Whilst most would assume being given a ‘blank canvas’ is a designer’s dream, interior designer Brahman Perera explains its positives are equally matched by its challenges.
‘With contemporary builds, the designer is often faced with a completely unadorned structure,’ he explains. ‘So the challenge is how to bring warmth and comfort to the space, whilst being true to the architecture.’
Luckily, for Brahman, this question was easily answered by the homeowner’s beautifully curated art collection, which helped guide the material and colour palette. Their inventory of furniture – which they were keen to use in their new home in Hawthorn, Victoria – also gave him a strong foundation to work from and embellish.
‘The brief was to transplant their pre-existing home in a streamlined and cohesive way,’ he explains. ‘It was a privilege to work with their own art collection as a key source of inspiration.’
A small Jeffrey Smart painting informed a palette of burnt ochres, rusts, sisal rugs and ceramics in the family living area, whilst a large charcoal drawing by Charles Blackman paved the way for strong graphic blacks in the formal sitting area.
‘The ground floor has a sweeping layout, which allowed for various spaces to represent different moods and experiences,’ he explains. ‘Some are cosy and some are more graphic and crisp. I wanted the upstairs to be different though, I wanted it to feel intimate and private.’
The space in question has been swathed in a warm, cream-coloured palette of carpet and drapery, with jewel-toned upholstery.
But, it’s the kitchen that truly stole the designer’s heart. With its use of textural travertine that spectacularly contrasts the carbon black rangehood and appliances, ‘It’s a favourite,’ Brahman says.
Through thoughtful application of materials, texture and colour, Brahman has succeeded in designing an honest family home, that ties together new and old in a way that feels both timeless and distinctly contemporary.