Selby House by Placement

Words by Bronwyn Marshall
Photography by Tom Ross
In Partnership with Laminex

In reorientating the heart of Selby House, Placement has created a living zone that is defined by a vibrant palette and frames views both inwards and outwards.

For Selby House, located in the Victorian town of the same name, Placement’s brief was to create a family hub that would celebrate connection and openness, while practical joinery by Laminex integrates the owners’ love of colour. By allowing for a ‘place for everything’, the design team has brought a sense of welcome order to the family home. That order, as well as a lively new palette, set the tone of what is to come from the entry onward. By applying bold colour to the irregularly shaped joinery, the journey through the home and the living spaces becomes animated.

“The joinery ‘walls’ act as thresholds to this open-plan space, giving a sense of privacy while still being connected,” says Placement Studio Co-Founder Stephanie Kitingan.

Placement began by flipping the order of rooms: the existing kitchen became a foyer and bedroom, while the awkwardly shaped hexagonal space that housed the living and dining areas was reconfigured to include a new kitchen. The joinery by Laminex not only helps to define the new floor plan and mark out specific functions but is also intended to be a binding mechanism to bring people together. Remaining connected to others and the surrounding landscape – the house sits on four hectares of bushland – was also a key driver of the brief, and openings within the joinery facilitate both. As the home is surrounded by lush greenery, Laminex’s Moroccan Clay is used to balance the green hues that dominate the home. “Moroccan Clay is where we landed, as it has a really beautiful complementary feel to the lush landscape,” says Placement Studio co-founder Stephanie Kitingan.

Amid existing features such as the stone fireplace, new crisp lines and a vibrant palette bring a liveliness to the home. The living areas sit at the centre of all the activity, and the weaving series of joinery connects and separates these areas. “The joinery ‘walls’ act as thresholds to this open-plan space, giving a sense of privacy while still being connected,” says Kitingan. “The bold forms reference elements of Memphis Design, where colour and pattern feature in joinery, fixtures and finishes through bold colour blocking. Laminex has a history in Memphis Design too, so we wanted to carry that story through to the present day in a subtle and considered way,” says the architect.

Creating openness in the movement between spaces and a visual cohesiveness throughout is integral to Placement’s design. The warm clay base colour is complemented by blues in various textures. “Being predominantly a joinery exercise, our palette came from referencing the existing post-modern aesthetic,” says Kitingan. “We wanted a consistent, soft finish to the hue of the joinery, especially because we’re basically employing that finish everywhere.” The spaces, dotted with custom furniture such as a kidney-shaped dining table, feel both intimate and more expansive, depending on the number of guests.

Selby House highlights connection as a vital aspect of contemporary living. Placement’s stand-out joinery integrates the owners’ love of colour and sense of vitality while allowing a sense of openness and being deeply durable. With a growing family, finding a material that could take the wear and tear of a thriving home was essential, and “Laminex seemed like a really good candidate,” recalls Kitingan. “The family is able to flex and breathe and grow in the space, as well as find moments of intimacy and respite.” An enriching home for the family, Selby House is a shining example of how Laminex’s joinery elements elevate the home’s aesthetic and functionality.

Architecture and interior design by Placement. Build by Armourbuilt Carpentry. Joinery by E & C Joinery. Surfaces by Laminex.