AAP residence is a quintessential Mim Design project with creative director Emma Mahlook creating an interior rich in style that translates to pure and simple elegance, writes Jan Henderson.
As a contemporary home for a family of four, AAP residence proudly showcases authenticity at the heart of its design. With a restrained palette in both colour and materials, the overarching idea of this interior is a fine use of space and flow, incorporating timber, stone, concrete and accents of metal that transport the design into a class of its own.
As a new build, the clients were able to include all requirement within the large footprint of the land, and there are clever and practical design ideas such as a hidden study, a garage that can be converted into a party area and a separate children’s sanctuary with space enough for a multitude of visiting friends.
From the exterior, AAP residence presents a cool and crisp Modernist façade. Situated on a sloping block, steps lead up one level to a monumental front door and entry vestibule that opens onto the formal entertaining lounge and spiral staircase on one side and the powder room, master bedroom suite and stairs to the basement on the other. Flooring is light grey timber, laid on the horizontal (not the vertical), which abuts mid-grey honed stone tiles (Elegant Grey, CDK Stone) and the materiality is tasteful and sophisticated, a precursor to the design of the interior throughout.
The formal living area is expansive and grand with double-height windows that frame the view of the trees in the front garden and bring natural light into the room. Materials of timber and stone complement the bespoke cabinetry that includes a fine bar and a hidden television.
One of many beautiful rugs that have been used throughout the house (Behruz Studio) sits perfectly beneath the furniture grouping of elongated Paul sofa (Molteni, Hub Furniture) and plush Maggiolina chairs (Zanotta, CULT), and delineates the area with swathes of muted light and dark greys, white and black that encapsulates the colour palette.
Edging towards the corner of this room is a showstopping staircase that ascends to the upper level as a corkscrew of gleaming white polished plaster. It is impressive and an eye-catching inclusion, which is both functional and elegant. The carpeted master bedroom (Langhorne, Victoria Carpets) with en suite and his and hers dressing rooms is simple
and discreet – a private haven tucked away from the public areas at the entrance.
The powder room is positioned off a landing at the side of the master bedroom and is a seductively designed amenity that personifies glamour with dark grey honed stone vanity (Pietra Grigio, Signorino), custom joinery, mirrors and a feature circular wall sconce (Mim Design). Further on, another staircase with polished plaster walls leads down to the guest bedroom and en suite, cellar, bespoke gym and garage.
The heart of the interior and the main living areas are accessed from the entrance by a wide corridor flanked on one side with a wall of Viridian glass and on the other by the facilities.
The glass provides unfettered visibility across the outdoor landscape of in-ground swimming pool and entertaining pavilion with kitchen and dining ensemble and dissolves the barriers between the exterior and interior, providing a true indoor/outdoor sensory experience.
The workings of the home are closeted away behind a timber wall and comprise the laundry, butler’s pantry and a study nook that leads to the back of the kitchen. Partitioning off the utility areas ensures complete privacy from passing guests and promotes connectivity to each space, as one room leads to another and there are no doors. Conveniently, a lift has been positioned at the side and provides easy access to the basement.
At the rear of the footprint of the home is the living and entertaining area with an open plan kitchen, dining and family room that is pared back elegance at its best. Black powder-coated sheet metal has been used in the kitchen cabinetry and sits well beside the light grey timber cupboards and white veined marble splashback; however, the focal point is a honed marble island bench (Michelangelo Calacatta), with geometric detail that echoes the shape of an overhead bulkhead. The juxtaposition of the bulkhead and the ceiling is brilliant and helps cocoon the kitchen area, minimising the void-like space to create a certain intimacy.
Beyond the kitchen is the dining room with table and 10 chairs that are complemented by a bespoke pendant light with circular motif (designed by Mim Design) that floats overhead. The pendant is stunning in its simplicity yet appropriately dramatic and it carries through the geometric and circular motifs that have been incorporated elsewhere into the interior.
As the bulkhead sweeps across the ceiling and then diminishes in size towards the back of the family room the natural concrete of the underside of the floor above is fully revealed. As with all materials in this house the concrete of the ceiling coupled with the timber floor showcases a raw and restrained palette; however, it is the sheer size of this area that is breathtaking.
The enormous ceiling height coupled with the elegant furniture setting of large comfortable Turner sofa (Molteni, Hub Furniture), Husk chair and ottoman (Space) and another exquisite rug results in a sublime effect. This is a sensational space in which to relax and entertain and it has been masterfully curated.
From the public and family spaces on the ground floor, the upstairs is primarily a children’s retreat accessed by the spiral staircase. This area is carpeted (Langhorne, Victoria Carpets) and there are two bedrooms each with en suite and a large living/entertaining area just beyond the landing. Beyond this is a generous-sized study that has been hidden behind timber panelling and glass-backed shelving, complete with a door concealed within the panelled wall.
AAP residence is an elegant and refined home that features an expert selection of furnishings and an exceptional use of materials. Each design decision has been thoughtfully and correctly resolved, from the smallest detail in a wall sconce to the inclusion of the dazzling spiral staircase.
It is a home to be lived in and enjoyed, but also admired for its beauty and practicality. AAP residence is indeed as smooth as silk, a fine vestment in which to clothe family life, and it is another outstanding project from Mim Design.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns