UNDER CONSTRUCTION: ECO ABODE

Our lovely clients moved into their home a little over two years ago to accommodate their growing family.

When the AKD team came on board, we explored all available options to extend the house every which way and create a greater connection to the outdoors. We considered going up, out, and even over!

In the end, it made most sense to break the construction process into phases, with phase one focusing on transforming the interior space to suit our client’s immediate needs, all the while keeping in mind phase two: future expansion.

Being a federation home, there are so many lovely details throughout: wonderful lolly-coloured stained-glass windows, original marble fireplaces and stunningly frothy plaster archways. Our interior scheme had to complement both a traditional home and a beachside location!

We started with the flooring as our foundation to build from, literally. Opting to replace the squeaky old floor throughout meant we could also install much needed under-floor insulation. ‘Bistre’ from Tongue n Groove  provided a soft lime-washed base that we used throughout the home, lifting the palette to create a fresh and bright atmosphere with just a hint of ‘beachy.’

The central hallway has no access to natural light and was in desperate need of brightening. We replaced all the light fittings with brighter ones and added a neutral but softly textured palm wallpaper – an excellent base to display our client’s collection of fun and colourful artworks.

The hallway features an original horsehair plaster ceiling.

The hallway features an original horsehair plaster ceiling.

‘Monsoon’ by Arte wallpaper via    Unique Fabrics

‘Monsoon’ by Arte wallpaper via Unique Fabrics

Next, we tackled the dining room – an important space for every family to come together for the ritual of meal times. Our clients owned a very special dining table, handmade by a friend and gifted to them as a wedding present. To complement the timber tones of the table, we included a teak sideboard for extra storage, which also picks up the tones in the carved wooden artwork (sitting above). We added new upholstered leather dining chairs to complement our client’s existing timber ones for an eclectic but cohesive look.

The dining area with the new timber flooring in all its glory.

The dining area with the new timber flooring in all its glory.

A gorgeous    Robyn Cosgrove    rug now adorns the floor of the dining area.

A gorgeous Robyn Cosgrove rug now adorns the floor of the dining area.

The walls throughout have been given a refresh with an eco-friendly lime paint that creates a soft powdery finish. We added much-needed storage to the living areas, and papered the inset features with a sustainable, renewable and biodegradable grass cloth wallpaper in a gorgeous muted sage green, coloured by vegetable dye!

In the living space we were conscious not to interfere with the original ceilings. We designed our new joinery pieces in a considered way to highlight the ceiling’s historic beauty. By lowering our joinery to align with the picture rail and throwing soft up-lighting above we created a cosy and calm atmosphere.

The addition of bookshelves for our family of avid readers.

The addition of bookshelves for our family of avid readers.

A daybed incorporated to the children’s play area for lounging.

A daybed incorporated to the children’s play area for lounging.

To better connect the upper living level with the backyard, the deck also had a makeover! The layout of the stairs was revised to incorporate additional landings, making for a gentle transition between levels. A new cabana style pergola with shade cloth and built-in dining area will complete the space.

The new tallowood deck will grey softly over time.

The new tallowood deck will grey softly over time.

The pergola is to be painted a fresh white to contrast against the green landscaping.

The pergola is to be painted a fresh white to contrast against the green landscaping.

As the last rolls of wallpaper are hung and the final furniture pieces are received to complete phase one, we can’t wait to share the results of our sunny beachside home.

Follow our construction journey on Instagram and keep your eyes peeled for the #BigReveal

All images via © Alexandra Kidd Design

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: THE ONLY WAY IS UP

Remember that old joke ‘How do you fit a family of elephants into a Mini?’

Take the roof off!

We are currently trying to solve that riddle on our Greenknowe Avenue project and I can tell you, from personal experience, it’s no laughing matter!

IMG_1470.jpg

Once a dramatic one bedroom bachelor pad housing fabulous art, a concert grand Steinway piano and a wet bar for a kitchen, our apartment is transforming into a family home for four (well, six if you count the fur babies!). We had literally been bursting at the seams with the once-sleek interior becoming superimposed with Barbie dream homes and finger paintings.

IMG_1182.jpg

We absolutely loved everything about the apartment and its location, it simply wasn’t big enough. So we dreamt up the perfect family home in the sky, complete with a rooftop garden and plunge pool. The project would involve adding two levels to an existing apartment building in Sydney’s Potts Point.

But first to persuade neighbours, council and the structural engineer! 

After many, many years of planning and design we have finally commenced work on our dream home in the sky. And indeed, the roof did come off!

IMG_1471.jpg

Retaining the original mood and feeling from our much-loved apartment was paramount. The concept is to preserve the black interior for the lower level and introduce a white ribbon into the dark box, whilst inverting this combination upstairs with a white interior swathed by a black ribbon. The apartment enjoys beautiful views and an abundance of natural light. The biggest challenge has been how to best capture the views whilst allowing some privacy from urban eyes.    

IMG_1771.jpg

Knee deep in demolition rubble with no roof and severe weather forecasts looming on the horizon have been conjuring the most dramatic of emotions – stress, excitement, denial. Did I mention stress?! To all our clients, past and present, I feel your pain.  

Follow the dramatic images and #GreenknoweAvenue updates on Instagram.

Wish us luck and plenty of sunshine!

IMG_2064.jpg

All images via © Alexandra Kidd Design

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 . . .

November cover.jpg

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.  

Untitled design.png

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.

DOC251018-25102018170516.jpg

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.

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 3.17.15 pm.png

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.’

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 3.17.43 pm.png

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.

grande.png
Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 3.30.57 pm.png

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