Local Heroes: Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects

I am pleasantly surprised with how many exquisite examples I am finding of local residential architecture lately. Here is another such project, Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects. This family home is in Nedlands, in Perth's western suburbs, overlooking the Swan River and utilising a series of interlocking pavilions and linear pergola to traverse its length and lead through the living zones. Simple colour palette and materiality emphasise the clean-lined, contemporary form of this building.


Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects, Perth. #residential #architecture
{Complementary materiality of off-white render, stone, timber and zinc cladding}


Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects, Perth. #residential #architecture
{How beautiful is that pergola?!}


Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects, Perth. #residential #architecture
{Classic but contemporary frontage in Nedlands}


Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects, Perth. #residential #architecture
{Crossing linear elements continue with steel balustrade and stone stairs}


Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects, Perth. #residential #architecture
{Visual and physical connection between outside and in}


Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects, Perth. #residential #architecture
{I love a clean monochrome kitchen. It gives a great base to personalise with homely touches later}


Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects, Perth. #residential #architecture
{Simple palette and colour scheme continue through into wet areas}


Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects, Perth. #residential #architecture
{Overlapping linear elements give aesthetic cohesion}


Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects, Perth. #residential #architecture
{That ceiling is amazing! I would not have enjoyed drawing up those details, but what a result!}


Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects, Perth. #residential #architecture
{A touch of warmth to the monochromatic palette, with timber floor insert}


Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects, Perth. #residential #architecture
{Sculptural Frangipani trees create organic silhouettes against the linear}


Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects, Perth. #residential #architecture
{Ceiling and pergola structures linking the pavilion and courtyard spaces}


Gallery House by Craig Steere Architects, Perth. #residential #architecture
{Visually striking linear elements, that would be amazing to take in from the pool, day or night}


I feel the need to point out that while passive solar design principles have been applied with siting, material selection and active tech, the 6 star energy rating achieved is the NCC (National Construction Code) minimum, since this rating system goes up to 10 stars. Just keep this in mind, when designing or building your next home - time spent aiming for a higher rating early on will save you time and money later on.

Regardless of this small point, this house is a beautiful example of contemporary residential architecture and looks like it would be a joy to live in.


xo Romona



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Modern House at Big Hill


House at Big Hill by Kerstin Thompson Architects, near Victoria's Great Ocean Road, is characterised by a strong, triangular form and a restrained, honest material palette. Semi-recessed into the site, the home opens up to take advantage of the surrounding coastal and bush views. I love the simplicity of the smooth natural grey concrete block walls and concrete floor, with the subtle warmth of the plywood accents for storage and partitions. The black ceilings allow them to disappear and push the viewer through the walled space to the spectacular views beyond. Although definitely robust in form, this form creates intimate spaces where light and shadow, cool and warm, smooth and textured complement rather than compete.


The dark roof form helps blend the house into the bush landscape. Exterior. House at Big Hill by Kerstin Thompson Architects. Australian Architecture.
{The dark roof form helps blend the house into the bush landscape}


Contrasting smooth cool concrete floors and natural grey block walls with warm continuous blackbutt plywood Armourpanel surfaces by Big River. House at Big Hill by Kerstin Thompson Architects. Australian Architecture.
{Contrasting smooth cool concrete floors and natural grey block walls with warm continuous blackbutt plywood Armourpanel surfaces by Big River}


Interior. Concrete and Plywood. House at Big Hill by Kerstin Thompson Architects. Australian Architecture.
{Dark picture frame windows are recessed to create deep plywood window seats for soaking up the surrounds}


Bedroom Interior. House at Big Hill by Kerstin Thompson Architects. Australian Architecture.
{Bedroom with Armourpanel plywood storage doubling as deep window seat}


Kitchen Interior. House at Big Hill by Kerstin Thompson Architects. Australian Architecture.
{Open kitchen kept simple with concrete and dark timbers}


Interior Views. House at Big Hill by Kerstin Thompson Architects. Australian Architecture.
{Space furniture in this living space retains the view as the hero}


Concrete Interior. House at Big Hill by Kerstin Thompson Architects. Australian Architecture.
{Opening to the bush beyond}


Concrete Interior. House at Big Hill by Kerstin Thompson Architects. Australian Architecture.
{Insitu concrete step doubles as seat and storage}


Interior Living Dining. House at Big Hill by Kerstin Thompson Architects. Australian Architecture.
{Custom plywood joinery doubles as seating and storage, minimising need for additional furniture}


Interior Living. House at Big Hill by Kerstin Thompson Architects. Australian Architecture.
{Smooth concrete floors flow to outdoor spaces}


Exterior. House at Big Hill by Kerstin Thompson Architects. Australian Architecture.
{Robust form to lower terrain}


Images courtesy of Kerstin Thompson Architects and photographed by Trevor Mein.


xo Romona


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Local Heroes: Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal Architecture

Time for another local project, this time in Fremantle. This modern addition to the 1890's duplex seeks to improve the relationship between existing house and external garden space with it's flexible outdoor room. That flexibility is perhaps best seen in the transitional adaptability of the numerous folding openings to the rear addition's north and west facing facades. These allow the occupants to adjust the permeability of the building envelope depending on weather, season, comfort and the desired level of intimacy.


Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal. Fremantle addition to 1890s home.
{Loving those brick steps taking their time meandering up to the new level}


Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal. Fremantle addition to 1890s home.
{Open-wide. Come inside}


Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal. Fremantle addition to 1890s home.
{Who doesn't want a naked room like this, kept simple with a burgundy Persian and two chatting Eames birds}


Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal. Fremantle addition to 1890s home.
{Open to reveal the internal glow}


Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal. Fremantle addition to 1890s home.
{Closed to weather, allowing privacy and comfort as required}


Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal. Fremantle addition to 1890s home.


Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal. Fremantle addition to 1890s home.


Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal. Fremantle addition to 1890s home.


Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal. Fremantle addition to 1890s home.
{Filtered light and screened privacy without feeling boxed in}


Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal. Fremantle addition to 1890s home.
{Open room with custom in-built joinery for storage and seating}


Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal. Fremantle addition to 1890s home.
{Exploded axonometric of addition}


Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal. Fremantle addition to 1890s home.


Bellevue Terrace by Philip Stejskal. Fremantle addition to 1890s home.


All images are from Philip Stejskal Architecture with Photography by Bo Wong.

Share your thoughts? Can you picture living in a space like this?

xo Romona


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Local Heroes: Florence Street by KADA

Klopper & Davis Architects have produced one of the most pin-worthy, super-fun, nerd-tastic homes I have ever laid eyes on. Sure, I've shown the money shot below before on our Bricks and Blocks post, but to truly appreciate the creative genius of these guys, you need to see the whole house. I just love it - what do you think?


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick


Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick



Florence St House, Klopper & Davis Architects #kada #architecture #brick

I love how the home has fun elements scattered throughout, in the form of bright sunny pops of colour or embossed brickwork space-invaders. How could you not be happy in this house?

For more information on the Florence St project visit Klopper & Davis Architects.


xo Romona


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Local Heroes: Lake House by Jonathan Lake Architects

Lake house by Jonathan Lake Architects makes use of a steep, compact rear block in inner-city North Perth. Taking shape as a light-weight timber box suspended on a bold rammed-concrete box, the home comprises of public living spaces below with the private spaces above. Working with the tight three hundred square metre block, principles of small house design are utilised to create generous-feeling spaces that belie the 170m² floor area. Open planned rooms with integrated laundry and cabinetry, as well as ample natural light provided by the large, full-height northern doors and windows to the light-filled courtyard make this house a flexible family home.


Lake House by Jonathan Lake Architects, North Perth. To the street, Lake House takes the form of a timber box elevated on the bold box of rammed-concrete walls. #Architecture #Perth
{To the street, Lake House takes the form of a timber box elevated on the bold box of rammed-concrete. LVL fins provided added privacy as well as character}


Lake House by Jonathan Lake Architects, North Perth. Structural rammed concrete walls are revealed as a raw, textural backdrop for kitchen and living spaces. #Architecture #Perth #Interiors
{Structural rammed concrete walls are left revealed as a raw, textural backdrop for kitchen and living spaces. Ply wrapped cabinetry adds warmth and the appearance of integrated furniture}


Lake House by Jonathan Lake Architects, North Perth. The compact living space extends into the adjacent north-facing courtyard for indoor/outdoor entertaining. Loving all those honest materials and textures! Artwork: Shirley Purdie, Nnideudia, 1994. #Architecture #Perth
{The compact living space extends into the adjacent north-facing courtyard for indoor/outdoor entertaining. Loving all those honest materials and textures! Artwork: Shirley Purdie, Nnideudia, 1994}


Lake House by Jonathan Lake Architects, North Perth. Colour-filled perforations in the plywood screens act as both an artwork and visual privacy, sun-shading and temperature control. #Architecture #Perth
{Colour-filled perforations in the plywood screens act as both an artwork and visual privacy, sun-shading and temperature control}


Lake House by Jonathan Lake Architects, North Perth. Sunlight passing through the plywood screens, which feature a pattern created by artist Pamela Gaunt, casts vibrant patterns across the concrete floors and white walls. Screens are CNC routed with pebble-shaped penetrations filled with coloured acrylic. #Architecture #Perth
{Sunlight passing through the plywood screens, which feature a pattern created by artist Pamela Gaunt, casts vibrant patterns across the concrete floors and white walls. Screens are CNC routed with pebble-shaped penetrations filled with coloured acrylic}


