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Dream Homes: A Modernist Space

Belinda Neame and Amanda Whitley

GROWING UP IN AN AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY COMPOUND IN BANGKOK, INTERIOR DESIGNER VANESSA HAWES’ FIRST CHILDHOOD HOME WAS A FAR CRY FROM THE TYPICAL AUSSIE RED BRICK BUILDING WITH GRASSY BACKYARD.

Rather, four 60s-style houses designed for the tropics were positioned around a large communal garden where families would come and go, living rooms opening onto garden spaces and fostering an outdoor lifestyle.

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Years later, the flow between interior and exterior — and the impact it had on the people who lived in this space — influences Vanessa’s approach to her design projects with Paul Tilse Architects & Interiors, founded by her partner, Paul. It’s certainly evident in this light-filled and warm Yarralumla home.

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Restraint and simplicity has created a classic, minimalist and tactile finish in the Modernist home with Scandinavian-style interiors. Vanessa loves sitting at the kitchen island bench looking out at the Japanese red maple in the internal courtyard, a clever way of bringing the outside in.

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With this home, less is more, giving carefully selected pieces a chance to shine. Vanessa singles out the Jardan ‘Archie’ chairs; relaxed and inviting, the texture of the soaped American oak timber gives plenty of character.

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Often, people are drawn towards one aesthetic — minimalist or opulent, cosy or cool. But Vanessa sees beauty in a variety of styles. Her dream? To live in Paris and renovate an apartment in St Germaine, combining modern elements with beautiful original features: parquet floors, high ceilings and tall windows.

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The common factor between her design dreams and Yarralumla reality? A focus on style that reflects lifestyle and embraces the character of a space.

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If you see something you love, you can contact Vanessa through paultilsearchitects.com.au

All images by Martin Ollman

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Belinda Neame

Belinda is HerCanberra's Production Manager. A foodie and lover of handmade, Belinda enjoys nothing more than a good coffee and seeing Canberra businesses thrive. In her 'spare time', Belinda organises the quarterly Canberra street food event, The Forage with her husband Tim. More about the Author

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

  • AP

    What a beautiful home Vanessa! The spaces created are so impressive and its hard not to covet every piece of furniture. Any tips on where the bar stools are from? They are perfect.

    • Amanda Whitley

      Hi AP!

      Vanessa advises they’re Visu stools by Muuto from Living Edge in Sydney.

      Amanda x

  • Alana Johns

    I thought I’d seen this house before…

    http://bit.ly/2dSx0Wf

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