The Sage House - From the Old to the New
Video Feature
Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Photography Kintaro Studios
Words Rose Onans


The Local Project presents, in collaboration with Artedomus and New Volumes, an insight into The Sage House by interior designer Carole Whiting. The family home works with the old and the new to create a narrative of handcrafted design, gentle lines and organic materiality.

“I think a person’s environment is really important and I think that being in a beautiful environment can definitely affect your mood, that’s what interior design does”, says Carole Whiting. “It presents you with an emotion, it’s visceral, it’s something you feel when you walk into a space and you know whether its good design or not intuitively”.

Sage House By Carole Whiting
Agape Vieques Basin on Maximum Taxos porcelain panel vanity. Agape Vieques Bath with Maximum Saturn wall and Core Shade Plain floor.
New Volumes Hurlysi side tables by Thomas Coward.

The Sage House achieves this through its simple, thoughtfully-designed spaces. With a neutral colour palette and emphasis on natural materials and organic forms, the atmosphere is one of calm and relaxation. The clients wanted “a simple nice environment, they didn’t want to be too showy”, Carole explains. From this brief, a narrative of hand craftsmanship, gentle lines, neutral tones and organic materials was established.

This theme drew Carole to include a wide range of Artedomus products in The Sage House. “This was not by design, it just organically grew”, she says. This began with Artedomus Elba, a beautiful marble with soft grey veining that is unique to Artedomus, used in the living space, kitchen and bathrooms.

Elba featured on bench tops, desk and joinery elements.
Agape Vieques Bath with Maximum Saturn wall.

The main bathroom is extremely open, designed around the Artedomus Vieques bathtub by Patricia Urquiola. “It doesn’t always work out that way but that particular space definitely grew around that gorgeous bathtub” says Carole. Phil Brenton, Artedomus managing director, explains that the Vieques bathtub was design by Patricia Urquiola for a W hotel as a new version of a traditional steel tub. “It’s been around now for 10 years but the old saying is always true, good design lasts forever”.

This sense of timeless, understated design is carried through to the kitchen, where Elba is the main work surface providing a gentle counterpoint to the traditional black range and black steel windows. While Elba is a functional surface in the kitchen, it takes on a new artisan quality in the New Volumes designs throughout The Sage House.

Elba joinery elements.
New Volumes Hemera lamp by Ross Gardam.

New Volumes is a collection by Artedomus of unique designs by a diverse group of eight designers including Ross Gardam, Emma Elizabeth and Tom Skeehan. Each designer produced work interpreting Elba in their own unique way. Each is handmade and hand finished, and the natural stone means no two pieces are identical. “They’re unique, each piece is different, each piece of stone is different, it behaves differently but the features of the material come out in the work”, says Phil. “I think the beauty of natural stone, the natural timber and the natural fabrics that are everywhere through the house – I think they just fit together brilliantly.”

Carole explains that “it was important to make it feel handcrafted and down to earth. Everything is placed in here as informally as we could so it feels relaxed”. This possibly comes closest to expressing what makes The Sage House so special. Relaxation comes with feeling comfortable and supported in one’s environment, and in The Sage House, one intuitively feels that everything is just as it should be. Not ostentatious or overly decorative, The Sage House exemplifies the power of simple, good design.

Elba vanity with Agape Surf tray and Surf accessories.
Agape Vieques Basin on Maximum Taxos porcelain panel vanity.
Detail of New Volumes Spomenik Ⅰ bowl by Marsha Golemac.
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