Tension between the decorative and functional elements of design often result in the most interesting spaces, particularly when a designer leans in to the challenge. This was exactly the case for Adele Bates, who have married heritage architecture, modernist interior design and vibrant styling in this Toorak home.
While the home’s exterior may look consistent with its neighbours, inside Adele Bates have created spaces that sit confidently between a gallery and a relaxed family residence. Soft organic shapes are often contrasted with geometric forms, and beautifully minimal spaces such as the kitchen and bathroom balance the more eclectic living areas.
In partnership with Rogerseller, we explore this sculptural home and learn more about the design thinking behind it.
Located on a typical Toorak street, the home is flanked by elegant homes and established greenery. To subvert expectations and create a strong, unique identity without losing the classic foundations of the home, the homeowners wanted to showcase surprise elements behind the arched bay windows and bluestone porch. Home to a family of four, the heritage-listed residence also needed to serve as a backdrop to their modern lifestyle.
To bring the home’s distinct style to life, Adele Bates have integrated the period details in a playful way while introducing thoughtfully-curated furnishings and artwork. “Each room offers a complete vignette” says Adele Bates, describing the deliberately sculptural selection of furnishings. These vignettes subtly subvert the expectation of what each space ’should’ be, offering a modern atmosphere. Traditionally formal spaces like the sitting room and library have been decorated with rich colours and unique design objects. “The furniture and curation of objects were envisaged to surprise and visually delight” Adele says, “Furnishings are chosen for the personality they bring to each space, becoming an integrated part of the interior design.”
The emphasis on integration between furnishings and structural features is reinforced in the more functionally-oriented spaces of the bathroom and kitchen. A soft grey palette lends both spaces a minimal yet practical backdrop, and sleek joinery smoothes away the accessories and objects that would be showcased in other areas of the home. Says Adele, “The tapware, basins and baths chosen for the bathrooms all have a sculptural quality to them, and were chosen to ensure they were standalone pieces with a sculptural nature, such as the luxurious curved freestanding Haven bath that takes centre stage in the master ensuite”.
Known for unifying form and function in their collections, Rogerseller were a natural design fit for these kitchen and bathroom spaces, where Adele Bates Design chose to let the sculptural quality of these features speak for themselves, uncrowded by the colours and shapes of the communal areas. In these restrained spaces, not only do the individual elements stand out beautifully, but there is a sense of calm and tranquility – your own personal spa sanctuary. Just like a good art gallery, Adele Bates Design know when to add more and when to create space. This is a residence with something to catch your eye in every corner, but it’s undoubtably still a functioning family home.
View our favourite Rogerseller pieces on the est design directory here.