A carefully curated materials palette helped the designers of Claremont House beautifully juxtapose a contemporary industrial style against its rustic, heritage past. Developed and constructed by the award-winning Arklen in conjunction with architectural designers, Blend Residential Designs, Claremont House is the result of the subdivision of an old heritage property and is now a remarkable split-level, four-bedroom home.

Homeowners Deborah and Guy Smart, who were instrumental in selecting the materials palette, worked closely with Arklen managing director Mark Diedricks on the project. While seeking an industrial feel to the home, Deborah, being the mum of three active children, also wanted something hardwearing and low maintenance. Combining low maintenance industrial materials with a natural, heritage palette delivered Deborah’s expectations.

The thoughtful complementary yet contrasting palette includes beautifully smooth concrete on the floors, stairs and some feature walls on the lower and upper levels; textured Red Rustic brick tile herringbone flooring on the middle living space and alfresco area providing warmth and a textural contrast to the concrete; Brushbox timber cladding on the walls and ceiling; and recycled bricks on external and selected internal walls, all set against copper doors and exposed, matt black powder-coated ducting units and steel beams.

“With the copper, concrete and all of the other beautiful materials complementing it, the house looks really sharp and clean but not too hard; it really has the balance right,” Scott Blackman, Blend Designs, comments.

The living space in Claremont House stretches from the kitchen through to the dining room and the outdoor alfresco terrace. Rustic Red brick tiles, supplied by Robertson's Building Products Pty Ltd, are used as pavers, which are particularly hardwearing from a practical point of view, and simply striking against the concrete waterfall island bench, adding a touch of warmth to the overall palette.

Interestingly, there is absolutely no tiling in any of the wet areas. The stylish, maintenance-free bathroom features Marbellino on the walls and a burnished concrete floor. The bedrooms feature Barestone rather than gyprock on the walls to provide another low maintenance space. Mark explains that the naturally finished Barestone doesn’t require painting.

All the stakeholders in the project from the owners to the designers and builders are exceedingly happy with the spectacular outcome.

Photographer: Dion Robeson