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Gloss House
Gloss HouseA Tale of Colour & Materiality
FIB Doherty Design Doncaster East 11052213333

Inspired by the Palm Springs mid-century modern movement, Gloss House embodies Australia’s propensity to evolve global influences making them our own. It is a split-level, 1950s-esque residence complete with all the pillars of mid-century design - clean lines, flat planes, a low, linear roofline, raked ceilings and the celebration of indoor-outdoor living. “We wanted a home for lifestyle and entertainment,” says owner Michael Karakolis, “a place where you could lose yourself when the day was done. A place you wouldn’t need a holiday from and at times, would feel like you could be in any number of places around the world!”

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Fibonacci Doherty Design Doncaster East 11052213498
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In a suburban Australian residence, designed in an architectural style originating in the US and home to a family with European bloodlines, customisation plays a leading role in the way the home knits together its composite parts. This bespoke approach to both the programmatic and aesthetic facets of the project is something Studio Doherty embraced wholeheartedly to cultivate a place that upholds the rituals and patterns of living singular to its inhabitants while evoking emotion through the intuitive and creative personalisation of design.

As both homeowner and Director of the Fibonacci brand, Michael immersed himself in the opportunity to push the boundaries of programming, maintaining that the residence would remain a two-bedroom home despite its spatial generosity, and materiality, establishing terrazzo as a moderator for other materials. As someone who professionally exists on the periphery of design, it felt natural to embed himself into the design process of his own home. “I learnt throughout the process that loving design isn’t enough,” he acknowledges. “You must be committed to the design process to achieve a great outcome. I learnt more about the value of supporting creativity and the staggering potential of collaboration. Where I believed I had a good understanding beforehand, as the client I got to see things more closely and from the perspective of the different team members. You realise very quickly that either you are helping realise the vision or you are an obstacle to achieving it and that it’s the small innovations that we often end up appreciating long after a project is finished.”

“You must be committed to the design process to achieve a great outcome. I learnt more about the value of supporting creativity and the staggering potential of collaboration."
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In a home defined by uniqueness and aesthetic and functional agility, terrazzo finds a way to support and bind the overarching design narrative while never overwhelming it. Michael’s love for materiality was a key driver and the barometer for Studio Doherty's measurement of all other finishes, the diversity of which has unified in a manner of refinement that according to Michael, can only be achieved “by great designers.”

The visual expressions of the residence’s main floors are carried by two bespoke terrazzo colours created specially for Gloss House. “The aim was to have a material that broadened the scope of the interiors,” explains Michael, “to have a bit more kook while also tying into the modest form of the architecture.” Upstairs, Ghosted floor tiles lay cohesively throughout the kitchen and dining area. Within a soft grey base, this tile holds fragments of pale clay and moss aggregate emboldened by occasional jolts of darkest grey. The design complexity mediates between striking visual poetry and the capacity to be considerate of the other materials in its orbit, ensuring that the resoluteness of a custom steel staircase in Yves Klein blue and the softness of the dove grey Mondopiero DTile clad kitchen benchtop, island and splashback shine bright. Downstairs, a contemporary rendition of the sunken lounge setup that dominated the mid-century era is tempered by the robust complexity of Polarity tiles. The elemental expressions and cool verdigris tones of the terrazzo counterbalance the sumptuous warmth of the bright orange carpet, a similarly toned Tufty-time sofa by Patricia Urquiola and the playful underwater view into the jewelled aqua depths of the swimming pool beyond the room’s walls.

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Fibonacci Doherty Design Doncaster East 110522223300

The kaleidoscopic palette continues throughout the home. The main ensuite is a verdant wonderland of leaf green Hacienda tiles that converse with bamboo views from a striking operable oculus window. Another bathroom continues the Yves Klein blue of the staircase, right down to its fine grain evident in the blue grout defining the edited geometry of simple white floor tiles.

In like-minded collaboration with Studio Doherty, Mud Office and Enth Degree Architecture, Gloss House has emerged as an explosion of colour and creativity, dovetailing the perfect measure of kook into an environment that reorients what the Australian lifestyle is all about.

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