CONCEPT TO COVER: HOUSE & GARDEN TOP 50 ROOMS

It is with complete and unexpected joy that our Raglan Street project is featured on the cover of House & Garden’s Top 50 Rooms issue.

While it is always a huge honour to be recognised by the industry, this accolade is a particularly rewarding one. Not simply because House & Garden is a household name, but also because this project has taken us all on quite the tumultuous journey . . .

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Almost three years ago our lovely clients approached us with the kind of vision that makes design eyes widen and fingers tingle. The brief was to design a mid-century inspired, Palm Springs-influenced family home overlooking the ocean. Needless to say we could not wait to roll up our sleeves and dive right in!

It was a unique opportunity to build a home from – quite literally – the ground up.

Only a section of the lower ground floor of the original house remained while the rest was to be completely reconstructed to accommodate our client’s large family.  

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Within months of construction commencing, our project was struck with tragedy when the builder sadly passed away unexpectedly. Resolved to finish the project, we continued with a second builder who, just months later, resigned with little notice. By the time we reached our third builder, the construction process was well and truly lagging.

We often enjoy an ongoing “renovators remorse” joke in the studio, but this project was proving to be no laughing matter, as we were tested at every stage! But we soldiered on with our clients, and with shared determination, just over a year after construction began, the house was completed.

And so, from the dust, dismay and disarray, our cover-gracing kitchen nook was born.

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Finding a balance between style and practicality informed everything we did on this project, and the kitchen nook really encapsulates this balance. The custom banquette seat – irrefutably stylish – hides convenient storage underneath its bold form, while the curved seating embraces the family way of living, truly making this space the heart of the home.

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It’s an area that frames meal times, keeps the cook company, nurtures afternoon naps and provides for homework sessions and formal dinner parties with equal acceptance.

As our happy client puts it:

‘I start my day having a cup of tea at the nook before anyone else is up. It has the most gorgeous aspect first thing in the morning. Later my youngest child does her homework at the table and then books and pencils are cleared away for dinner. It's such a comfortable and inviting spot it’s not uncommon for someone to get horizontal and have a little kip in the sun on this lovely banquette.’

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One of the key design elements in the home is moments of bold colour, which set the tone for each space. Despite the use of a brighter blue, the nook maintains a sense of calm and elegance. Even the ‘Vertigo’ Petite Friture pendant light, which floats above the dining table, evokes the serenity of the ocean breeze.

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The result is a space that is both playful and contemplative; beautiful and accommodating. 

It is thrilling to see our hard work come to life, especially after all the stops and starts, and blossom into not only a gorgeous space for our treasured clients, but become a cover star!

Image 1 via House & Garden / Image 2 via Alexandra Kidd Design / Image 3 via House & Garden / Image 4-5 via Alexandra Kidd Design / Image 6 via Pinterest / Image 7 via Alexandra Kidd Design

BIRCHGROVE HOUSE: FEELS LIKE HOME

Our clients purchased this five-storey harbour-side property to live in whilst we were renovating their dream family home. Splitting their time between Hong Kong and Sydney, our brief was to create a luxurious and stylish home suitable for entertaining friends and family, whilst remaining comfortable and practical for their young grandchildren. 

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The property was a new build and when we were approached to do the project, the architectural shell had already been completed. We effectively started with a blank canvas – stark white walls and grey marble flooring dominated every cavernous room. 

We set out to soften the crisp, cold spaces whilst still respecting the original architecture. We began by adding a delicately sheer drape to almost every window to filter the glare from the light bouncing off the harbour but not obstruct the enviable views. 

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For that all important first impression, we played with the concept of compression and expansion in the lobby-style entrance. The installation of glazed jet black Phillip Jeffries ‘Rivet’ wallpaper creates drama and intimacy, and a custom-made console unit clad in the most striking blue marble adorns the dark entry like an unveiled jewel, providing a hint of what is to come.  

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Moving through the vestibule, the space then opens up to reveal the informal living and kitchen level bathed in natural light.

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We shone further focus on the electric blue accent, even carrying it through to our commissioned art piece by Kerry Armstrong. We lined the living room wall with sharp silver mirror to echo the chrome detailing on the kitchen island and reflect the stunning harbour views. 

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The addition of deliciously rich plums and copper to the expansive formal living and dining area downstairs provided much-needed warmth. A Christopher Boots feature pendant drops over the 3-meter dining table, surrounded by silvery crushed velvet custom upholstered Febo chairs.

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The bar unit is one of our favourite pieces of joinery in the home, featuring decadent bronze inset leather panels on the doors. 

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Throughout the home we mixed metals such as brass, chrome and copper, adding to the confident sophistication. We injected colour sparingly but with great intensity for impact, and finally we layered textures such as grass-cloth, silk rugs and linen drapery to complete each and every space, creating a true sense of home.

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All images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design

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