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Home Stories: Janukshi and Nick Jamonts

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Does the shape of our families affect our homes? Ashley and guest photographer Claire Williams explore this age-old question (pun intended) as they visit the Curtin home of Janukshi and Nick Jamonts in this edition of Home Stories.

Do you have children? And if you do, how much influence do you think they have on your living choices, specifically your home?

With every visit to family homes, I nudge the dial from ‘Somewhat’ to ‘Lots’ on that influence scale. I’m beginning to think that, despite parents thinking otherwise at first, kids actually hold all the power—either actively or passively—right from the start. As guest photographer Claire and I take you through Janukshi (Jan) and Nick’s Curtin home in this edition of Home Stories, you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Ten years ago, Jan and Nick got their first taste of designing a home when they renovated their classic 1960s ex-govie in Curtin. The exercise gave them an opportunity to practice mid-level renovations and gain the kind of wide design perspective one needs when creating a home with general public appeal in mind.

As you could imagine, the refurbishments were classy, in keeping with the age of the home. There were no bold interior design moves like heavy pattern terrazzo benchtops contrasted with pink joinery—elements that would delight some but may freak out the rest of the market.

Then, three years ago, Jan and Nick saw a vacant lot in Curtin. Even though they were thinking of a suburb change, they realised the opportunity to build a brand-new home in a location they have loved for years was too good to pass up. So, they got to work quickly and organised for Steven Cetrtek of Thursday Architecture to give them a hand designing a dream home. At that point, one of their children was two, and here is where the influence started.

The couple wanted a home that was modern, gave an impression of space and had plenty of centralised living spaces. Sounds like a pretty standard request, but note how the focus was on ‘impression’ of space—in other words the bedrooms are not big, but give a sense of space through their high ceilings and clever positioning of large windows.

They also saved space through inbuilt desks and wardrobes. The aim was twofold—firstly, to have bedrooms that could adapt to the changing lives of children from babies and toddlers through to teenagers and beyond (keeping in mind the ever-expanding timeframe kids stay at home for these days).

The second aim was to save room for enlarging the common spaces like the kitchen, dining, family and living. Why? Because they knew that that’s where the family would spend most of their time. And they were right.

The home took one year to build and during that time, Jan fell pregnant with child number two, who is now a cute two-and-a-half-year-old. They count their blessing that they got into the home just ahead of the pandemic that has affected all aspects of our lives. The subsequent lockdown meant they have had two years of intimately enjoying a home with all its hidden child-influenced gems.

For example, the garden has a sand and activity play space that now attracts kids from all around the neighbourhood. That space is easily observable by the parents from the pool, gazebo or BBQ area. It also turns out that Nick, who works in IT, also has qualifications in landscape design and put those to good use by designing a large backyard with plenty of shade and greenery without obstructing clear views across the garden.

The home is furnished in a style that is simple, modern and very kid-friendly. Jan is a lawyer, but has always had a passion for interior design, so she used that passion to create an aesthetic that feels equal parts designer and welcoming, whilst remaining incredibly practical. Rather fitting with the home’s overall design sense.

Even though Jan and Nick designed this home purely for themselves this time, rather than for the broader market, they still applied an aesthetic that I’m sure you would all agree is incredibly appealing.

In the kitchen, there is a terrazzo marble benchtop, but it’s subtle and beautifully complemented with natural wood and black panelling. None of that would freak anybody out and, in turn, is very welcoming for all their guests.

One hidden design aspect I really liked was that the kitchen and dining space has a black metal framed pocket sliding door that separates the home into different zones.

This will become particularly useful when, in about ten years’ time, their teenagers insist on listening to whatever the future version of Taylor Swift is while the parents want to cook to whatever the future version of Adele is.

You can see how I haven’t managed to write a paragraph that hasn’t included the influence of kids on the parent’s choices. After chatting to Jan and Nick during our visit, I came to the realisation that when the pair were using the word ‘we’, they were actually referring to the family and not just to themselves.

This realisation meant that I’ve adjust that influence dial of mine from ‘Lots’ to ‘Totally encompassing’. I’m sure Jan and Nick would agree with that setting, and I’m also sure they would not have it any other way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Home Stories is brought to you in partnership with ActewAGL.   

Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here.   

Photography: Claire Williams

Claire Williams is an exhibited professional photographer with a fine art background. Her day-to-day photography work is varied—she specialises in photographing interiors, design, and lifestyle, as well as documentary work and digitisation.

Claire showcases the very best of her clients, whether it is the artistry of what they create, their core values, or the mission of their organisation. Claire loves photography as a way to connect with people and their stories and providing a snapshot in time to carry forward into the future.

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