Juliette Arent (right) and Sarah-Jane Pyke (left) of Sydney interior design practice Arent&Pyke just had a seriously ego-boosting week, winning both the Australian Interior Design Award for Residential Decoration and a Belle / Coco Republic Interior Design Award for their The Avenue project. Juliette walks us through the home, a collaboration with architect Tom Ferguson and shares an insight into the decorative decisions.
This 1880’s terrace called for an update that would respect its grand heritage and uplift the spaces, revealing its beauty and creating new moments of joy. Respecting the original architecture, the success of this project relied on our ability to marry a modern family life lived within old walls with a timeless style executed in a contemporary fashion.
In homage to the timelessness of the existing architecture, our materials palette for the built elements was intentionally restrained. This allowed us to layer colour and texture in the decorative phase of the project. We undertook an intensively detailed curatorial design process to celebrate the grandiose architecture, harmonise the clients’ varying aesthetics and develop an eclectic yet cohesive, balanced yet unexpected collection of spaces.
In the formal living spaces and master bedroom, deep hues of blue and sea-green anchor the decorative schemes. The formal dining room includes an extendable vintage dining table with chandelier by ABC Carpet & Home that hangs above, an Ole Wanscher ‘Colonial’ chair for Carl Hansen, and artwork by Philip Drummond above fireplace.
The formal living scheme consists of classic Utrecht chairs from Cassina in petrol and teal, India Mahdavi Bishop stools in violet, a Platner coffee table, custom made linen curtains with indigo silk detailing, and a Zuster sofa upholstered in Peter Dunhams ‘Fig Leaf’ print.
Responding to the opulent scale of the bedroom, the custom-designed bed, ottoman, and antique armoire are all overly-scaled elements. Window treatments with accents of silk and the decorative lighting call the eye to the vast ceiling heights.
Highly detailed Fornasetti wallpaper seen through the doorway wraps through the master dressing room and ensuite, reducing the scale in these more intimate spaces with its hand-drawn appeal and whimsical cloud motif. A custom made bed layered with Society bedlinen sits over a elegant rug from The Rug Company. A large installation of vintage maps of Paris over the bed draws the eye to intimate detail.
Once a boarding house, some rooms were stripped back to their original forms, while others were repurposed to provide a study, master robe, ensuite and bathroom. Our collaboration with the architect led to the design of new openings in the kitchen extension, and the important integration of new exterior forms with the existing envelope. Clean and uncluttered, the bold colour palette was developed in response to the clients’ much loved Enzo Mari “Apple” print. The palette of the kitchen space is simple but strong. Black, white, emerald green, shades of grey and a touch of vintage timber furniture. The intensity of the red of the poster was offset with an equally strong emerald green in the overhead cupboard and dining chair upholstery.
We approached the rear extension kitchen with a timeless application of classic materials and iconic pieces. White joinery, a stainless steel workbench, basalt benchtop and accents of American oak are complemented by iconic lighting from Artek to resonate with the strong black steel framed doors.
Images by Anson Smart.