When sea and city collide, the result is something similar to this Sydney home. Awash with cool tones and natural light, it is a modern oasis for its executive owners
They say there is no place like home but this is no reason to leave your overseas adventures at the front door. Mingling urban edginess with tropical flair, Adam Scougall and Benjamin Napier, from AS you see it! Interior Solutions, have drawn from the travel experiences of their clients to inspire this comfortable, yet chic design.
Starting with a four-year-old project home, Adam and Benjamin’s challenge was to create more practical lighting, storage and furniture solutions, while also redesigning the rooms to be, as Adam explains, both “modern and liveable”.
While the house was a new build with spacious rooms and established gardens, it lacked warmth and character. “Ben and I decided together, in collaboration with the client, to decorate with a type of ‘Maldives meets New York’ aesthetic,” says Adam. “The couple had travelled here previously and shown us various photographs of interest.”
This international flavour injects the design with an element of quirkiness, and is glimpsed immediately when stepping inside. Against the classic design of the foyer, with its granite tiles and raw-brick feature wall, hang artworks of iconic city monuments. Accented in turquoise and fuchsia, pieces such as these are echoed throughout the house and add a playful urban spark. Like so many of the other furnishings in the house, these artworks were designed by the duo and highlight the huge amount of originality invested in this design. “We were given an incredible amount of trust with very little input from the client,” Adam explains. “We designed everything from the beginning; the rugs, lighting plan, art, furniture, fireplace and cabinets.”
The result is a house that resonates with a beautiful sense of cohesion. Reimagining the interior of this house in its entirety allowed the pair to achieve precisely the flow and functionality they were after. This is clearly seen in the main living area at the heart of the house. Low-resting furniture and strong horizontal lines elongate the area, while the soft white furnishings give the illusion of space and provide a refreshing contrast against the walls.
The delight of rooms such as this is in the blurring of the indoors and the garden. Large windows flood the main living area with natural light, carefully chosen plants and fruit imbue the space with life and colour, and the consistent colour palette creates a seamless unity. The space welcomes you like a breath of fresh air; soothing, elegant and yet comfortable. “Our rule of thumb is to pretty much have three base colours that are continued throughout, as well as three accent colours,” says Adam. While this may sound restrictive, the creativity of the designers is seen in how they can work with these tones to both unite and define each space. A white strip around the living area prevents the blue from dominating, while adding a distinctive modern touch. A similar idea is repeated in the study, which is enclosed by bold navy stripes. Floating shelves and slick furnishings further build this structured look. This daring combination proves how a blue palette does not always have to be the safe option.
Yet for Adam and Benjamin, one of their favourite rooms is the formal dining area. This room boasts a sleek custom-designed fireplace with a 180kg mirror placed over it, giving a sense of depth to the room. Touches of black exude sophistication, while the oversized pendant lights work both as dramatic decoration and focal point for the room. A sense of contemporary grandeur arises from the space, while still being warm and practical for everyday living.
No part of this design has avoided the scrutinising gaze of the designers. It is remarkable how this project so effortlessly bridges being both a home and aesthetic statement and, more remarkably, that all this was achieved in three weeks. For Adam and Benjamin, the confirmation for their bold choices came in a few words from their clients; that they had well and truly, “exceeded expectations”.
Words Jennifer Hoddinett Photography Yie Sandison