Building a new home requires creativity—especially if you don’t have the freedom to make all your own choices. When designer Jess Hunter of Jess Hunters Interiors wanted to build a contemporary home for her family of six in Berrima, Southern Highlands NSW, she was faced with some historical town restrictions.
The front of the home needed to adhere to the historic Georgian architecture of the 1830s and include materials like timber and stone. As a compromise, Jess designed the exterior of the home to comply with the heritage guidelines, while most of the interior showcases her love of modern design.
To successfully design a contemporary home that balances traditional Georgian style with modern architecture, Jess worked with Tina Tziallas of Tziallas Architects. Together, they found a solution that would marry the two designs. “The sooner you can get involved with the architect, the better,” says Jess.
The home is separated into sections: one traditional and one modern. The traditional areas hold the girls’ rooms, while the modern areas are the master suite and open living room/dining room/kitchen.
To keep the design cohesive, they used concrete flooring throughout the home. But it was a challenge to ensure her home would be family-friendly. “There are a lot of hard surfaces here, such as concrete, stone and glass, so I needed to soften the space and make it feel comfortable for the kids,” she says. She layered textures and fabrics to take away the harsh look of the hard materials.
Salute to MCM Style
Though this isn’t your typical Mid Century Modern home, it does have similarities that echo mid century design staples. Jess’s furniture pieces have clean lines, and the color palette combines neutrals with natural greens in the form of plant life.
She also wanted natural light in as many places as possible, so they put in large windows and even a sliding glass wall that opens to the outside. “We wanted all the beautiful natural aspects of the surrounding land and bush to be part of our home, even when we are inside,” she says.
This contemporary home displays the ingenuity of the designer. The restrictions of the town could have held her back, but instead, she designed what would make her happy while enjoying what the town has to offer.