The Loft

The Home Base blog

Plantation Paradise

This luxury custom-designed residence marries a monochromatic scheme with a lush outlook


Capturing the essence of plantation-style living was a top priority for the designers of this gorgeous five-bedroom home in Perth, built by Oswald Homes.

Lush foliage provides an explosion of colour against whitewashed rendered walls, weatherboard cladding, white timber window frames and black painted storm shutters.

Decked wraparound verandas extend living spaces outside and invite occupants and visitors to put their feet up and relax.

Picture: Joel Barbitta, D-Max Photography

Picture: Joel Barbitta, D-Max Photography

The monochromatic materials provide a clean, timeless colour palette but according to designer Brook Leber, they were also selected to minimise maintenance and ensure that owners could enjoy their weekends rather than doing jobs around the home.

The aim was to build a passive solar home that maximised northern light, seamless transitions from inside to out, and effective zoning to delineate entertaining and sleeping zones.

But the spectacular build was not without its challenges, starting from the ground up. Brook says the shape and gradient of the vacant parcel of land were not stock standard.

Brook says the sprawling plantation-style homes of yesteryear were originally designed to provide a cool haven away from Australia’s notorious unrelenting heat.

Picture: Joel Barbitta, D-Max Photography

Picture: Joel Barbitta, D-Max Photography

This plantation-inspired home is perfectly located along the river and overlooks a backyard pool surrounded by glossy green vegetation. Working with the principles of passive solar design meant windows are thoughtfully positioned to encourage cooling sea breezes to flow through the house, while deep eave overhangs and verandas provide welcome shade to help keep interiors comfortable.

“Whilst the home appears to be built on a flat, standard-sized lot, the block is actually 80m long and tapers from 24m at the front to 8m at the rear and it slopes 4.5m,” he says.

“Given the sloping narrow nature of the site, the brief was to work with the wedge and create a unique home that concealed the challenges and minimised level changes.”

The solution to working on the irregular block was to rotate the garage 90 degrees. “By stepping the dead side of the home, we concealed the taper, maximised northern light and created a unique façade,” Brook says.

The slope was dealt with by adding a carefully considered step up to the internal design.

“This meant we could work with the contours of the site, create useable outdoor living spaces with the added bonus of reducing the earthworks costs.”

Brook says the layout caters for entertaining on a grand scale, and the great room, kitchen and alfresco areas are spectacular.

“Those spaces really are the heroes of the home,” he says. “They cater for large family entertaining, they are light, large and inviting, and all look out on to the resort-style pool.”

The kitchen and scullery are a keen chef’s dream and are well set up for everyday use.

“They not only look amazing but they’re also well designed, hard-wearing and could accommodate the needs of a large extended family on Christmas Day,” Brook says. “The scullery essentially creates a separate overflow kitchen for cooking but also conceals the dirty dishes when entertaining.”

Picture: Joel Barbitta, D-Max Photography

Picture: Joel Barbitta, D-Max Photography

Practicality was also considered with an enormous drop area for school bags, coats and sport equipment located just off the laundry and scullery. Both the ensuite and a second bathroom were created to be luxurious but practical spaces. Freestanding baths and top-notch fixtures and fittings feature throughout.

Brook says all rooms have garden or pool outlooks, helping to create the feeling of resort-style living. Each separate zone boasts its own large and luxurious ensuite and bathrooms and are far enough away from each other to ensure no one is living in anyone else’s pocket.

Picture: Joel Barbitta, D-Max Photography

Picture: Joel Barbitta, D-Max Photography