The Anatomy of a Modern Australian Home

It’s almost August and back to school, which means there are just a few more weeks for last-minute vacations.  And, I thought it would be fun to take a virtual vacation each week this month to a home in a different country…first stop, Australia!

I haven’t ever seen a home from Australia that I haven’t loved.  They always have such a beautiful connection to the outdoors, lots of luxurious light wood (not usually considered luxurious here in the U.S.), and they do such a great job designing modern homes with a lot of warmth and softness. The Room of the Week by MIM Design, exemplifies all of these characteristics and more…enjoy!

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There are lots of instances of asymmetrical design in this living room and kitchen. The fireplace/shelving combination is my favorite example.  If you break up the far wall you can see there are three equal sections: 1. the window on the far left, 2. the fireplace, and 3. the TV/shelving section.  Instead of putting the fireplace exactly in the center of its section it was placed to the far right and balanced by an empty space used for firewood.  The styling on the shelving is also asymmetrical.  This all works without feeling lopsided or top/bottom heavy  because everything is balanced with plenty of blank space. For example, the large TV is balanced by an equally large blank area of space above the fireplace.

If you take out the artwork and accessories you have a fairly monochromatic room…mostly shades of brown.  It would be really boring, except the shades are extremes so they contrast with each other and make the room feel layered and sophisticated.  The curtains are both light and dark brown.  There is a dark brown rug on top of the light brown wood floor.  The dark fireplace and TV contrast nicely with the lighter wood fireplace surround and stone.  The dark kitchen chairs stand out against the kitchen table.

Even though this room doesn’t have a lot of color it feels very warm and light and soft all due to the  great textures.  The light wood, fuzzy carpet, soft couch, warm stone, sleek white cabinets…they all work together to make the room feel interesting, without using lots of color.

Take out all the furnishings in this room and you have lots of hard edges and corners.  To soften things up the designer added lots of round accessories like the wood stool, round pouf, pendant lights, the coffee table, and round plates and vases.

One of my favorite details in this house is the wood range hood that mirrors the wood fireplace surround.  Carrying thoughtful design details through an entire house creates rhythm and flow visually in a home.

Horizontal lines automatically create feelings of relaxation (versus vertical lines that can create excitement and energy), and they play a strong role in this design. The shelving, direction of the wood on the wall, the hearth, the long couch, the kitchen island and even the valance on the curtains are horizontal lines in the room.  All these horizontal lines create harmony and a restful space.

Do you gravitate toward the design of any other country?  Please share!

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