A crowd of Australia’s leading designers gathered at the Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards on a cold night in Sydney’s Alexandria.
For the seventh year running, this year’s awards attracted more than 270 submissions across nine categories, including residential, commercial and hospitality divisions.
The winning designers and their awe-inspiring projects were announced and set the scene for emerging design trends to appear in Australian homes.
“This year, the pool of entries demonstrates the maturity of the Australian design industry and promotes extraordinary interior design,” Tanya Buchanan, the editor of Belle magazine, said.
“The Readers’ Choice winner had more of a classical design approach, compared to the winners that the judges chose, which were more edgy and experimental.
“I’ve just been to Milan and not everything is going to filter down to our market. But some of the stand out trends that I think I saw there and in the finalists works were exotic stone, joinery and incredible lighting. Colour is big again - beautiful greens, pinks and burgundy. The key message was sophisticated work with finishes.”
Among the winners, one of most stand out designers included William Smart from the Sydney-based firm Smart Design Studio for his work on Indigo Slam.
The project was set in the home of Sydney philanthropist, Judith Nielson and won Best Residential Interior award, Best Residential Kitchen Design and Best Residential Bathroom.
The high profile home located within Chippendale, Sydney showcased a facade of sculptured concrete, while boasting serene and light filled living spaces.
“The project criteria was everything in the house must last more than 100 years and be as manual as possible. In response to the durability requirements we used basic and raw materials – things that weren’t coated, such as brick, wood, stone, steel, brass, unpainted walls and real marble,” Mr Smart said.
“We acknowledged that motors and equipment break down, so if it can be opening a door with a handle and putting a key in a lock, we’d prefer to do it that way.
“The main characteristic of the house is extraordinary volumes of space. There is a stairwell where the ceilings soared to over 12 metres high and other spaces have unusual shaped ceilings.
“The shape of the rooms and the ceilings make the spaces unique and the quality of the light is soft. The material palette was delicate in tones but unpolished in all its surfaces. It’s not industrial but modern and raw.
“If anything is in fashion, I regard it as something that is going to date.”