Designing a Timeless Home That Evokes Simplicity

My name is Cameron McKimm, I’m the Managing Director at InForm and this is my home. Brighton East is a suburb in Bayside and it’s close to where I grew up. We have an exclusive arrangement with Pleysier Perkins so it was a no-brainer that Pleysier Perkins and specifically Simon Perkins was going to design my home. I wanted something solid and timeless, and I want it to be a fun home.

It’s great for entertaining and having people over. For Pleysier Perkins it was an opportunity to produce a rigorous and bold suburban house design. Fundamental to good design is a highly considered plan. It’s layout derived from a dumbbell plan with a central circulation spine. At the centre of this dumbbell plan is a dramatic entry hall the double-height void space and a glass curtain wall.

And I love it just as something different, walking down a garden path, then all of a sudden you’re greeted with this main feature. A gentle curve leads into the entry and accentuates the textual impact of light on the brickwork. A steel staircase bridge element is a sculptural piece that connects the levels the central spine also serves to divide the public and private spaces. Perspective vistas accentuate the sense of space in a house and add some drama. I realised when he presented the design to me that he really understands what I like. I just love that palette of concrete, white bricks and the timber ceiling.

Clean and simple. Simplicity is a constant theme in our work, expressed here through a restrained pallet of materials, as well as simple pure and bold forms. The interior brick walls diffuse the separation between the exterior and interior of the house and provide some drama as light moves through the building. The polished concrete floor was carefully selected to bring out some of the warm hues of the timber. Other materials internally such as the marble in the kitchen, the matte black laminates, and some of the bathroom detailing provide a richness to the project and add a layer of comfort and warmth to the interior experience. Full height doors provide a spatial continuity that makes the house feel larger and allows the spaces to flow more fluidly.

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Large interior wall panels can be utilised to close off space to create more intimate spaces. It’s a solid square home but it’s made more interesting with some of the details the architects have added. Like the curves, the curve on the entry and the rear eave. Even the kitchen island bench, as well as the pool. It is awesome to entertain in, the back windows here open wide up. We call it “party mode.” And this outdoor area, the barbecue area is really well connected to the kitchen. Outdoor spaces have been carefully considered. A large lodge protects an entertaining area which includes a fireplace and barbecue, and at the other end of the house there’s a more private walled European-style courtyard garden that offers an alternative external experience.

It was our first time working with landscape architect Jack Merlo and you can just tell that he really understood the architecture and his garden just integrates really well with the house. Landscaping is fundamental to the success of the project, providing a balance and juxtaposition with the bold architectural forms. Long perspective views down the central circulation spine bringing landscape features into the house such as the garden bed under the staircase. The large glass splashback in the kitchen provides views of bamboo, diffusing the difference the separation between the interior and exterior spaces. It’s so enjoyable just living here and looking around at the home and the details and just thinking back of all the hard work that was put in by so many people at InForm and Pleysier Perkins to help us get this result. This is a structurally efficient design and a highly practical house, but as a living experience it offers much more than that. The project successfully demonstrates the emotive power of simplicity.

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A simple design concept, a simple formal idea, can produce a building that’s powerful, interesting and dynamic. The amount of effort everyone at InForm and Pleysier Perkins put into our home was just unbelievable, I wake up the morning and come down the stairs and I just can’t believe I live here. Design and construction is a team game and I’m very proud of the team at Pleysier Perkins and InForm which has resulted in a house that they love and a house they’re very proud of.

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