Carole Whiting is a Melbourne-based interior designer.
Read her Daily Imprint interview here.
Here she talks us through the design process for a house she worked on at O'Grady Street in Melbourne, a project she worked on during her time at Whiting Architects.
Carole recently established her own design studio - Carole Whiting Interiors and Design.
What was the brief and the design considerations? The idea of this house was to have a very open plan but keeping all the functioning areas hidden from view. It was a fine balance between functionality and aesthetics. Everything is right there but it’s also not apparent. So we created a hallway with concealed doorways leading to the dining room, bathroom and loft bedroom. We hid appliances in practical areas like the cool drawer (wine fridge) within the living space and built a butler’s pantry/laundry at the rear of the living room behind the area that visitors see but no door or corridor leading to it. It’s all “hidden in plain view”.
What approach did you take? It was a typical Edwardian four rooms at the front of the house and a hallway leading to the rear. We demolished a series of small rooms at the back and built the big “barn” structure with the pitched roof. The rear boundary was on an angle so we straightened the internal space up by introducing the two “crates” crossing over each other and put the kitchen at one end with a 7m long joinery element that led from the kitchen to the laundry.
What materials and palette did you choose and why? Very simple materials and a clean palette. We were on a budget, and we used colour - gentle tonal colour to define elements within the space. I wanted it to be warm and so there’s very natural oak floor from Admonter, leather handles from Made Measure and gentle natural tones in the furnishings. I added black to the space in the window seat and high windows area to give some depth and drama to the space.
What obstacles did you encounter, and how did you overcome them? It was mainly the small block we were dealing with and the outlook at the rear was to a big ugly purple building. So we orientated the house to capture as much sun as possible and block out the rear view.
What’s your favourite feature? I think it’s the light - the rear of the house gets beautiful east and northerly light all day and the courtyard is the most magical place to be most of the year.