Join us on a tour through Flinders House designed by celebrated Melbourne-based Susi Leeton Architecture and Interiors. We chatted with Founder and Principal Susi Leeton to talk through the design influences behind this coastal home’s contemporary finesse and why our warm and balanced Aged Smoked & Limed floorboards proved to be a harmonious design element to this functional, light and connected home.
Taking its namesake from the seaside location of Flinders in Victoria, the Southern wild ocean and Northern views played an informative role in the considered design of this residence and its native-inspired garden. A deft blend of restraint, warmth and tranquillity, Flinders House conjures a serene composition of elements that together, connect this idyllic Australian home with its oceanic surroundings.
Taking an all-encompassing approach Susi has combined her knowledge and passion for architecture, interior and furnishings to create this residence. A sculptural, ribbon-like staircase connects the entrance on the ground floor with the upper floors and lays a foundation for the gently curving walls which are repeated throughout.
Imbuing an understated sense of sophistication; tactility, natural materials and muted finishes all played an important role in the layered approach to the interiors. Internally, the design tactic was to build a certain sense of atmosphere rather than separate rooms, an approach which lends itself to creating a generosity of spirit as a background for family life.
Plenty of stone, curved rendering, polished plaster walls and our 260mm wide Aged Smoked & Limed flooring all build an unobtrusive backdrop for a home where quintessential Australian lifestyle meets modernism. Read on to learn more about Susi’s design process and how flooring played a pivotal role in shaping this coastal home’s unique design language.
Could you offer a brief project framework for Flinders House and the main elements that influenced your team’s design solution?
Susi Leeton: We always start with the clients’ dream space and the site. Our clients were after a relaxed family home on a spectacular site with Southern views to the wild Bass Strait and a beautifully protected Northern garden. Modernism with its use of robust materials, light and integrated landscape influenced our core material palette while the brief also called for a home that had warmth in both light and temperature.
Working closely with the client, our team generated concepts responding to the unique site constraints and opportunities – all within the framework of the client’s budget. The end result is a beautiful, serene space.
What has become your favourite element from this unique home?
Susi Leeton: I love the ethereal light which reflects down the stairwell onto the crazy paving below – the light changes during the day from fresh to longer, more golden pools of light later in the day. The spectacular outlook to the ocean and coastal site are all unique aspects that were also considered within the design.
What materials did you work with on this home and how did you apply these in new or unexpected ways?
Susi Leeton: We loved the locally sourced crazy paving so much we applied it to the exterior and interior which has created a lovely flow. It was also a very easy decision for us to use the warm and muted Aged Smoked & Limed Oak floorboards from Royal Oak Flooring – these are so robust, timeless and are a material that provide even more depth of character throughout the house.
You’ve crafted your own distinct style through layering textures and variations of muted finishes and tones. Could you please talk about how this approach was applied to Flinders House?
Susi Leeton: We always aim to approach spaces with a gentle and serene sensibility. We take a holistic view to design whereby the architecture, interior spaces, furnishings and art all sit in harmony alongside a tightly knit palette of cultivated materials. In this case, muted, soft tones, materials and textures retreat into the background allowing the surrounding landscape to be absorbed and celebrated.
Talk us through your selection of Royal Oak Floors’ Aged Smoked & Limed floorboards and how this material informed the overarching aesthetic of Flinder House.
Susi Leeton: We were after a certain texture and colour of floor timber and were equally keen to select something to complement the wall colour so that the space was vibrating with light, rather than surfaces being too defined. We found this in the beautiful Aged Smoked & Limed flooring by Royal Oak Floors. This product has longevity and a soft texture, both visually and to walk on. Not only are the floors robust and soft but they form an elegant combination of materiality in Flinders House.