The enduring global appreciation of the farmhouse aesthetic was built upon the notion of finding beauty in the use of honest, necessarily hardwearing materials, where function and simplicity are honoured for themselves. As tastes and expectations have evolved, the ensuing popularity of the modern farmhouse has seen this handsome style evolve into a more refined version of itself, but the principle remains: practicality and beauty must reign in tandem.
Responding to a ‘modern farmhouse’ brief from the developers of a new build in Flinders (on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula), Kate Walker Design sought to create a restful space within its visually striking, all-black exterior articulation. “We wanted to add a contemporary edge to the classic farmhouse style,” says principal, Kate Walker. Inside, steeply pitched ceilings and abundant black steel-framed windows emphasise the serene, airy feel, with deeply comfortable, laid-back furniture selections expressing the new take on modern country-comforts.
Highly regarded as specialists in the specification of hard-flooring finishes, Kate Walker Design looked to Fibonacci Stone’s Road Trip tiles and slabs. “We selected a terrazzo because the bathroom, laundry and powder room needed a stone that was hard-wearing and high-end at the same time, and that would add a gutsy, masculine feel,” says Kate. “The sludgy tones of Road Trip were perfect for bringing the colours of the outside in, which is a key element of modern farmhouse style. It reflects all the colours of mother nature, and was the perfect base for the main bathroom which was designed to be used by three boys – so it had to be really practical and very easy to care for.”
Working through these unprecedented times, the importance of outstanding industry relationships is increasingly paramount. “Kate Walker Design specifies only the best hard finishes for their projects, and they are passionate about providing a uniquely holistic end-to-end supply service, as seen here in their Flinders project,” says Michael Karakolis, founder and creative director at Fibonacci Stone.
Indeed, the respect is mutual. “Working with Fibonacci Stone is such a joy because of Michael’s palpable passion for terrazzo. The care, detail and quality control he ensures across every piece makes him so reliable, which is vital for the high-end properties we specify his product for,” says Kate. “Fibonacci’s materials are faultless, as is their customer service. They are forward thinkers and pioneers in the industry, and they are always open to working with us in creative ways. If terrazzo suits the client’s design aesthetic, it’s always our material of choice.”
Photography by Armelle Habib