Collector House by Arent&Pyke

  • The Collector House by Arent&Pyke is a unique union of ideas, objects and materials reflecting an appreciation for native Australian flora and the individuality of those that live there. 

    Collector House occupies a commanding position, looking out across the Harbour with views framed by the gentle dance of Jacaranda and Eucalypt trees. Inside, the home’s disposition is relaxed and unpretentious, drawing on its openness to the water and the gentle flow of light and air throughout.

    The Arent&Pyke team, well-versed at the art of waterfront homes, sought to design spaces that spoke to their natural milieu but also invited the owners inward. Called the ‘barefoot house’ for its warm and grounded qualities, the Collector House doesn’t subscribe to a certain style but creates one entirely of its own. For Arent&Pyke principal and co-director Sarah-Jane, it was “all about celebrating originality: an original mind; an original collection; an original eye.”

    Working in with the concrete floors, the kitchen is a utilitarian space, with its stainless steel benchtops and an anchoring natural stone island. It features the Lampe De Marseille lamp by Le Corbusier for Nemo, Super White Dolomite stone by CDK Stone and Form Stool by Normann Copenhagen.

    “The hero of any waterfront home is the view, but our job is to ensure that being inside the home also feels like a special experience,” Sarah-Jane says. Introduced to the project early on, the designer says this allowed them to fully understand the harbourside setting and how it could be interpreted through their own distinctive lens. It’s also led to a coherent dialogue between the built form and the interior, weaving together generous and layered open spaces with pockets for retreat.

    The design team retained the ply ceilings and concrete floors; hardwearing materials that lean into the relaxed fluidity of the home, letting the living area unfold out onto the stepped courtyard and lapping blue below. The home’s overall palette is distinctly Australian, with honey-toned Tallowwood joinery, doors and architraves – a durable type of Eucalypt – finding their way into each space.

    Arent&Pyke are never shy to inject playful colour, as seen in the bathroom, powder room and ensuite. With nostalgic Mid-century undertones, the rust, Eucalypt-green and ocean blue spaces are a pungent nod to their natural surroundings.

    A custom leather built-in sofa becomes an inviting place to unwind. This cosy corner also features the &Tradition ‘Shuffle MH1’ table from Cult, vintage wall lamp from Angelucci 20th Century and artwork by David Welch.

    The Up Series 2000 Armchair by Gaetano Pesce becomes a focal point in the library, in the company of the Knoll Cesca Chairs and Isamu Noguchi Akari E light.

    Sarah-Jane describes Collector House as a celebration of “the power of the unexpected in furniture, accessories, unusual shapes and textures”. This is particularly true for the library space that immediately piques the imagination with its striped and sculptural Up Series 2000 Armchair by Gaetano Pesce in the fore, custom bookshelves and collection of art; the Knoll Cesca Chairs and the Isamu Noguchi Akari E light reflecting the home’s Mid-Century undercurrents. Working with the owner’s existing Australian art collection, every space tells its own story through locally designed and made furniture and key design pieces from further abroad such as the Mad Lounge Chairs by Jader Almeida in the living room.

    The Collector House is the material manifestation of its owners. By drawing on the owners’ idiosyncrasies and the enviable plot, Arent&Pyke have articulated a refreshingly liveable place to call home. 

    The Read Wall Light by Cecile Manz for Fritz Hansen in the master bedroom.

    The master bedroom is a reprieve in the trees, with its views offering a sense of seclusion as you take in the passing boats and ferries below. The Non-Conformist chair by Eileen Gray for ClassiCon sits in the corner.

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