11/8/2020

BYRON BAY RESIDENCE

Project Type: New Build | Holiday Rental

Perched on a ridge in the Byron hinterland, the ‘Byron Bay Residence’ is a tranquil place to escape and enjoy family company.

Services: Interior Concept Design, Design & Decoration Development & Detailing, Finishes Selection, Custom Furnishings, Soft Furnishings, Window Treatments, Feature Lighting, Art Consultation, Documentation, & Styling.

Architect | Beach Architects | Photography | Toby Scott

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How would you describe this project in 3 words?

Honest, Textured, Refined.

What were the main design principles / personal philosophies you followed in this home?

The property was home to an old quarry, and it still boasts the incredible scenery that the hinterland has to offer. The architect wanted to draw from these natural elements in the build and accentuated them in his choice of materials. This saw the inception of the main motif of the home; the rammed earth walls. Because the home’s architecture has strong modern lines paired with the natural characteristics of the rammed earth, it was important the interiors reflected both elements in cohesion.  

“This saw the inception of the main motif of the home; the rammed earth walls.”

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What is rammed earth and how is it formed?

It’s quite an incredible process where they put a layer of mixture usually made up of selected aggregates into place between flat panels called formwork. This mixture then gets rammed to compress it and start forming the walls. These walls are built up gradually over time which becomes part of the end design showing the different stages of the process as well as the imperfections in the formwork. Rammed earth is not only visually very unique but also has fabulous thermal and acoustic properties.

What inspired you in this project?

Everything started with the rammed earth. It was important to complement this raw material to create an earthy, contemporary reimagined space. While the rammed earth informed the finish selections the modern lines and sharp edges of the roofline informed the joinery design. Throughout the home, the use of porcelain panels gave us the opportunity to create a fine edge detail that reflects the profile of the roof.

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How did you manage the combination of beauty and function?

As this home was built for holiday escapes, not a permanent residence, the functionality of the home is different. This was considered in elements such as the kitchen design with two benches – one functional island bench and the other an entertaining countertop for cooking class presentations or drinks at a dinner party.    

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The theme of easy entertaining continued into the outdoor area, as the large space flows off the kitchen and main living room for maximum liveability.    

Functionality continued into each room – each bedroom is fitted with trundle beds for if kids wanted to stay.

In terms of bringing elements of beauty and uniqueness, the main bathroom has what’s called a Moroccan Tadelak finish which is a technique composed of lime plaster and black soap made from olives. This smooth velvety finish pairs beautifully with the roughness of the rammed earth and was in keeping with the natural finishes. We also specified a Japanese ceramic tile with variegated properties in all the ensuites to add another dimension to the rammed earth spaces. Lastly, blackbutt timber was also used throughout the home to create warmth as well as being a subtle nod to the blackbutt trees that surround the property.

“In terms of bringing elements of beauty and uniqueness, the main bathroom has what’s called a Moroccan Tadelak finish which is a technique composed of lime plaster and black soap made from olives.”

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How did Byron Bay itself play a part in the inspiration of the project?

The area inspired the colour palette as we used mainly neutrals and subtle blends of greens and blues. This was also an ode to the rainforest on the property as well as keeping a calm, inviting house that speaks to the lifestyle in Byron.

What was the most challenging part of this project?

Using the rammed earth because it was so final once compacted. For instance, the electrical and bedroom lighting had to be planned & confirmed at the very beginning of the build, as you weren’t able to make changes once the solid walls were constructed.

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You did both the interior design and decoration elements in the project. What decisions were made about furnishings?

Design and decoration wise we made the decision early on that the rooms would be colour coded to differentiate them, which meant the selections needed several different colourways.

The idea of mixing natural and modern pieces was continued in the furnishings. An example of this was the headboards in all the bedrooms. Whilst the headboard shape is quite modern and functionally works when the beds are split for twin sleeping, the fabric chosen was hand-blocked linen. This ancient technique of printing on fabric creates a less than perfect finish which pairs beautifully with the characteristics of the rammed earth wall in which it sits.

In the kitchen for example where the joinery design has clean lines and was more on the modern side, we introduce leather barstools and feature lights with blackened river stone weights to counterbalance the modern/natural ratio.

It was also very important that the as the property was to be a holiday rental the furnishings would withstand the wear and tear that come with that.      

“This ancient technique of printing on fabric creates a less than perfect finish which pairs beautifully with the characteristics of the rammed earth wall in which it sits.”

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We understand you are currently working on Stage 2 of this project after a few years of Stage 1 being completed.

The property was designed the possibility of a second stage. We are excited to continue this timeless interior design story – keep your eyes peeled for October 2020!

Is there anything else interesting about this home that people may not know?

Yes, you can stay in this amazing home!  Check out Narringa Ridgeview through Luxico.com.au.

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