Classic Australian landscapes, juxtaposed with modern Japanese architecture and natural materials are exactly what you’ll find at The White House by SJB. A pavilion style home located in the Victorian beachside suburb of Rye, it reflects modern coastal living with an unaffected aesthetic. With its open plan layout and endless natural light, the home reflects a laid-back atmosphere paired with classic minimalist design elements.
Traditional Japanese elements may not be the obvious choice for an Australian environment, but they certainly pair well in this home. At the facade, you are greeted by a large floating timber entryway that can be utilised for outdoor seating and entertaining. Surrounding the home, a Japanese-inspired garden incorporates established native trees, pebbles and mud rocks to encapsulate tranquillity through the natural landscape. Once you’re inside, it’s clear the design embraces a wide array of natural light, contrasting beautifully with the many shadows it casts.
Materials are similarly stripped back. Light timber extends across the floors to the kitchen cabinetry, and the exfoliated granite kitchen benchtops blend well with the surrounding light green storage elements. In the lounging area, the built-in fireplace draws your attention through its elevated stone platform, while on the ceiling, exposed timber beams add a level of depth to the room. Past the oversize barn doors, you’ll find the same recurring design elements in the bedrooms and bathroom, the latter featuring exposed granite, unique shelving and a waterfall shower.
The furnishings span from custom made pieces to high-end designer wares, highlighting the minimalist charm of the spaces. A large Kartell ‘Four’ table takes centre place in the dining area, with woven chairs beside it and ceramic potter lights hanging above custom-made by Anchor Ceramics. Greenery and plant life dotted throughout the home add a natural touch, and the custom sofas make the lounge feel inviting and plush – spending a few hours reading a book here wouldn’t be hard! Surrounded by multiple glass side tables, patterned throw rugs and a striking sculpture by the fireplace (inspired by the Australian landscape, no less), there is certainly a lot of personality reflected here. This is in every sense a ‘home’ – not just a house but a lived-in space, one that clearly reflects the identity of its occupants.
The homes designer and owner Ljiljana Gazevic (Interior Director of SJB) created the home with the vision of making a retreat for her and her partner, architect Axel Baumann. “There is the generosity of space here and the large windows give a quality of light that is perfect when relaxing on the sofa or practising yoga. Fully retractable windows create a seamless transition to the outdoors with a strong connection to the garden” says Ljiljana.
With an abundance of natural lighting, flowing energy and native landscape, we think the White House certainly ticks all the boxes as a space to recharge one’s batteries after a stressful day – and even better, it does so while integrating its natural surrounds. And as Ljiljana points out, it’s also a renewed base for the editing and curating of new art, furniture and accessories for years to come.
“We shared common vision to design a relaxed and contemporary house where inside and outside are strongly connected to the natural landscape.”
– Ljiljana Gazevic, designer