Georgie Shepherd brings warmth to Adelaide villa with limestone and whitewashed timber

Apr 30, 2021
  • Article by Elisa Scarton

Georgie Shepherd Interior Design brought a sense of “warmth in winter and cool in summer” to this 1900s Adelaide villa through textured Arbon pavers and whitewashed American oak.

Stanley House was a “typical 1900s sandstone villa”, Shepherd tells ADR, with an early ’80s brick extension and a mix of “pokey rooms” with some late ’80s and early ’90s “mistakes.

“When I first met the client, their living spaces and kitchen spaces were really dark and quite of sad,” Shepherd says.

“And they just kept saying they wanted a connection to nature. They have this huge love for growing their own herbs and gardening, and they just didn’t have that.”

Tim Evans, who was lead architect on the project, changed the layout of the four-bedroom home, moving the kitchen dining area from the darkest part of the house into the new light-filled extension at the back of the property.

Three bedrooms and a front living area were positioned at the front of the house, while the master bathroom replaced the kitchen at the centre of the home.

A glass hallway was designed to link the old home to the new extension, which wraps around a spacious backyard and garden.

To further reflect light into the newly renovated spaces, Georgie Shepherd Interior Design chose a muted palette influenced by the “tones of the exterior landscape.

“It was always about earthy materials, natural materials,” says Shepherd.

“So straight away, I thought of timbers and limestone because I love limestone; marble and hand-cut tiles. Really textural materials that would further brighten their home.”

In the kitchen and dining space, warm white concrete walls are paired with hand-cut subway-style tiles and marble counter tops. Whitewashed American oak joinery, tan leather seating and rattan bring “textural layering” to the rooms.

“The rattan cupboards are handcrafted furniture pieces that serve a dual purpose,” explains Shepherd.

“They provide much needed extra storage, but they also stand apart from the kitchen cabinetry. I didn’t want it to feel like the kitchen was encroaching onto the dining space.”

Georgie Shepherd, centre, and her design team.

Rattan is repeated in the cabinets in the living room in a nod to the “old fashioned” media cupboards used to conceal speakers.

Also in the living room is a new gas fireplace covered in Paloma bricks chosen to reflect and represent the bricks on the home’s exterior in a “more contemporary and textural” way.

“It works really well as a tying element because you look over to the old part of the house and you see this white worn brick, so it creates context,” explains Shepherd.

“The Paloma brick has a nice creamy tone to it that was very close to the facade we wanted to recreate, and since the living room is connected to the back of the house, it doesn’t feel foreign.”

As a final ode to the “strong personalities” of the young couple that call Stanley House home, Georgie Shepherd Interior Design created “his and her” bathrooms adapted through the idea of ying and yang.

“A light, bright compact ensuite for her and larger darker bold main bathroom for him,” says Shepherd.

Both feature a natural stone backdrop and terrazzo flooring with white squared mosaic tiles, but the master bathroom has a textured black custom vanity paired with black framed mirrors.

“It’s dark and moody. Very sophisticated and refined. Very much like the client himself,” says Shepherd.

“So it was about bringing him into the equation. And he loves it. He loves the idea that there’s a bit of him in that bathroom.”

Photography: Christopher Morrison.

Georgie Shepherd Interior Design is a a boutique Adelaide-based interior architecture and design firm started by Georgie Shepherd in 2011.

The studio is also recently behind another Adelaide extension featuring limestone floors and warm textural elements.

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