Home of the heart

This home celebrates family, friends and artworks with a large central living space opening to contained outdoor spaces – private spaces are upstairs

Designed by Arc seven.1

From the building designer:

Site description

The block itself is rectangular in shape, 11.10m wide and 41.20m deep, and runs in an east-west orientation, with a two street frontage, while the side longer boundaries run on the north and south side of the block – a total land area of 463m². 

The location is within one of Perth's older suburbs, Mt Hawthorn, where the original subdivision was advertised in 1903, and was called Hawthorne, after the Melbourne suburb of the same name. 

Development in the area didn't really commence until the majority of dwellings already built in the area were dominated by the vernacular of 'Californian Bungalows'. 

With its proximity to the city and well established services, the character of the older dwellings has been slight lost over the last 25 years, with the mix of many single and two storey contemporary dwellings. 

The particular section of the street, we worked with was a small parcel of 5 blocks that was an amalgamation of two parcels of land, and owned by the same family. 

The 5 smaller lots were all 463m² each and, except for the first 7m, every block was generally level. 

However this first 7m coming in from the front street boundary rises a substantial 1.90m. 

This level change had a significant effect on the design as did the fact that only one of the 5 lots was allowed vehicular access from the main street frontage while the balance were to have access from the rear laneway.

Project brief:


Slowly reducing their works commitments had allowed my homeowners to focus on themselves, while also allowing them to spend more time with their growing family.

There was never a consideration of purchasing a dwelling that had been built, but rather to create a home that could reflect their lifestyle now and into the future, accommodate their family and art collection they had collected over the years. 

General brief 

  • The owners wanted a two-storey contemporary home, with the living areas both internally and externally located on the ground floor, while allowing for all of the bedrooms and associated wet areas to be positioned on the first floor to allow for maximum privacy.
  • Also requested were additional supporting spaces on the ground floor, including the laundry, parking spaces, storage area, and a home office.
  • The design solution was to suit their present lifestyle, while allowing for them to enter their next stage of life without having to modify their new home.
  • The outdoor spaces were to be fully interactive, allowing easy connection between internal and external spaces while allowing the latter to easily be closed off as required.
  • They also wanted an appreciation of these outdoor spaces from the internal living area even when closed off.
  • There was to be an indoor dining area that could be expanded to accommodate up to 30 people when required.
  • Other asks included privacy from a neighbouring car parking bay and to take advantage of the city views, without them being the main focus the main focus.
  • Lastly, the orientation needed to take advantage of the northern aspect, allow for maximum winter sun to enter the living areas, and ensure the afternoon south- westerly sea breeze would cool the home naturally.

Resulting breakdown 

Ground floor 

  • Living, dining & kitchen to be incorporated as one connected interactive space – the 'Hub of the Home'.
  • Outdoor areas to consist of covered sitting area, open courtyard and a small concrete pool, which ultimately would read as one continuous space, connected directly to the indoor living areas.
  • A multi purpose home office / guest bedroom and supporting powder room, to serve as a guest suite as well, and be located separate to the living areas, but within easy access to the front entry point of the home.
  • No separated living spaces, with all living interaction to be located within one space.

First Floor 

  • Three bedrooms and two bathrooms on this level.
  • The master suite to be the primary focus of the first floor.
  • Optimise sweeping views of the city as well as the undulating suburb located to the east.
  • This floor is for the owners and guests when required, but primarily to allow the grandchildren to have their own rooms.


  • Given its two street frontage, allow for direct access for vehicular movement from the rear laneway, while visitor pedestrian access to be from the street frontage.
  • A two storey home, that's light-filled year round and ideally displays their art collection
  • Though not wanting to be slaves to their kitchen, we were to design it in a way where it is layered in two parts  – first, an open visual section when the chef can interact with  family and guests; and second, a preparation and work space, that also feels connected.
  • The home was not to be collectively fussy with a subtle palette of materials that makes the right connections but doesn't compete with the art works.
  • A sensibly designed garden, with elements of light and shade, that responds with the layout of the house and the lifestyle of the owners.
  • A small pool area, with a possible water feature to create a sense of tranquillity, and could be heard from both sides of the glass.
  • Lastly, a focus on sustainable design and material elements, including rainwater harvesting and solar panels.

Credit list

Landscape design
Arc seven.1
Pool design
Arc seven.1; Arc seven.1
Timber cladding
Accoya 19mm Shiplap 'Yakisupi' style vertical fins; European tiles
Louvre system:
Sola Shade - Automated Louvre System by Luxaflex
Main flooring
Burnished concrete, by WA Terrazzo
Floor covering
Custom living room rug, from Temple Fine Rugs
Master bedroom – Scandinavian Wallpaper
General heating
Actron Air Reverse Cycle System, by Actron Air
Feature lighting
Dining room pendants by David Trubridge; powder room pendant light, by Mark Douglass Design
Living area furniture
Custom lounge suite, by Merlino Furniture
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Runner Up
Kitchen designer and interior designer
Arc seven.1
Landscape install
Landscaping WA
Pool install
AMG Builders
Colorbond Custom Orb 'Surfmist'
Window/door joinery
Impact Commercial Aluminium, double glazed
Bedroom flooring
Carpet by Wall-to-Wall Carpet
Bathroom tiles
Porcelain and mosaic, from Original Ceramics
External Acrylic Render System – Masterwall Australia; interior – Dulux Paints
Realflame Simplicity 1500 gas fireplace A, by Subi Restoration
Control systems
Intercom security & smart wiring by Intelligent Homes
External paving
Basalt cobblestones, from Attica Stone & Tiles

Designed by: Arc seven.1

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Michael Conroy, Silvertone Photography

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