Client Interview: Rosanna House
It is always interesting to work with clients from creative industries, who have a keen interest in (and knowledge of) design. A clear vision allows the design team to work in a highly collaborative manner with the client, resulting in a home that truly reflects the people who will live in it.
Rebecca is one such client. With her own interior business, Rebecca’s trained eye for spaces and styling has informed her beautiful, considered brief for her new home in Rosanna, where construction will commence in the coming months.
Here, Rebecca shares some insight into the design process, and the aspects of the house she’s most excited about seeing come to life.
What initially led you to InForm?
We discovered InForm via Instagram and were immediately drawn to the modernist design aesthetic of their homes. Chris was the very first person we met with when we started our research phase and we were really impressed by the InForm process, the sense of pride in their work and the excitement to be part of our journey. We considered an architect and also met with a couple of other smaller design and build companies, but none of them stood up to the first impression we got from InForm.
What was the brief, and how did the design team bring it to life?
This is very much our dream family home. As an interior designer myself, and with my husband also having a keen interest in architecture and design, we had a very clear idea of what we wanted and I think this was reflected in the depth of the brief we gave InForm.
Functionally, the house needed to cater for our family of four (and two dogs) with open plan living for day to day complemented by more private spaces for each of us to retreat to. It also needed to offer some flexibility as our boys got older, and for visitors, who we have frequently from interstate and overseas.
We chose our block of land for its north facing aspect and wanted to make the most of this by orienting the house around a central courtyard, maximising the natural light and ensuring a strong connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces. We asked InForm to think as much about the outdoor areas as the interior, and we’ve been so impressed with how they’ve done this.
Aesthetically, we both love modernist design and wanted the house to take on the principles of this movement in a contemporary way. We were also conscious of building something that complemented the local area, which has a strong history of 1970’s modernist architecture. For the interiors, we wanted a neutral colour palette with a focus on natural materials like concrete, timber, brick and wool, with some bespoke details to make the home ours.
The team at Pleysier Perkins (architects Ross and Stewart, interior designer Elise) did an amazing job not just interpreting our brief, but adding to it. They really understood what we wanted to achieve with the house and I think the end result will be a testament to the fact that they were as passionate as we were about both the big picture and the smallest details.
How would you describe the design process and working with your project architect, project manager, and interior designer?
Really enjoyable! Whilst we started with a pre-designed floor plan, we never felt that the team took a cookie cutter approach to our project. Everyone involved, from our project manager to our architect and interior designer, was focused on delivering a design that was fully customised to our needs, both in terms of layout and finishes. It’s clear that there’s a great working relationship between PP and InForm because as clients, the process of working across two companies was very seamless.
What were the highlights of this process, and of working closely with the architects and interior designers?
I think the main highlight was seeing how passionate everyone became about the design of our house. We always looked forward to our meetings with the team, where we were able to see the next iteration of our floor plan and there were many occasions where we had a lively discussion about the importance of particular features to the overall architecture of the house. We love that the team argued strongly for the things they felt were critical to the integrity of the design and most, if not all, of those features have ended up in the final plan.
When it came to interior design, we were able to provide Elise with a very clear brief for each area of the house, which may have made her job more difficult because we had such exact ideas about things! She did a fantastic job implementing our vision and beyond that, introduced ideas that expanded on our concept. She also had incredible product knowledge and worked tirelessly to deliver the level of finish we wanted within our budget.
I can certainly attest to the fact that as a designer, being your own client and having to make decisions on fixtures, finishes and materials for your own home is much harder than doing it for someone else! Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed working with Elise and learnt a lot from her throughout the process.
What design aspects (or rooms) are you most excited about seeing or experiencing?
That’s a tough question! For me, I think the kitchen is the area I’m most excited about. It’s definitely the heart of the home and we spent a lot of time on the design and finishes in there. For my husband, I think the lounge room. This was always the room that he was most excited about as it’s really going to be a bit of a retreat for us to listen to music and relax.
We’re really excited to see how the house works with the outdoor spaces that have had equally as much focus and attention. The courtyard space in particular, which is really the link between the front and back living spaces of the house, is a critical component to the overall feel we want to achieve.
We’re also excited to see how the house looks at night as we spent a lot of time working on the lighting plan to make sure it worked with how we’ll live in the house. This was really important to us so hopefully we’ve got it right!