Sympathetic to its Environment – Hunter Valley Retreat by Thomas Hamel & Associates
Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

Photography Chris Warne
Words Jackson Hides
Cabinetry AV Joinery and Interiors

Entrusted to create a country escape for a growing young family, Thomas Hamel & Associates has established a contemporary interior narrative that reflects the client’s personal stylewhilst remaining sensitive to the Hunter Valley environs.

Grand in scale, the home wears a number of hats to suit a variety of needs for adults and children alike. Accommodating to their busy social lives, the material palette has been informed by the use of space and traffic through the house. The kitchen has seen a complete redesign and renovation, reflecting a grand country kitchen space and allowing for pragmatic additions that did not exist previously, including a mudroom, laundry, powder room and wine cellar.

Grand in scale, the home wears a number of hats to suit a variety of needs for adults and children alike.

The interiors to the common areas have been designed with a robust material palette and a sensitivity to the surrounding countryside.

To cater for active young children who regularly participate in tennis, dirt biking and swimming on the property, open plan and common areas of the house have been designed to be as low maintenance as possible. Hard wearing surfaces and outdoor fabrics throughout allowed for this concession whilst introducing a colour palette inspired by the surrounding bushlands; pops of eucalyptus greens throughout otherwise neutral tones blur the distinction between house and land.

This blurred distinction is further heightened by the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living spaces, allowing light in and filling the home with picturesque views of the newly curated Paul Bangay-designed gardens in the foreground and beautiful greens and browns from native bushland in the distance. The feeling evoked by the space encourages relaxation and emphasises the informal and laid-back temperament of the property as a city escape.

Accommodating to their busy social lives, the material palette has been informed by the use of space and traffic through the house.

Magnificent Paul Bangay gardens helped frame views from every window and bring the outdoors in, whilst the Tyrolean Stole represents an unusual, but highly customised entertaining area.

One of the more opulent features throughout the home is a traditional Tyrolean Stube. Informed by the clients’ Austrian heritage, the room was inspired by the clients’ father’s property and incorporated into the Hunter Valley Retreat so that they could always enjoy a piece of it there. A twist on the classic den, it presents as an alternative entertainment area and serves as another example of personality and custom consideration that has been afforded this country home.

The kitchen has seen a complete redesign and renovation, reflecting a grand country kitchen space and allowing for pragmatic additions that did not exist previously, including a mudroom, laundry, powder room and wine cellar.

Published 30 September, 2020
Photography  Chris Warne
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