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Back To The Future At Home
May 04, 2017

Mid-century modernism is currently experiencing a huge surge in popularity in the design world and this Cottesloe home offers a classic and contemporary take on the style.

Designed and built on spec by Conrad Oma, from Grand Designs Homes, the house draws on the modernist style to achieve a timeless, rather than retro, style.

"Stylistically, my design was influenced by the houses that were built mid last century in hot, dry American cities such as Palm Springs and LA, which incorporated clean lines, cantilevered overhanging roofs, large amounts of glass and flowing spaces," Mr Oma explained.

All of the above are featured in the design, from the cantilevered section hanging over the carport at the front of the home, to the walls of glass to the northern aspect in both the living area and bedrooms and the generously sized rooms.

Mr Oma said he chose to include fewer rooms of a bigger size and indeed the ground floor is almost entirely a single spacious kitchen, living and dining area, with a portion at the rear closed off for the laundry.

Stacking doors open along the northern side to the outdoor living area, effectively integrating the indoor and outdoor spaces. An unusual pool design, with a raised plunge pool surrounded by a wading pool - which is so shallow there is no need for a pool fence - complements the space.

Upstairs, there are two generously proportioned minor bedrooms, a family bathroom with a spectacular indoor-outdoor shower and the main suite, which has a luxurious fitted walk-in robe and a big ensuite with another indoor-outdoor shower and a freestanding bathtub.

Throughout the home, the palette of colours and materials is restrained. Beige-coloured travertine, marble and American walnut timber are the stars, set against a backdrop of polished concrete, polished chrome fittings and white walls.

This focus on natural materials means the home's interior has not been "decorated" in the traditional sense.

"The range of natural stones adds subtle colour, texture and a visual language that is complete in itself," Mr Oma said.

Limited furniture was required because the living room, storage, kitchen fit-out and much of the bedroom furniture has been built-in.

"You don't clutter a house like this," Mr Oma pointed out.

Indeed, the majority of the fittings and fixtures were imported by Grand Designs Homes, which specialises in taking care of the whole process, from architectural, interior and landscape design to procurement.

"The furniture has been selected to emphasise the light and space in the house - it is compatible in style but adds a welcoming softness," Mr Oma explained.

Among the pieces that have been used are a glass dining table, which was cut to size to fit two base pieces; Venetian glass light fittings in organic shapes; artworks by artists including Waldemar Kolbusz and Ben Riding and big seashells.

The garden, featuring numerous succulents and a stand of coral trees lining the boundary wall, adds an extra splash of colour.

Mr Oma said he had endeavoured to achieve a resort feel in the downstairs living area, with a luxury hotel feel in the bedrooms, and the quality of the fittings and fixtures is correspondingly high, from the commercial-grade carpets used upstairs to the touch-open, soft-closed cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms.

A circular motif has also been carried throughout the home. This ranges from the circular privacy screen shading the ensuite and walk-in robe, to the pattern on the glass front door, the circular skylights above the freestanding staircase, and the stainless-steel base holding up the cantilevered serving bench in the kitchen.

The home, which is on the market, is part of the development of the site of an early 20th century church. Mr Oma plans to develop the original church into a new home and also build another new home at the site.


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