Lake House by Jonathan Lake Architects, North Perth. Instead of wasting valuable site space with driveways and garage, circulation spaces are edged with lush native and subtropical planting. #Architecture #Perth
{Instead of wasting valuable site space with driveways and garage, circulation spaces are edged with lush native and subtropical planting}


Lake House by Jonathan Lake Architects, North Perth. #Architecture #Plans and #Sections
{Lake House documentation by Jonathan Lake Architects. Image source}


For more information on this project, visit Jonathan Lake Architects. Images by Robert Frith.

xo Romona


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Local Heroes: Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost

How is it February already?! Well, I'm finally back with a post that I've been slowly adding to and adding to - there seem to always be more angles and images of this celebrated Perth abode - especially that kitchen - which I abso luuurve! Its not a new one, but damn its a goodie.

This stunning multi-material home in Perth suburb of Mosman Park is by the outrageously talented Ariane Prevost. Architect's designing and constructing for themselves (with of course plenty of time, patience, money, attention to detail, great trades and an agreeable partner) can result in the most amazing homes! Her abstract use of seemingly mundane materials comes together in an exciting collection of interweaving spaces. And how great is that kitchen?! A simple palette of colours taken from the raw materials and textures of the building, layered with artwork and those amazing Marimekko fabric covered soft furnishings. These fabrics and patterns inspired the enveloping cor-ten screens that give the house its name.


Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost. Perth, Australia. #Architecture
{Cor-ten Marimekko-inspired cut screens to the front facade allowing privacy to this open-planned home. Image by Heather Robbins of Red Images Fine Photography via House Nerd (an awesome Perth blog you should also check out!)}


#Kitchen. Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost. Perth, Australia. #Architecture
{Brick herringbone floors throughout internal spaces allow seamless blending to exterior zones. Image by Angelita Bonetti}


#Kitchen. Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost. Perth, Australia. #Architecture
{That stunningly detailed monochrome kitchen! Image by Red Images}


Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost. Perth, Australia. #Architecture
{Creative use of typically common materials adds interest and worth beyond the actual costs}


Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost. Perth, Australia. #Architecture
{Love that monochrome, tetrus-like joinery patterning. Working closely with cabinet makers and joiners resulting in stunning outcomes}


Entry. Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost. Perth, Australia. #Architecture
{Massive front door with handle made from a piece of old bridge timber. Image by Red Images}


Interior. Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost. Perth, Australia. #Architecture
{That monochrome Marimekko fabric! Image by Red Images}


Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost. Perth, Australia. #Architecture
{Open facade and spaces blurs the line between inside and out. Image by Bo Wong}


Rooftop Terrace. Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost. Perth, Australia. #Architecture
{Landscaped roof terrace with screens from reclaimed roofing timbers}


Rooftop terrace. Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost. Perth, Australia. #Architecture
{Deciduous grape-vine pergolas for summer shade allowing winter sun penetration}


Rooftop. Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost. Perth, Australia. #Architecture
{Roof terrace at a later date, with succulents and vines now fully established and so lush. Image by Red Images}


Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost. Perth, Australia. #Architecture
{Trailing concrete steps through lush succulents. Image by Red Images}


Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost. Perth, Australia. #Architecture
{Blurring the divide between outside and in. Image by Red Images}



It must be amazing to live in such an open and flowing home, although I must admit that my severely-mosquito-attracting skin does shudder just a little. Might just have to plant a little extra Lavender, Spearmint and Lemongrass around.

Hope you enjoyed!


xo Romona


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Local Heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects

I recently had a chat with an architect who stated that "there are no good examples of residential architecture in Australia". Sure, I'm paraphrasing and it may be a little out of context, but his statement had me baffled and determined to show any others out there who may have had similar thoughts how wrong they are. I guess in the context of multi-million dollar houses, there may be few architectural standouts, however, I think some of the most beautiful projects that Australian Architects have produced (especially in the last few years) are brilliant examples of restraint in materiality and scale, something sorely lacking in today's consumerist, resource-shrinking society.

But I digress, this isn't a lecture on residential sustainability, rather the exploration of something beautiful born out of perceived limitations. Triangle House on a tight 180m2 triangular block in Mt Lawley, Perth showcases the ingenuity of Robeson Architects and to me is one example of Perth architecture at an international standard. What better way to start this series than with a project that initially grabbed me on Pinterest, but really had me hooked when I found out it was not only Australian, but super-local (Mt Lawley!) and a fellow female architect. Enjoy!


