can deliver uniqueness of product, authenticity and a quality that our clients expect from us.

We added a stunning sunroom to the front of the home with all its details, added a large barn garage for our clients vintage vars and a loft for their teenage daughter. We now have the exciting task of the interiors with a new kitchen, millwork details, timber flooring, new staircase, lighting and the most beautiful interior furnishings.

The most rewarding part of our job is seeing our clients reaction of the end result! To then continue, years later working with your clients once again is a true testament to the service a designer provides, the referrals and of course that moment you actually don't want to leave their home because you feel part of it and also want to stay and enjoy the beautiful new space!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Farmhouse Living

It's been so long since our last blog post - all good intentions aside, life just gets frantically busy juggling all our new design builds, interior projects, moving showrooms and working tirelessly on a very exciting online program. Did I mention being a single mother too?! It's a constant juggling act but more on that soon.

For me it has been a long time dream to one day build a modern day barn in the country, the dream hasn't happened as fast as I'd hoped for though. With a business growing faster than we can keep up with, new ideas continually popping into my head & an eleven-year-old daughter who loves her school and gives me dagger looks at any prospect of moving! So for now its just dreams that I would love to share with you on the blog today.

So what would my barn look like? The structure would be quite simple but I would have an iron roof, large black raw iron windows, timber cladding in white of course, is there any other colour?

The barn would have the ability to be extended to add a walkway of glass or perhaps large extending barn doors, this wouldn't be just any walkway, it would be a large opening that would allow me to entertain outdoors but should the weather not permit, could easily be closed to a cosy space full of atmosphere. The joining of the barns would allow my budget to further extend at a later date. My tip when designing any home is to always think of the bigger picture from the onset.

Internally I visualise old recycled oak floors, exposed rustic beams, raked ceiling and shiplap clad walls. The kitchen would be a mix of timber and white, open shelving and a large walk-in pantry filled with vintage jars and rattan baskets.

The furnishings would be neutral and rustic so I could easily change up the colours with cushions and accessories as my mood changed with the seasons. A stone clad fireplace, books and beautiful artwork would be an important element in my home.

No farmhouse/barn would be complete without a large oak tree with a large table & iron chairs, delicious food, family, friends & laughter. A wine cellar to keep the good times rolling...and of course the herb garden to season the food & a designer chicken coop for our fresh eggs. Life doesn't get much better than this.

Images sources: via Verandah House Instagram and pinterest for all source credits.