Definition of space

For a contemporary look that smooths away hard edges, try combining clean-lined furniture with sculptural lamps and works of art in strong, vivid colours
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View of the balcony

To create a series of comfortable living spaces within a relatively hard-edged interior, you needn't compromise clean lines.

By teaming carefully selected pieces of furniture with accessories and artwork, you can add layers of texture and accents of colour to a streamlined look.

This technique can be seen in this inner-city townhouse designed by architect Andre Hodgskin. Using its stark white walls and dark jarrah flooring as a starting point, designer Jason Stuart from ECC Lighting Living set about creating an eclectic feel with masculine, earthy overtones. Strong, linear pieces of furniture help to accentuate the spacious dimensions of the open-plan living area. A generously proportioned sofa upholstered in a linen-blend fabric has been grouped together with a leather and chrome chair and a highly polished veneer coffee table.

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View of the indoor furniture

"This mix of fabric, leather, wood and stainless steel, along with suede cushions and a rug in a short-shag pile, provides rich textural contrast," says Stuart.

The sideboard and shelving unit, in stained oak veneer and brushed aluminium, offer storage and display space to the living area. The wood subtly picks up the timber tones of the floor, while the metallic finish creates a semi-industrial feel, says Stuart.

The theme of long, clean lines continues on the other side of the space with an oak-veneer dining table. Its slim chrome frame ensures the table does not disrupt the view through the low window beside it. Four brown leather chairs, also in chrome frames, complement the table's simple, contemporary style.

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View of the living space & stairway

One way to create ambience and a sculptural element within a space is to use eye-catching lamps, says Stuart. A Taccia table lamp with rounded contours and a classical design generates a diffused light throughout the living room. A strategically placed Tolomeo Mega floor lamp casts a halo of light on the ceiling. Its thin, delicate stem means it takes up very little room and can be easily moved around if required, says Stuart. For the same reasons, a tall, slender Toio floor lamp was placed in the dining room.

To further soften the design's hard edges, Stuart selected accessories with rounded contours that contrast the square shapes of the furniture. For example, white ceramic vases and pink carnations provide a visual focal point on the coffee table, and stainless steel cylindrical cones with uplights highlight a corner of the living room. In the study, round chunky wooden containers provide storage space and a rubbish bin.

Aug 20, 2003
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