The stunning triangular form juts out with supercool artwork below at street level by Robert Jenkins. Local heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects. Image by Dion Photography. Vincent St, Mt. Lawley. Perth Residential Architecture.
{The stunning triangular form juts out with supercool artwork below at street level by Robert Jenkins (@theblackmountains). So recognisable to me now that we have a wall of his around the corner in Bassendean, and you may have seen me go a little insta-happy over}


Monochrome Living Room Kitchen. Local heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects. Image by Dion Photography. Vincent St, Mt. Lawley. Perth Residential Architecture.
{This was one of the first images that made me fall for the place. Of course those who know me, know my tendency towards black, white and grey, but it also has all my other loves - big white kitchen, contrasting black frames, deep polished concrete flooring, minimal timber accents, big snuggly Jardan grey wool couch, indoor potted sculptural Dracaena, statement linear ceiling lighting, even the furry throw - my god Simone, you can do no wrong in my eyes! In fact, if I plonked my gorgeous tan fur-baby on that rug, the picture would be complete}


Monochrome Kitchen. Local heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects. Image by Dion Photography. Vincent St, Mt. Lawley. Perth Residential Architecture.
{Brutal black kitchen island wrapped in electric-veined Nero Marquita marble adds drama to the monochromatic space}


Monochrome kitchen. Local heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects. Image by Dion Photography. Vincent St, Mt. Lawley. Perth Residential Architecture.
{Just a beautiful kitchen in blocked monochrome, and I love that massive projected north-facing window, done in one-way glass boxed out in steel for privacy}


Monochrome Interiors. Local heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects. Image by Dion Photography. Vincent St, Mt. Lawley. Perth Residential Architecture.
{Extending the black-framed picture window to the heavens with a waterfall skylight}


Local heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects. Image by Dion Photography. Vincent St, Mt. Lawley. Perth Residential Architecture.
{Sharp-edged deck space making the most of a difficult site and adding a bit of drama to Vincent Street}


Living. Concrete floors. Local heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects. Image by Dion Photography. Vincent St, Mt. Lawley. Perth Residential Architecture.
{Clean gallery feel to the downstairs office softened by multiple but complementary textures and material finishes, like the burnished concrete floor, blackened LVL stair treads and black steel}


Local heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects. Image by Dion Photography. Vincent St, Mt. Lawley. Perth Residential Architecture.
{Simple but inspiring void spaces and linear movement}


Bathroom. Local heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects. Image by Dion Photography. Vincent St, Mt. Lawley. Perth Residential Architecture.
{Clean and minimal bathroom in continuous matt charcoal tile with clever hidden storage. Love the concrete bathroom floor, but I'm unable to convince my husband that I won't snap my other leg if we have that}


Bathroom. Local heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects. Image by Dion Photography. Vincent St, Mt. Lawley. Perth Residential Architecture.
{You know it's good when even the dunny makes you go Oooo}


Wall mural by Robert Jenkins. Local heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects. Image by Dion Photography. Vincent St, Mt. Lawley. Perth Residential Architecture.
{Detail of the cool mural work at Vincent street level by Robert Jenkins}


Local heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects. Image by Dion Photography. Vincent St, Mt. Lawley. Perth Residential Architecture.
{Image by Dion Photography}


Local heroes: Triangle House by Robeson Architects. Image by Dion Photography. Vincent St, Mt. Lawley. Perth Residential Architecture.
{Image by Dion Photography}


All images are from Robeson Architects (big thanks Simone) and Dion Photography. If my house turns out even half as nice, I'll be wanting some shots done by those guys. Simply brilliant!

Doesn't it make you proud to have some lovely architecture in Perth (and Australia)? What are your thoughts on this place?

I'm hoping to showcase a bunch of other local talented architects and their projects soon, so feel free to let me know if there are any that stand out to you.

Hope you enjoyed!


xo Romona


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Australian Interior Design Awards 2015 - Residential Award

Just thought I'd share some of the beautiful images of this year's winner of the Residential Design category of the DIA Australian Interior Design Awards 2015. How gorgeous is this reno/extension of Orama house by Smart Design Studio in Sydney?!


