This home has a certain freshness about it that surely makes it a pleasure to live in. Originally designed by Willemsen Architecture in 1975, it is situated on a 2,000-metre block in Chapman, a suburb of the Australian capital Canberra.
Built over three split levels, the quality of the layout, and a dash of architectural magic, has meant that the home does not seem nearly as big when looked at from the outside.
Speaking of architectural magic, the place contains some really airy spaces, with floor-to-ceiling windows and large living spaces making for an effortless interaction with the outdoors.
In this vein, we were particularly impressed by the lounge. You enter the room by descending from a higher level, following the line of the roof to the large windows, which offer pleasant wooded views outside, and all the while flood the room with light. Incidentally, this room also features a few mid-century furniture classics, including a couple of Barcelona Chairs.
The materials used in the property are also worthy of special mention. Cedar panelling features throughout, complimenting the wooden window frames, which are coloured with a similar polish, and riffing nicely with the paler exposed brick and the travertine tiling in the kitchen.
Before it went up for auction a few years ago, the home was in a less than smart state. Indeed, while in good condition structurally, the place was simply looking a little lived in. Sold on Styling, a styling staging company, was brought in to stage a revamp.
As the people at Sold on Styling put it “we wanted to pay tribute to the heritage of the house, not slavishly, but in a way that promoted and accentuated the property’s architectural merit.” This involved a particular combination of vintage with contemporary furnishings.
In practice, this involved focused on decluttering, and then dutifully reintroducing a few choice mid-century design pieces. Besides the aforementioned furniture in the lounge, they sourced a range of rugs typical of the period, including designs by Verner Panton, original Flokati rugs, a psychedelic rya from Scandinavia, and that gorgeous Seventies shag pile in the lounge.
Speaking again of the lounge, it’s worth also noting their introduction of several huge West German lava vases, a 60s buffet behind the Barcelona chairs, Hollywood 70s glamour coffee table, and a whole lot of original mid-century glass ware.
For the rest of the house, the intervention is quite sparing. As the company explains, “You really only need one or two statement pieces in a room to pull it off.”
It seems to have worked. The property sold at auction for 1.3 million AUD, going to show that the relative appeal of a home is often down to cosmetics.