Introducing Chainey Ave, a stunning family home that marries traditional architectural elements with raw materials and an earthy colour palette to create an inviting space with a coastal touch.
Drawing from a brief to deliver an interior that was a complete 180 from the client’s previous interior style, Chainey Ave successfully achieves a sophisticated and refined aesthetic, while retaining its role as a secure, homely space for a young family of four.
We sat down with Shelby, the Interior Designer on this project to chat about the details from brief to completion.
What was the design brief for Chainey Ave?
The client's vision was to design a space that was homely and comfortable, with a touch of coastal, but in an understated way.
With two beautiful little boys, her goal was to create a home her family could enjoy while also keeping a calm and sophisticated aesthetic.
In the past, the client has always designed her own spaces using vibrant colours and bold statements, however, for this home, she approached Kira & Kira wanting a completely different aesthetic that used a neutral palette, and utilised soft coastal materials such as linens, raw timbers, stone, rattan and cane.
What inspired the design concept for this project?
The client’s own personality definitely played a role in the design concept for this project. She has such a calm, beautiful, yet vibrant personality and I think the home is a reflection of that.
In this design I have created a space that is visually beautiful, yet is a true reflection of the family and their lifestyle. I felt it was important to select pieces that resonated with the household, such as the coral Kara Rosenlund photography piece in the hallway. This was perfect as her husband has a keen interest in scuba diving and water activities in his downtime. I wanted to find a mature way to bring elements of each family member's unique personality to the design.
What was that one piece you just couldn't go past placing into this home?
The buffet in the hallway and matching entertainment unit in the lounge room. I knew the duo were the perfect look and feel for this project! They just fit so perfectly in the space and when they arrived at our warehouse, the whole Kira & Kira team were just in awe of their natural beauty.
What was the biggest challenge of this project?
There truly weren’t any for this project that immediately sprang to mind! The client was so incredible to work with, we had a comfortable project timeline and Imigen and I shared the same vision for the project.
If I had to pick something, it would be that we had a coffee table arrive that wasn’t finished how we expected, however, that was probably the only minor hiccup and was easily resolved.
What about your biggest reward?
Honestly, the biggest reward was creating a beautiful home for Imigen and her family, and how appreciative and happy they were throughout the process. Everyone was truly in love with the final result.
If you had to pick a favourite room, which would it be?
Ohh, that’s a hard one! I do really love the upstairs ‘parents retreat’. This was purposefully designed as a sanctuary for adults to unwind with a book or a cup of tea.
In family homes, we often spec in media rooms or spaces for keeping the kids entertained, so it was nice to create an oasis for the adults to relax in. The design was intended as a conversational space or to serve as an escape from pervasive digital influences.
Colour can really set the tone for a space. Could you tell us a little about the inspiration behind the colour palette choices you made?
I was inspired by the coastal banksia plant commonly seen along the Gold Coast shoreline. My inspiration drew from a tapestry of coastal flora and fauna. I wanted to keep the design warm and inviting while staying within the client’s brief of moving away from bright colours. Instead, I opted for rich, moody tones like the purple and navy from the coral Kara piece in the hallway and the sepia tones from the living room art and upstairs in the parent's retreat.
In the master, I centred the design concept around the striking Stuart Cantour artwork as the focal point. This room stands out as one of the only rooms where I introduced vibrant hues, while anchoring the palette with the raw, organic finish in the chest of drawers that sit below.
I love being able to design children’s rooms, so it was really nice developing the colour palettes in the two boys’ rooms, where I tapped into the earthly style of the home, while also introducing fun elements for the kids.
In Darcy’s room, I brought in warmth through the cedar stripe in the bedding and reflected his love of animals through the colourful giraffe artwork. I also played with form, introducing curves in the bedhead to instil a sense of playfulness.
For Ollie’s bedroom, I curated a slightly more mature palette. While still maintaining a hint of playfulness, the design was tailored to grow with him as he matures.
Design trends can come and go. What aspects of this design do you think have a timeless quality that won't go out of style?
All of it! The traditional elements in the architecture of the home will never go out of style, and I think the colour palette, being so natural and sophisticated, will remain timeless.
The interior architecture and finishes of the house are also very traditional, with timber chevron floors and the jute runner up the staircase. By embracing those natural elements, I paired them with furniture choices to transform the home into a coastal oasis. The combining of these two styles has created a relaxed and approachable luxury.
Designing for real clients means considering functionality. What were some of the must-haves and/or practical aspects that you worked into the design?
Being a family of four, storage was going to be paramount. I wanted to maximise storage solutions without sacrificing the overall aesthetic of the home.
Another significant factor I needed to take into consideration was the traffic flow in each room. I wanted to ensure that the furniture placement not only made sense for the available space but also served the needs and functions of the family.
For example, opting for two armchairs in the living room as opposed to another sofa makes the space more malleable. The family can easily rearrange the seating for active children or create a more conversational setting when they’re entertaining guests.
What is your favourite aspect of this project, and why?
My favourite aspect has been playing with different material choices. I was able to embrace natural products and finishes and the raw beauty of the materials was something I really enjoyed in this project.
If you had to pick a favourite ‘behind the scenes’ moment from this project, what would it be? (e.g. a moment you had with Imigin, to bring a fun/personal aspect into it)
One thing that comes to mind was constantly laughing with the client - I feel like every time I was there we were laughing about something.
Another highlight was the shoot day. The client was dressed in the most perfect outfit to complement the aesthetics of the house, so we roped her into getting in front of the camera which made the shoot really fun. It was also a great chance to soak up the home in its finished glory and take a moment to reflect on the journey that achieved such a stunning result.
Wonderful words from our wonderful client:
"Working with Shelby and the Kira and Kira team was such a wonderful experience. What an amazing and fun team!!!
Shelby understood the feel and style I wanted to achieve for the house right from the start and executed it perfectly.... Shelby turned our house into a home that my family and I are in love with.
The whole process was seem less and stress free.... it was such a great help having our new furniture and styling pieces held at the Kira and Kira warehouse while our house was still being built and to have the Kira team install everything into our new home was definitely a highlight of the journey.
Thank you Shelby and the team."