Orama house by Smart Design Studio, Sydney. Winner of 2015 Australian #Interior #Design Awards, #Residential Category. Serge Mouille lamp
{This dining room is composed of the perfect balance of bright white, raw concrete and moody black accents. Although these Serge Mouille lamps seem to be everywhere at the moment, you can't deny that they have a massive impact with their insectoid arms reaching into the space as few other lighting forms can}


Orama house by Smart Design Studio, Sydney. Winner of 2015 Australian #Interior #Design Awards, #Residential Category.
{Modern luxe with heritage charm in the bathroom. Marble with burnished brass, shadowed iron and bright white}


Orama house by Smart Design Studio, Sydney. Winner of 2015 Australian #Interior #Design Awards, #Residential Category. Black AJ table lamp.
{In love with this black-edged panel diving wall - the perfect simple, graphic bedhead. Not to mention that black AJ table lamp, always on the top of my bedside/office table lamp wish-list!}


Orama house by Smart Design Studio, Sydney. Winner of 2015 Australian #Interior #Design Awards, #Residential Category.
{Dark and moody ensuite, a perfect retreat}


Orama house by Smart Design Studio, Sydney. Winner of 2015 Australian #Interior #Design Awards, #Residential Category.
{Gilded patina underfoot and overhead pick up warm elements in the artwork, acting as a respite from other cool spaces in the home}


Orama house by Smart Design Studio, Sydney. Winner of 2015 Australian #Interior #Design Awards, #Residential Category. Serge Mouille floor lamp.
{I love the beautiful blank canvas of monochromatic materials and textures, allowing a stunning collection of artwork to stand out, with classic modern furniture and lighting}


Images by
Sharrin Rees.


xo Romona


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2015 Dulux Colour awards

Just thought I'd share some of my favourite colourful winners and finalists from the 2015 Dulux Colour Awards. Enjoy and be inspired - I know I am!


The coolest Vietnamese Restaurant in Smith St, Collingwood, Phamily Kitchen by Matthew Van Kooy won the Commercial Interior Public Space and Hospitality Award Dulux Colour Awards 2015
{The coolest Vietnamese Restaurant in Smith St, Collingwood, Phamily Kitchen by Matthew Van Kooy won the Commercial Interior Public Space and Hospitality Award. I'm loving those tiles and I have those pot plants! Photo by Dan Aulsebrook}

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Bricks and Blocks

So lately I've been thinking, dreaming, and living bricks. Samples are strewn around my desk in an ever changing hierarchy. Concrete and clay in all shades of grey form stacks of precariously balanced blockwork.

I have been assessing the Perth mantra of 'brick is best' and am finding that I am actually coming around to the idea. Sure, I'm not really in love with the double-brick and tile hot box that plagues most suburbs of Perth, but channelling a bit of Iwan Iwanoff can never hurt. Here are a few projects that I am in love with at the moment, that showcase bricks and blocks in all their glory.


supercool Space invaders in the Florence St House by Klopper & Davis Architects, in West Perth, Australia. More bricks and blocks on the blog.

supercool Space invaders in the Florence St House by Klopper & Davis Architects, in West Perth, Australia. More bricks and blocks on the blog.
{Get your geek on with these supercool Space invaders in the Florence St House by Klopper & Davis Architects, in West Perth, Australia}

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The Monochrome Kitchen

While my boys (big and smalls) passed the hot Australia day with games and music, I took the opportunity to get some work done on our developing house plans. The drawing board lead to the Mac and modelling software, which inevitably lead to procrastination (i.e. doing ‘research’ on Pinterest and Houzz). I am always amazed by how many hours can pass while I am trapped in interior eye-candied cyberspace. 

My obsession at the moment is designing the perfect kitchen for my family - it needs to be robust enough to handle the two boys, clean and simple enough for my ‘minimalist’ husband and eclectic enough to suit my many varies tastes. Easy, right!

I have always loved a black and white kitchen, the bar constantly moving on the proportional scale between the two. A few years ago, I would have been happy with almost all crisp, glossy white, but I have been swinging towards textured black with glossy white accents lately, as it seems so many of you are as well. Here are a few (and by that I mean heaps!) of black and white kitchens to get you inspired.


#Black kitchen with pattern tile, architectural moulding and detailed cabinetry - by Greg Natale. From The #Monochrome #Kitchen, the RSD Blog.
{Loved this even before I saw it was Greg Natale’s work - should have guess that from the pattern and mouldings but I always end up loving his style}


Striking Kitchen in 33 Mackenzie Street Tower Melbourne By Elenberg Fraser. From The #Monochrome #Kitchen, the RSD Blog.
{Striking Kitchen in 33 Mackenzie Street Tower Melbourne By Elenberg Fraser}

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Sustainable House Day 2014

Open the door to sustainable living by touring some of Australia’s most environmentally progressive homes on show at Sustainable House Day. This Sunday, 14th September, you have the opportunity to tour an amazing array of everyday Australian homes all built and created around the ideal of reducing their footprint on the earth.

By partaking in Sustainable House Day you can tap into local knowledge to learn how to successfully integrate renewable energy, recycling, and other sustainable practices into your home and lifestyle. This unique event is a valuable resource for anyone looking for inspiration, ideas and the key to sustainable living.

