Small Space, Big Ideas

Pink terrazzo, Art Deco-esque arches and bold colour choices are the cornerstones of this eclectic, functional, yet small cottage extension. The design work of Adelaide’s Sans-Arc Studio, we chat to studio director, Matiya Maravich about the inspirations behind this 2020 Dulux Colour Awards finalist design.

What/who were your design inspirations for this home?

We drew upon the clients’ love of art deco and  P+O architecture. We wanted to give the addition an earthy, adobe feeling – grounded but fun. We also had to display their glass and pottery collection. We drew upon the bold colours of these as a basis for the colour in the space.

How important is the colour selection when working with a small space? What tricks/tips do you have for enlarging a space using colour?

White ceilings (and high ceilings) are good to make a small space feel big. Colour blocking can help reduce busy looking spaces by blending items into one continuous area. We’ve used colour blocking in this project to delineate between areas and highlight the different forms against each other. Balancing colour is also very important, some dark can be good, but generally if you want to make a space feel big when it isn’t, then use light colours.

What are some of the most common challenges people face when deciding to DIY design?

I think it is easy for people to get caught in short-term trends because they don’t want to be boring. There is nothing wrong with clean, simple materials that feel good. Using timber where you can and with whites, greys and timeless colours is a good place to start. Taking big design risks or doing something that ‘looks funky’ can be dangerous without a good design eye or the right advice. I think we tend to be onto the next cool thing really quickly without investigating or doing one style of design really well. If you want to go industrial with your home-reno, then go full on, or if you want something timeless, buy the best materials and design you can afford.

What’s your favourite designer trend for 2020?

I’m enjoying the new Italian design trend through graphics, architecture and interiors. I love Italian Futurism and the radical design movement so it is nice seeing this stuff re-emerge.