Decus Interiors “builds upon the bones” of Heritage home

Feb 16, 2021
  • Article by Elisa Scarton

Decus Interiors interplayed old and new in this revival of a Heritage home on the Western Australian coastline.

The Sydney practice approached the interiors for Coastal Home as a “layered interplay between traditional and contemporary decoration” blending Heritage bones with the new three-storey addition and pool cabana.

“The existing heritage build required a more traditional approach, while the addition necessitated a contemporary feel,” explains director Alexandra Donohoe Church.

“Through palette, lighting and materiality, a layered interplay between traditional and contemporary decoration is expressed in sophisticated yet practical comfort, avoiding any sense of coastal cliché,” the studio adds.

A “consistent design language and considered spatial planning” driven by the clients’ “impressive collection” of Australian art also informed the overall design concept.

From the engraved double entrance door,  designed by Billy Joe Carroll and David Gillespie in 1970, the home opens into a dark timber kitchen with chocolate-coloured Argento floorboards and Woof appliances.

Part of the original Heritage home, the kitchen “speaks to tradition” through the layering of “warm, rich and inviting” colours.

In the adjacent living room, the Applique 2 Bras Droit Pivotant by Serge Mouille, Pumpkin Armchair by Pierre Paulin for Ligne Roset, the Extrasoft Sofa by Piero Lissoni for Living Divani and Nest Tables by Adam Goodrum for Nau form the bones of a brighter, more vibrant palette, which is repeated throughout the newer spaces.

From the living room, steel frame doors highlight a “strong connection” to the outdoors.

“A garden of Indigenous Australian flora forms an idyllic backdrop for Coastal Home,” says Decus Interiors of the outdoor space, which includes a sizeable pool, as well as an integrated barbecue, fireplace and dining set.

Elsewhere in the home, Indigenous Australian artwork, custom-designed furniture and Missoni accessories are used to ensure an element of “surprise, discovery, and individual nuance” throughout.

“One of the most exciting elements of this project – apart from the client’s remarkable collection of art – was that the home offered a wide variety of design detailing,” says Donohoe Church.

“Colour is used to masterful effect throughout, with bedrooms, bathrooms and a playroom for the children imbued with an energetic and optimistic palette and unfussy detailing.”

Embracing the home’s past, cornices, plasterwork and paneling in the master suite were restored, while contemporary details like the fireplace clad in CDK Stone and shadow line proportions were added to acknowledge the studio’s vision for the home’s future.

The choice of fabrics and finishes in the master bedroom also reflect the “client’s desire to avoid the region’s often ostentatious personality” with the designer selecting a Terrarium pendant by Lindsey Adelman in the vintage mirror reflection.

One of Decus Interiors’ largest projects to date, Coastal Home “defies coastal pastiche” through its vintage curios, mid-century pieces, informal layout and natural materiality.

“Reflecting Decus Interiors’ evocative and intimate approach, grand proportions and luxurious amenity are balanced by robust materiality and intelligent design to ensure this is a family home to be lived in,” concludes the studio.

Founded by Donohoe Church, Decus Interiors is a Sydney-based studio that specialises in residential.

Photography: Anson Smart.

In Perth recently is NGID’s Youth Lab, which channelled a 1970s glam feel inspired by “luxury hotels” and the “private penthouses of New York’s Upper East Side”.

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