Homeowners, sponsors and local sustainable groups look forward to sharing their knowledge with you, plus I'll be volunteering at the Harrisdale home in WA for the day. There are homes and gardens open to the public throughout Australia. You can find more information about each house and its features on the webpage. This is a national event, but since I'm volunteering here in Perth, I've just highlighted a few WA ones below.


Carla & Bens House, part of #Sustainable #House Day 2014.
{Carla and Ben’s House, 128A Roseberry St, Bedford WA}

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Black and White

Here are just a few pretty monotone goodies that have caught my eye lately. I'm desperately trying to restrain my purchasing until I have at least designed my house, let alone built it! Until then, I'll let you drool with me.


Harbour House by uber-talented Arent&Pyke. How yum is that Christian Liaigre console table?!
{
Harbour House by uber-talented Arent&Pyke. How yum is that Christian Liaigre console table?!}

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Concrete jungle

How could I not start a concrete post with the most stunning of my Melbourne-life BFF-date champagne-sipping locations?! The Prahran Hotel (II) by the multi-talented Techné Architects is simply stunning. If you live in Melbourne and haven't been, go! If you don't live in Melbourne, visit and go! Well worth the trip to sit in your own cosy concrete pipe, lean in for conspiratorial conversations or voyeuristically stare at passerbys, hoping they don't look up and catch you. The bar is stunning, the outdoor courtyard is stunning, the facade is stunning. The whole thing is… well, stunning. Its an occupational hazard that I wasted part of my day-sans-kids-with-BFF walking around looking at every little architectural detail, ooo-ing and ahh-ing, but it didn't take too long to shake it off, order up some bubbles from the cute young bar staff and settle ourselves down into comfort and seclusion. I just wished I had discovered it sooner in my Melbourne life, but no matter, its definitely high on the list for the next visit back to catch up with all my ex-locals.


Prahran Hotel interiors by Techné Architects. More #concrete on the blog.
{Prahran Hotel interiors by Techné Architects}

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Myanmar, Cambodia, KL and KK

It is so hard to sum up the 'highlights' of our recent travels to Myanmar, Cambodia, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur. I've tried to whittle down to just a few of the pretty pics from my massive folders of images - thank god for huge SD cards and spare hard drives!

First stop, Yangon (formerly Rangoon) in Myanmar (formerly Burma). A bit of culture-shock and in-your-face poverty did not help already missing the little ones. Surviving a confusing and volatile political climate, you can't help but feel for the everyday people that the world seems to have forgotten. In spite of this (or maybe because of), they are beautiful and friendly people who are happy to help. Knowledgeable guides are worth more than the few dollars they accept (although some wouldn't accept anything!) Top places to visit include Shwedagon Pagoda and it's glimmering expanse of golden stupas, the decaying colonial-era buildings of downtown and enjoy a cocktail (and escape the heat) at the Strand Hotel.


Yangon, former capital of Myanmar.
{Yangon, former capital of Myanmar}

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Hello Perth!

Hello ladies and gents!

Miss me? Winking

Sorry for the big delay. Massive changes in our lives at the moment. We sold the house (see previous post Home Open); packed up the house; moved from Melbourne to Perth; went on holiday sans-kids to several Asian nations; found out our belongings were not delivered due to company liquidation and therefore not on their way; rearranged delivery while overseas via email (with some worry and stress); eventually received goods and moved them into the folks’ shed (luckily for us super-builder-dad has large and multiple sheds!); moved ourselves and the kids into the parents’ house; begun unpacking essentials; and now to start looking for land/house/new home… Phew!!!

I have a lot of ideas for the next few posts, and now that I have my computer back (Thank God!) I can get back to work and share some wonderful finds, designs and goodies with you. In the next post, I hope to bring you just a few (of the millions) of the pics from our holiday to Myanmar, Cambodia, Sabah and Malaysia. I hope they inspire you to travel, explore, design and create as much as they have us. Here’s just a taste with more very soon.

A few holiday #travel #photos from #Myanmar, #Cambodia, #Malaysia and #Sabah from the RSD Blog.


xo Mo


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Vertical Green #2

So the design and decoration world was going a bit nuts over green walls in 2013. I personally hope the trend continues. I don't think you can overdo it and kudos to anyone who has built, designed, installed, planned, housed or dreamed green walls in any form. No matter what you call them - vertical garden, green wall, wall planter, wall garden, living wall - and no matter what form they take - green wall, green roof, floor planter, tabletop or even suspended in midair - they inject much needed life, colour, oxygen and fragrance into our surroundings.

