Abu House
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Abu House

Interior Designer:
Stephen Collins Design
Thomas Ferguson

The message of simplicity in concrete floors, natural timber joinery, exposed beams or blackened steel-framed windows and doors may still be characteristic, but it has been brushed with colour. Softly muted tones, deep muddy shades or occasional pops of a bright hue feature in the latest residential interiors. The result is a more casual, cosy and more compassionate version of minimalism.

This house is in Melbourne's suburb of Hawthorn and was a design collaboration between Leeton Pointon Architects and Allison Pye Interiors. It is fresh and inviting, even homely, despite its sophistication, largely because of the muted colour in every room. There are also curvaceous walls, which work as subtle sculptural nuances delineating each space. And a generous use of timber offsets the austerity associated with the many concrete surfaces.

There are no black and white contrasts, sharp edges or clinically clean and shiny surfaces in Leeton Pointon and Pye's design. Serenity is achieved through curved walls, filtered natural light and a soft colour palette.

Collins suggests that the vivid colour complementing these semi-industrial structures is partly what makes this and other designs an "alternative aesthetic to the typical home". Again, no monochromatic minimalist scheme here. "After 15 to 20 years of tones and neutrals, I'm bored of it," he says.

"This project mostly displays bold block colours. There are port wine walls at the rear to create a backdrop for the magnolia in the courtyard, bright orange blinds and steel beams, cerulean blue through to purple in the media room," Collins explains. "Given steel, concrete, brick and timber are the predominant materials throughout, using strong colours with loads of texture was a simple fit."

Collins, however, won't be drawn into defining his style in one tidy category. In each project, he says, "it's my job to put something different on the table".


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