Balancing a Brutalist exterior

 Responding to a Brutalist concrete exterior, this interior celebrates raw materials, textured surfaces, simple silhouettes and geometric forms 

Designed by Jessica Valintine Design

From the interior designer:

When I first met the owner, the house design was firmed up and she was ready to work on the interior. 

The site size dictated the floor plan which did put pressure on the size of the main living space, which was designed for the dining table to be incorporated into the kitchen.

The homeowner wanted the interior of her home to be in line with the industrial & Modernist style of the exterior, which is solid concrete tilt panels, in varying textures. 

There would also be some exposed concrete on some of the interior walls and the owner was keen to use concrete where possible – along with a minimalist and masculine palette she also wanted a contemporary home.

Starting with the kitchen, the first hurdle was incorporating bar stool seating and dining on the kitchen island.  

Placement of the fridge was ideally close to the deck for entertaining but also close to the dining table. 

Due to the fridge & freezer door hinging it felt too tight to have the dining table aligned with the island, especially when dining chairs are in use, so it was resolved by pushing the dining 300mm in to allow for extra space and traffic flow.

The next critical objective was to resolve was to avoid visually overcomplicating the island and at the same time ensure that the dining table didn't compete with the bar stool seating. 

This was overcome by placing the bar stools at the end of the island so they could be tucked out of site but also for the best view from the home. 

Where possible, we integrated appliances to give a clean, minimal feel to the space – to help not overwhelm the size of the room and achieve uncluttered lines.

In terms of overall feel, we leant towards staying true to the architecture of the home, using raw materials, textured surfaces, simple silhouettes and geometric shapes & forms as well as repetitive patterns – all hallmarks of Brutalist Interior Design.

Similarly, timber floors were used to add an element of warmth and give a softness to the hard surfaces.

A colourful heavily textured floral artwork also helped inform some of the key interior decisions – this became the opposing but complementary force that we utilised to bring in bursts of colour where masculine and feminine principles came into play.

The painting helped create an elegance to all the robustness.

We limited materials & colour palettes, and shunned black – opting for charcoals to tone with the concrete.

The industrial glass box staircase was warmed up with timber detailing and a tulle-like stainless steel mesh pendant for honesty to the project but to add the softness & femininity back into the ‘blocky’ architecture.

We followed the same light concept throughout the home using the organic-shaped feature lights in varying colours and sizes.

Floaty mesh curtaining was incorporated to add texture and to filter the north all-day sunlight.

Limited and considered objects take centre stage on the glass shelves to add cohesiveness to the overall effect.

Credit list

Miles Builders
Kitchen manufacturer
Carlielle Kitchens
Louvre system
Bathroom tiles
Jacobsens / Tile Space / Artedomus
Resene Double Alabaster; Resene Woodsman Grey Wash
Living area furniture
Tim Webber; Kovacs; custom steel coated in Metlaier or powdercoated
Main flooring
Artedomus timber floor
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended
Graham Allen Architects
Kitchen designer
Jessica Valintine Design
Tim Webber
Bedroom wallpaper – Emma Hayes; custom timber battens – by builder
Feature light fittings
Arturo Alvarez
Dining chairs and bar stools
David Shaw
Bedroom carpet

Designed by: Jessica Valintine Design

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Kirsty Dawn, Ken Dowie

18 Dec, 2022

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