BEST CONTRACT HOME $1-$1.5 MILLION
With subtle curves, raw materials and entertaining at its core, this custom build by Humphrey Homes was borne from a vision of sensuality and modernity.
Described as an ‘apartment on the ground’, day-to-day living is enjoyed on the lower level, while the top floor offers accommodation for guests as desired.
Humphrey Homes Owner Dean Humphrey said the client was very deliberate in what she wanted.
“Entertaining featured high on the brief, which is why the entire lower floor is geared for an indoor and alfresco lifestyle, with a pool on one side and a wine cellar with tasting table on the other,” he said.
“She wanted a tactile and strong home, which has been achieved with the use of curves and raw materials in the architecture.”
Mr Humphrey said the home’s curves were a concept thought up by Humphrey Homes In-House Architect Helen Marchesani and designed to draw visitors into the home and out to the outdoor area.
Mr Humphrey said the full length of the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home engaged with its long but relatively small block.
“A curved timber wall features prominently yet delicately, enabling the design to embrace the internal living areas with the outdoors,” he said.
“It demonstrates the malleability of the timber and brings a sensuality and warmth not usually seen in properties of this calibre. The result is one flowing, yet strong divider.”
This curved cedar spine wall spans the entire length of the residence – over some 20m – and measures 4m in height. Juxtaposed against the surrounding architecture, it invokes a degree of soft playfulness, Mr Humphrey said.
“This sentiment is echoed inside, with another soft curved wall in the dining space framing the timber staircase which separates the cellar and looks onto the alfresco entertaining area,” he said.
“Privacy was also a feature, which is why the residence is set back from the street and embraced by a breezeblock curved wall – one of three on the property – to allow light in but keep eyes out.”
In addition to the expansive free-form living and entertaining zones nestled comfortably between the honed concrete alfresco area and wine cellar, the ground floor also features an understated master retreat.
Upstairs are a further two bedrooms, a sitting room and a second bathroom for guests to enjoy. Massive aluminium window boxes provide bright vistas outside.
Designed to embrace northern light, Mr Humphrey said the home maximised rays in winter and shaded internal areas from the summer sun.
“Quite often the northern living spaces ‘steal’ the light from the indoor adjacent rooms,” he said. “In this instance, the living space shares the dappled light, controlled by the solar pergola, and the reflection of light from the swimming pool.”
Material selection across the build was carefully considered and Mr Humphrey described it as an honest home, with each material delivering on its intended purpose.
“A robust permanence is seen in the polished concrete floors that feature everywhere on the lower floor, other than the feature timber floorboards and tiles in the master and ensuite,” he said.
“This is extended through the stairwell that features timber stair treads with polished plaster risers. The upper level has timber flooring in the main sitting area around a circular void.”
With an emphasis on outdoor living, the property is an effortless extension of its Cottesloe location, an entertainer’s retreat without being extroverted.
“The home has been designed to enjoy a rich and long lifecycle with strong provision to accommodate guests in the future,” Mr Humphrey said.