How architects Handelsmann + Khaw struck a balance between modernity and comfort
1 Ceiling beams, reclaimed from an old wool warehouse, instantly transform the space with their worn, rustic charm. ‘They bring a sense of history to this new home, and their repetition throughout the house creates dynamic visual interest,’ says Tania.
2 The materials palette may be subdued, but it is never cold – it reflects the sun-bleached Australian landscape, and was also inspired by Flemish farmhouses. ‘We wanted something minimal but not monastic, so we focused on earthy tones,’ says Tania.
3 Tania and Gillian enhanced the comfort level even further with a variety of fabrics. Leather and linen are used to panel bedroom walls, while silk and knitted wool rugs in grey shades are tactile underfoot without detracting from the oak floors. ‘They bring a sense of humanity to a spare aesthetic like this one,’ says Tania.
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4 Contemporary interpretations of vernacular pieces – such as a metal ‘Vieques’ bathtub by Agape – have a reassuring, familiar feel without looking dated. s winter sets in and the days get shorter, there are few better places to be in London than on the hills of Hampstead Heath, where it’s possible to catch the last of the daylight. This graceful, understated Georgian-style home on the Heath makes the most of that natural light, and its interior design offers a lesson in creating a sense of luxury while still managing to retain a relaxed and cosy ambience.
Throughout the house, grey walls and white oak floors provide a fitting backdrop to the minimal furnishings and occasional pops of colour. ‘In a house of this scale and grandeur, you would expect more traditionally luxurious materials,’ says London-based Danish interior designer Sofie Nordstrom. ‘But we wanted to do the unexpected. The oak floor is informal and welcoming. The grey adds depth and mystery, and is super sophisticated. The shades we used are just warm enough, with hints of brown, but not too much yellow. It took a long time to find the right tone.’ This simple palette is layered with architectural details, such as the elegant, winding staircase and touches of colour in the richly hued curtains, throws, cushions and velvets. There is plenty of texture too, provided by the subtle concrete plaster on the wall above the fireplace. ‘It’s quite a masculine house,’ Sofie says, ‘but it’s made to look inviting through the use of subtle feminine accents, like the velvet and silk furnishings in the bedroom and the patterned rug in the small living area.’
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