ARTWORKS CAN HELP establish the atmosphere and character of a home. In this house in Elsternwick, Melbourne, artworks with vibrant colours, abstract forms and textured brushstrokes express a sense of joy and playfulness for a home with heart, warmth and personality. “We had a clear vision of how we wanted each room to look and feel and the mood we wanted each room to reflect,” says Lucy Fenton, di- rector of homewares store Fenton & Fenton. The clients engaged Fenton & Fenton to furnish and style their new home, a revitalised Edwardian residence by architecture and interior design practice Pleysier Perkins.
Pleysier Perkins refreshed the front façade, the original leadlight windows, set- ting the tone for the interior. A light-filled and airy rear addition accommodates open-plan living, dining and kitchen and master bedroom and bathroom. The high ceiling and timber-clad eave enhances the indoor-outdoor connection, while cream brickwork and painted lining boards provide a cool, calm backdrop for furnishings and artworks. “We carefully detailed interior elements to reduce the pro- portions of the architecture to a human scale and used materials and textures to unify the art and architecture,” project architect Ross Berger explains.
Helen McCullagh’s still life Flowers from the Chicken Coop brightens the misty blue-coloured kitchen, and Laelie Berzon’s Loose Leaf, with spirited brushstrokes and springtime hues, animates the natural palette of the dining room. “The works harness the joyful yet casual mood throughout the home,” says Lucy.
Laelie’s Recreate and Pleasure also adorn a stepped-back wall in the living area and are paired for visual impact. “Laelie uses a thick application of oil, acrylic and soft pastel in these smaller works and they subtly draw your eye without being too overbearing,” Lucy ex- plains. A splash of red in Laelie’s My Way enlivens the nature-inspired living room; the blue and emerald colour palette enriched with timber, leather and brass accents.
A lounge room in the front of the house has richer tones and textures, reflecting the more mature character of the original residence. “We wanted the sitting room to have a luxe, sophisticated feel and the artwork was integral to creating the right mood,” says Lucy. The blue and pink colour palette is a deeper rendition of the bedroom, the textiles plusher and patterns striking.
Two portraits by Jai Vasicek from the series Works on Paper face off with Skye Jefferys’ abstract Lengthening and Opening. Both have deliberate line work; Jai’s appears smooth and effortless, while Skye’s dynamic strokes are layered and textured, twisting and turning. “Skye’s use of bold colours and thick brush strokes work beautifully with the moodier colour palette,” Lucy explains. “Jai’s line drawings are simple but sophisticated and the touch of gold leaf adds the glamourous mood this room deserves.”