How to recreate iconic Mid-Century Australian style in your home

Restored in the Mid-Century Australian style, Artedomus has worked with InPlace to return this River Bend Residence to its former glory. Surrounded by beautiful bushland, the project team has thoughtfully chosen tiles and bathware to speak to the home’s robust and authentic aesthetic. A curation of Australian designed pieces continue the home-grown narrative.

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Designed in 1968 by Alistair Knox, the house speaks to an Australian legacy of mid-20th century architecture, restored to its full glory thanks to not-for-profit arts organisation InPlace.

Surrounded by the bushland of the Birrarung (Yarra River), the house was originally designed in 1968 by architect Alistair Knox and its restoration has been carried out with great sensitivity by InPlace. Australian design continues to be a central feature of this residence, whose purpose is primarily for arts and cultural use.

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InPlace, with experience in restoring dis-used buildings of heritage significance, has partnered with Artedomus to supply key finishes and fixtures that evoke the humble mid-century simplicity and authentic bush-bound beauty of its mid-century Australian origins.

Timber panelled walls and ceilings bring a natural warmth to the interiors which look out to the surrounding bushland. The earthy hues and raw materiality of Artedomus’ Manetti Terracotta Rustic Split tiles speak to the residence’s traditional overtures, while also bringing a touch of the modern in a natural, hardwearing format.

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The architectural ceramics of Inax continue the residence’s narrative of mid-century Australian design with the robust, enduring qualities of Inax Sugie Series, and the artfully designed Inax Format with its elegant geometric tessellations. (Interestingly, the design of these tiles has been inspired by the abstract art of Piet Mondrian).

Other thoughtful touches that harmoniously speak to the larger narrative of this unique and secluded artist residence include an Agape Pear Basin, soft yet clean in form and inspired by nature, and the Agape Memory Tapware with its traditional four-spoke taps chosen in chrome.

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Artedomus Manetti Terracotta Rustic Split tiles, Inax Sugie Series and Inax Format tiles, with Agape Pear Basin and Agape Memory Tapware, in River Bend Residence by InPlace.

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Artedomus Manetti Terracotta Rustic Split tiles (floor to wall), Inax Sugie Series (shower alcove) and Inax Format tiles (left hand wall) in River Bend Residence by InPlace.

The restoration of River Bend Residence has been carried out with a particular focus on great Australian design, including the thoughtful addition of the New Volumes Pinch Wall Light in Terracotta by designer Kate Stokes (pictured right). The shield-like design of this light perfectly encapsulates the Australian design vernacular, its form characterised by a central sharp line or ‘pinch’ that allows light to fall differently on each side of the terracotta.

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River Bend Residence forms part of the new Garambi Baanj Cultural Precinct, developed and operated by InPlace in partnership with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation. Garambi Baanj is Woi Wurrung for ‘Laughing Waters’ and the precinct is significant for its rare and flourishing riparian environment.

River Bend Residence sits quietly within this larger ecosystem of riverside bushland, perched atop an escarpment with majestic views up and down the river. You can explore more here.

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Words by Alice Blackwood
Architecture by Vaughan Howard Architects
Project photography by Derek Swalwell, John Gollings and Sean Fennessy; New Volumes Pinch Light in Terracotta courtesy of Artedomus.