Designed and constructed by the team at Darren James Interiors, the full-scale overhaul of this luxurious property is a masterclass in modern Australian style.
Originally built in the mid-2000s, the house boasted large living and outdoor areas, but only two bedrooms: one guest bedroom downstairs and an upstairs master suite. Tasked with turning it into a four-bedroom, four-bathroom home, Darren James Interiors have transformed the living spaces of this luxury waterfront residence.
“Our client is a very private businessman who often entertains and hosts his overseas clientele at home,” explains designer Darren James. “He wanted his home to be a reflection and showcase of the enviable Australian lifestyle.”
Although the home enjoys water views, the client envisaged an unexpected and restrained Australian bush palette of sage green, beige and grey with touches of soft pink. “We’ve kept a more masculine influence in his living spaces and master suite, and a softer tone for the guest spaces. There was also a desire to subtly reflect the water outlook in the texture and patterns of the rugs, timber grain and soft furnishings,” explains Darren of the mood and palette.
The team took the brief as an exciting opportunity to showcase Australian design and manufacturing, choosing exceptional pieces from contemporary furniture brands such as Zuster and Jardan to feature in the new decor scheme, as well as some custom-made furniture pieces, many created in collaboration with Melbourne-based furniture designer Christopher Blank.
The luxurious new master bedroom suite embraces a hotel vibe while maximising views of the Raby Bay canals (and the homeowner’s luxury Riviera motor yacht). The original master bedroom extended out onto a large balcony that was rarely used, so the decision was made to extend and combine the two areas, giving space for a completely new retreat including an open ensuite with large freestanding spa bath, generous double shower and double vanity. A spacious walk-in wardrobe has been designed as a ‘walk around’, complete with LED-lit hanging rails to accommodate the client’s requirements for half, three-quarter and full hanging space, as well as angled shoe shelves, display shelving and mirror walls.
For the master suite, Darren James Interiors designed a custom plinth bed in walnut veneer with charcoal panelling detail, now thoughtfully softened with linen bedding and topped with cushions that echo the downstairs decor. “I also love the large photographic print by local photographer Frankie Owen, which references the waterside location,” adds the designer.
With the complete remodel of the master suite, Darren James Interiors were able to obtain space from the original walk-in robe to allow for a large ensuite for the new second bedroom upstairs, which is inclusive of substantial robes and storage, and features a stunning upholstered bed by Sydney-based industrial designer Adam Goodrum accompanied by Zuster bedside tables. The unique Australian-made Duomo rocking table lamp is framed beautifully by abstract art.
On the lower level, the home’s entertaining spaces have been completely refreshed with new furnishings and designer touches. The entry sets a sophisticated tone, featuring a handwoven rug by Sydney designers Hare + Klein, and a brass and walnut-detailed cabinet by Kett Furniture.
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The client specifically asked for a formal dining space for entertaining, as he regularly hosts catered dinners for his international guests. The result is a standout zone. “The hero of the dining space is the custom-built marri timber live-edge table with an asymmetrical base, which can comfortably seat 10 people for a formal dinner,” says Darren. “Floating above is the suspended Twin Oracle Pendant by iconic Australian lighting designer Christopher Boots. The dining chairs were manufactured in Brisbane to our client’s specifications, while the buffet from Zuster was another commissioned piece, for the storage of formal tableware.”
The main living area is now drenched with natural light, dressed with comfortable furniture and offers a calming view of the water – the perfect place to sit and relax. “We’ve maximised the seating arrangement with large comfortable sofas, and relaxed, linen-covered occasional chairs. The soft Australian tones are continued here, right through to the feature pieces like the oversized Australian timber coffee table.”
Completing the high-end designer home is an additional dining space, where the sensational cactus-inspired Asterias table by international designer Patricia Urquiola and floating Mayu pendants designed by Australian-born designer Kate Stokes make a defining style statement.
Darren James Interiors has designed a home that takes the idea of luxury waterfront living and gives it a thoroughly contemporary Australian spin. If beauty is in the details, this is surely a masterpiece.