Situated amongst the leafy streets of Bronte in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, Arent&Pyke‘s latest award winning project ‘Figtree House’ is everything one desires a home to be – tranquil, comfortable and well resolved. Tasked with transforming the Figtree House, a beachside Victorian Terrace into a home befitting a hip couple with young children and a highly contemporary art collection, the brief required the spaces to evoke different moods while still being flexible to the needs of young family. Arent&Pyke sought to celebrated the spaces of the home reflecting their purpose; from the composed inky solemnity of the intimate formal zones to the sun bleached lightness of the casual family zones.
Figtree House demonstrates the transformative abilities of carefully curated decorative considerations. A careful dialogue was nurtured between the grandeur of the beachside home and the relaxed nature of the clients. Consequently, the brief became about addressing the formality and inherent seriousness of the home by curating moments of unexpected human-scale joy for the family amongst the stately-scale rooms and the formal typology of the home.
Importantly, appointing an intimate sense of scale starts with a strong base palette of deep blue, which begins in the front formal rooms of the home immediately imbuing formality with intimacy. Fading out to a silver grey blue in the hallway and then to a clean white, the home opens up to the casual living and kitchen and beyond, to the sea. The bedroom, directly over the dark front formal rooms shares the intimate depth of colour. Not only does the richness of tones provide a strong foundation with which to behold the contemporary and Oceanic art works introduced to the project and drawn from the owners’ collection, it also serves to celebrate grandiosity of the walls, bound by the crisp white skirting and cornice of this home; at once a beach house and a stately terrace house.
Textural variation is further layered to this richness through the use of tonal fabrics, vintage rugs and artisanal elements with tribal legacy and through the soft recurrence of pink. Seen in the tenaciously contemporary classics of the Vitra Slow Chair and the Moroso Fishbone Table, these pieces provide an unexpected insouciance to the whole that draws the woodwork and cabinetry into a contemporary milieu. Softening elements are introduced throughout the home with natural linens, leather, stone and timber. Wallpapers placed unexpectedly in the under-stair study, in the hall, and powder-room, celebrate the smaller spaces within the expanse of the stately home.
The multidirectional furniture planning of the pair of formal front room allows it to transform from a carefully curated parlour to a robust media room with a retracting projection screen and centrally located ottoman for the whole family to enjoy. Similarly, the selection of Walter Knoll Tadeo extension dining table is well suited to the serious dining of this restaurateur couple without the formality of many.
Coalescing the whole is the elongated elegance of the iconic lighting of Serge Mouille teamed with highly contemporary lighting from Christopher Boots.
Acknowledging that decorating a home is an evolution of personality, lifestyle and aesthetics, decorative elements and furniture have been selected and curated to facilitate existing pieces and introduce new. Delivered as a stand-alone iteration, the aesthetic finesses the client’s style, while establishing a path for future developments.