I have been through some of the benefits of green walls with some examples previously, here, but since there have been so many fantastic examples of late, I felt the need to give you all a second helping of green delights.

The Florafelt F12 Greenwall growing panel by Fytogreen as used in Kim & Matt's outdoor space on The Block Sky High 2013. The panels are made from 100% recycled PET plastic felt. More #greenwall ideas on the RSD Blog.
{The Florafelt F12 Greenwall growing panel by Fytogreen Australia as used in Kim & Matt's outdoor space on The Block Sky High 2013. The panels are made from 100% recycled PET plastic felt and are available from The Block Shop}

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Now that's efficient

Sorry for the long break. I was going to say I’ve been slack, but the reality is far from that. Blogging just happened to slide down the massive list of things-to-do over the Easter break. Hope you all had a great one and here is a cool little apartment run-through that’s worth the watch when you have a spare ten minutes. Very efficient use of space and storage through innovative design.

“Located in Barcelona's hip Born district, the tiny apartment is a remodelled pigeon loft. Christian [Schallert] says its design was inspired by the space-saving furniture aboard boats, as well as the clean lines of a small Japanese home”. I personally love that the bed slides under the balcony and converts to a step, chair or lounge. Great work by architect Barbara Appolloni. Enjoy!




xo Romona

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Emerald Delights


Along with pretty much all of the design and blogging world at the moment, I am in love with all the greeny goodness popping up all over the place since Pantone announced Emerald as its colour of the year for 2013. Just for a bit of visual candy, here are a few of my favourite interiors, products and miscellaneous images featuring variations of this striking gemstone hue.

PANTONE 2013 Colour of the Year Mug – Emerald - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/PANTONE Emerald iPhone 5 Case - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Pantone’s limited Edition Mug and iPhone5 cover in Emerald}

Dulux's Empower palette of paint colours - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Dulux’s Empower Palette - Image styled by Bree Leech featuring Dulux Liberty, Bahaman Bliss and Misty Blue}

Florence Broadhurst Peacock Feathers & Shadow Floral in Dusty Turquoise wallpapers from Signature Prints - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Florence Broadhurst Peacock Feathers & Shadow Floral wallpapers from Signature Prints}

Night Bird by Catherine Martin, Bansyu by Akira Isogawa, both at Designer Rugs - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Night Bird by Catherine Martin, Bansyu by Akira Isogawa, both at Designer Rugs}

Emerald vintage Florence Knoll & Charles Eames furniture. Interiors by Doug & Gene Meyer - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Emerald vintage Florence Knoll & Charles Eames furniture. Interiors by Doug & Gene Meyer.}

Jonathan Adler Needlepoint Pillows - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Jonathan Adler Needlepoint pillows}

Husque Bowl Macadamia Nut in Green - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Husque Bowl Macadamia Nut in Green}

South Beach by Greg Natale, Jewel by Dinosaur Designs, both at Designer Rugs - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{South Beach by Greg Natale, Jewel by Dinosaur Designs, both at Designer Rugs}

Bianca Malachite Box by Ralph Lauren Home - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Bianca Malachite Box by Ralph Lauren Home}

Martinique Beverley Hills wallpaper & Catherine Martin Mokum Imperial Pheasant in Emerald - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Martinique Beverley Hills wallpaper; Catherine Martin for Mokum Imperial Pheasant in Emerald}

Emerald accents. Interiors by Charm Home Design - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Emerald accents. Interiors by Charm Home Design}

Interiors by Diamond Baratta - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Interiors by Diamond Baratta. Image via House of Turquoise}

Greg Natale Interiors - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/

{Interiors by Greg Natale, featuring his South Beach rug}

Pont Max Juvenal Aix En Provence Patrick Blanc - See More in Emerald Delights post on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Pont Max Juvenal, Aix en Provence, 2008. Patrick Blanc}


Of course I couldn’t resist throwing a green-walled building in there. You can see a few more on my previous post, Vertical Green. I am hoping to do another post on green walls this year, since the last one didn’t even scratch the surface of the beauty that is out there.

These bright emerald visuals make me giddy. Yes, I’ll admit some of them are straying more into teal and turquoise territory, but that is the beauty of perception - maybe your eyes will see a whole different picture. I hope you enjoyed this quick (and a little lazy) post. Until next time.

xo Romona


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Vertical Green

Greenwalls seem to be popping up everywhere these days. About time, I say. Back during my early student days, vision of them was scarce and often could only be found in hippy bio-domes or a Patrick Blanc involved building. I’m not delving into the complexities and technicalities of green walls. Rather, I wanted to collect a few of my favourite examples of green walls, in all their varied glory and hopefully inspire you to maybe give it a go in your home or next project.

