How do you represent the beach and the bushland in one home?
This was the challenge faced by Melissa Bonney, director at multi-disciplinary design studio, The Designory, in creating a holiday-home-come-luxury-hotel.
"This project pushed my aesthetic to new plains," said Bonney of the five bed, five bath Barefoot Bay Villa, set between Byron Bay's beaches and the Arakwal National Park.
"I knew that there were key elements I would need to capture the surrounding look and feel."
Connecting to the local environment is key to Melissa's personal approach for 'designing from the inside out'. Every room has large expanses of glazing that create sightlines to the scenery, while allowing for cross ventilation.
In the entryway, automated louvres run along the entire length of the space, flooding it with light and natural airflow. Throughout, glazing has been curated to create open spaces and private places.
The home can sleep up to 14 people, so a range of options were needed that would suit guests' varied needs. A good example of this is the use of the cavity stacking doors between the dining area and garden, which can section off the interior when required, or 'disappear' to create one large space for gatherings and entertaining.
This openness has been combined with privacy where needed. The living area features powered awning windows that are set high into the wall and can be opened with the touch of a button to let heat escape. This window placement also stops the occupants from being overlooked by neighbouring properties.
While the strong lines and monochromatic hues of the wardrobes and doors fit with Melissa's modern Australian Lux aesthetic, she realised the look needed softening with subtle curves, to reflect the breezy Byron experience. Working with Stegbar, Melissa created bespoke mirrors in arch and circular designs, which relaxed the style while adding functionality.
"Every suite has a number of tall, full-length mirrors, so guests can view their outfits as they get ready for nights out, weddings and parties. They're very useful and have been positioned to bounce light and create the illusion of space," she adds. The use of curves on frameless shower screens continues to smooth the aesthetic.
"Rounded shapes were a necessity. The subtlety of the glass screens allows the lines to subconsciously evoke the shoreline. This is balanced with the green eucalyptus and terracotta rock of the bushland.
"Consistent colour choices make a home feel cohesive and resolved. Our palette started when Corinthian Doors suggested their White American Oak veneer door designs."
The doors have been used to suit different spaces and functions. Barn doors help transition between the downstairs bedrooms, ensuites and walk in robes.
Colour is a particular feature of two of the bathrooms, where single sinks back onto floor-to-ceiling tiles in either light green tiles or dusty pink.
These rooms combine the material and palette choices of the home, from the coastal rock-like matt black of the barn door hardware that is mirrored in the window frames, to the oak that is seen from the moment you open the front door, and inspired the hues of the home.
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