Grandeur of Italian villa design for Australia’s leading homewares HQ

Drawing from the grandeur of Italian villa design and subtle organic antipodean references, a warehouse of modest proportions in St Leonards was transformed into a gestural expression of arched volumes and tactile finishes for Australia’s leading home accessories brand, Cultiver.

Sequenced over two levels, the new flagship showroom required zones for trade customers to experience Cultiver’s range of bedding, tablecloths and napkins, cushions, bath towels and mats, plus loungewear, demonstrating the ease in which their collections could seamlessly mix and mingle.


It also needed integrated areas for staff to both work and liaise with clients that offered opportunities for new product range photo shoots plus a dedicated space for stock storage and distribution. Aesthetically, it had to wield the mood enhancing impact of colour – akin to the company’s design philosophy – with a touch of luxury that invited interaction at every turn.

Budget constraints forced the designers to pivot resourcefully, settling on references to Italian loggias with arched colonnades plus bordered checkerboard marble floors. Holding pattern, a rich tapestry of tourmaline-hued stones add an aged legacy to the revived space. Upon closer inspection each veined ‘tile’ is hand- painted on a poured concrete base, with trompe-l’oeil grouting binding them together by long-term YSG collaborators, Creative Finishes. Removing a wall and doorway to conjoin two rooms, a shouldered arch replaces the severity of original right-angled returns and aluminium architectural framing devices.

Its fine hand-drawn pinstripes add depth to its margins whilst acknowledging the delicate Cedar Stripe design on a selection of the company’s linen pieces (as does the striped charcoal and chocolate carpet upstairs). A custom ottoman seated before open oak shelving is loosely fitted with a Cultiver fabric, its finished edges echoing the scalloped details of the arch.

The existing kitchen was refreshed with the addition of gumleaf grey/blue joinery and a custom impasto splashback bearing a textured imprint of native tree leaves. Further responding to Cultiver’s socially responsible fabric selection process given its pure Italian linen, 100% Mulberry silk and Turkish cotton, plus recycled denim are OEKO-TEX® certified, the natural leaf motif also appears in vintage glass wall sconces dotting the stairway to the office spaces aloft. The existing steel handrail was entwined in soft leather. Warm to the touch, it ushers engagement with the ranges displayed above.

Upstairs, domestic vignettes are gently framed via recessed arches and partial height walls that dually act as display ledges with goods at arm’s reach. Even the newly built kitchen area serves multiple roles: accommodating staff meal preparation, enabling dining plus internal and external client meetings around the dining table, and facilitating intimate product launch events as it conjoins a lounge area. The warm salmon terracotta shade of the arched zone matches a floor tone beneath, whilst visually expanding the room’s depth.

Embracing the relaxed wrinkles and pre-washed softness of Cultiver’s natural linens to achieve a ‘lived in’ feel, a vast selection of furniture and rugs are vintage, with velveteen fabric refreshing two armchairs. Complementing the structural curved embraces, rounded returns abound, from the rattan dining chair backrests to the bone-hued travertine coffee table and nubbly cream sofa behind it that provides a neutral canvas for Cultiver’s seasonal cushion ranges to settle upon.

Images by Prue Ruscoe via ArchDaily

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