Since I went there, I have to display just a few examples of Patrick Blanc, the pioneer of Green walls in architecture and visual overachiever, including a few very close to home. While the scale is a little above domestic, take inspiration from his sculptural use of botany.

Quai Branly Museum Jean Nouvel & Patrick Blanc | Vertical Green - More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Quai Branly Museum, Paris, 2005. Architect Jean Nouvel. Greenwall Patrick Blanc}


Pont Max Juvenal Aix En Provence Patrick Blanc | Vertical Green - More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/


Shot Tower Melbourne Patrick Blanc | Vertical Green - More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Our own piece of Patrick Blanc at the Shot Tower, Melbourne Central, 2008}

One Central Park Sydney Patrick Blanc | Vertical Green - More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/

{One Central Park West, Sydney. Architect Jean Nouvel, Patrick Blanc. Due 2013}

I love that green walls have become a prevalent cafe and commercial decoration, and that most will now try and incorporate some functionality into it, with herbs and indoor veggies. Its great to see the new ways people can develop this old idea. I like this alternative to the usual terracotta and unpainted reo mesh of the signature Vertical Garden by Joost Bakker (as seen at Grand Designs). The simple white pots and white mesh offset wonderfully against the uniform dark succulents. Maybe it is just refreshing not to see the terracotta pots again. I think it’s like a popular song on the radio - you hear it so often that you can’t tell anymore if you love it or hate it, but still find yourself singing along.

Vertical Garden by Joost Bakker for Schiavello | Vertical Green - More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Vertical Garden by Joost Bakker for Schiavello}

This smooth sculptural wall with rounded inserts for potted herbs suits the modern bright-white kitchen. Talk about easy access and great smells. I would love this in my house.


Edible Herb garden wall complements this modern white kitchen | Vertical Green - More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Edible Herb garden wall complements this modern white kitchen. Source}

The simple draped Porthos between nine white pots on wall-mounted floating shelves are used to break up this double-height common wall in a warehouse conversion in Brisbane.

Minimalist Vertical Garden by Lushe Urban Greening | Vertical Green - More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Minimalist Vertical Garden by Lushe Urban Greening}


I couldn’t leave out the bright entry space to Fujitsu’s 6-star Green Star Docklands office (yes, mainly because it was worked on by yours truly while at Woodhead). The original designs did include using black mondo grass and having a dramatic monotone effect with the black glass walls, emphasising the Fujitsu red. I believe the black mondo didn’t survive too well so the bio-wall is now more in keeping with the bright greens of most green walls, but is still quite effective. The bio-filtration system used was designed by Umow Lai who worked with Woodhead on the project. The ground level foyer of the Gauge in Docklands, Victoria also sports an impressive green wall by The Greenwall Company

Green Biofiltration wall at Fujitsu Offices, The Gauge, Docklands by Woodhead | Vertical Green - More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Fujitsu Head Office, The Gauge, Docklands by Woodhead}


GreenWall at the Gauge by The Greenwall Company | Vertical Green - More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Just a section of the massive foyer green wall, The Gauge, Docklands by The Greenwall Company}


There are more than a few products popping up that can be used for DIY green walls at home, ranging from the cheap and simple to the complex and often quite pricey. A few options are pictured below (or just type green wall or vertical garden into Youtube and go nuts!)


Gro-Wall Vertical Garden System | Vertical Green - More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Gro-Wall Vertical Garden System}

Greenwall Australia’s Vertigro Home | Vertical Green - More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Greenwall Australia’s Vertigro Home or Pro}

Wallgarden’s DIY Vertical Garden | Vertical Green - More on the RSD Blog www.rsdesigns.com.au/blog/
{Wallgarden’s DIY Vertical Garden, also available at Lushe}

Urbio Urban Vertical Garden is another Kickstarter project (like the previously blogged about LIFX globe). I love the simple design and the adaptability of this product. Swap out the plants for some magazines or books if they need a little outside time in the sunshine.


{Urbio Urban Vertical Garden on Kickstarter}


There are so many benefits to using green walls in design, including but not limited to:

▪ Improved air quality and reduction of odours; ▪ Improved well-being with the visual link to nature and the outdoors; ▪ Visual aesthetic of a living decoration; ▪ Supply of fresh, edible produce - herbs, fruit, vegetables, flowers; ▪ Protection from wind, heat and light; ▪ Thermal Insulation and shading; ▪ Noise buffering; and more I am sure.


Have you seen any green walls out there that blew your mind? Or used any products or DIYs for your own vertical green wall? Let us know below and share the love!

xo Romona
Bookmark and Share EDIT: If you liked this and want to see many more green wall, green roof and planting ideas, check out the latest post 'Vertical Green #2'!

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