I was lucky enough this week to take part in the Melbourne leg of the Nanette Cameron Interior Design Australia Tour. I studied interior design with Nanette in Auckland between 2006 and 2008 and took part in this fantastic tour in 2007 where myself and 26 others were inspired for 10 days straight, getting access to some of the countries leading architects and designers because of Nanette's amazing connections.
This years tour was no exception...the first house I visited was designed by leading Melbourne architect firm McBride Charles Ryan - Cloud House, Fitzroy North.
From the exterior the house appears a typical Australian heritage home, almost plain and simple, if you drove past it you wouldn't think twice or ever know what amazing creativity lies inside.
As you open the door you immediately are greeted with something very unexpected and know you are at the right address...the most amazing carpet adorns the entrance hall. The bright coloured floral design picks up the purple hues from the original glass in the front door and beckons you further inside to see whats next.
The original part of the house has been restored with simplistic beauty but it is the extension on the back where the real creativity and vision of the architects comes to life.
As the name would suggest, a Cloud shape, inspired by the owners love of the outdoors, forms the extension architecture of this property which can be enjoyed from every angle both inside and out.
With no gutters, the curved shape not only looks good but functions well to capture rain water run off into a tank.
Connecting the old and new aspects of the home is a red cube structure housing the kitchen. The linear shape contrasts the extreme curves of the cloud, creating a real wow factor.
The joinery shapes create a pixelated effect, with clever use of stained and laquered timber finishes and a comcork floor. The red certainly is striking, perhaps not to everyone's taste but as Nanette says it is exciting to be bold with colour.
The Cloud shape really does create some amazing spaces and views within the home both above and to the sides of the cube. The shapes inside are also accentuated with the use of spotted gum battons with a black backing underneath which flows inside and out creating a seamless finish.
You really do have to admire people who embrace architecture in this way, truly trusting the creative mind.
I was lucky enough to meet Debbie Ryan during my tour in 2007 when I visited 2 of her homes in Mornington Peninsula including the Letterbox house, her bold designs and use of colour are a signature which ensures her work stands out from the rest.