The China White is not your typical narrow-lot design. Standing proud on an 8.7m-wide block in the heart of Subiaco, this sophisticated urban home was designed for a grown-up family who had built with Residential Attitudes before and couldn’t wait to do it all again.
Referencing the porcelain and motor industries that helped define the Subiaco landscape in the early 1900s, the China White marries clean, utilitarian lines with big, comfortable spaces that embrace their surroundings and capture the very essence of city-centre living.
It’s a modern, spacious, free-flowing home that also gives a nod to the terraced houses and classic apartments of Europe, with their rooftop gardens and lofty views of the neighbourhood.
Working within a rigorous set of local design guidelines and a clear brief from his client, designer Michal Kurtis has combined the industrial and the heritage, with the current and the coveted.
China White’s main street façade takes its inspiration from the openness of factory and warehouse spaces. Even the ‘servo’ of yesteryear, with its open face and square lines, can be spotted in the design. The upward slant of the walls was typical of the era but today gives the whole elevation a modern edge. The result is stunning street appeal that has depth and dimension. This may be wall-to-wall housing in the truest sense, but there’s no reason it has to look timid, flat and silent.
It was a natural decision to pull the living and dining area forward overlooking the park so that this area of the house not only benefits from the view and northern orientation, but it also literally opens up to the ‘street’ via a huge bank of stacker doors.
Everything from entertaining and hobbies, to the day-to-day needs of a family of four grown-ups, has been thought about carefully and considerately while tuning neatly into the Subiaco lifestyle they all enjoy.
This is an expansive urban home that doesn’t shy away from its environment.
And needless to say, the fit-out is cool and contemporary, with built-in flexibility to change as needed.
Here’s a run-down of the 12 lifestyle features we love most about the China White:
Roof terrace: Making sure every bit of space counts the roof terrace is a ‘secret outdoor hideaway’ leading off one of the minor bedrooms. The laundry has been placed upstairs with a door to the roof terrace, which doubles as a drying courtyard.
Park view: Making the most of the park has given the home an ‘adopted’ garden complete with statement sculpture. Elevated from the street, it’s easy to watch the world go by without leaving home, feeling connected and part of the local community.
Just the right size: No wasted space and no hours spent cleaning areas that never get used. This ‘rightsizer’ has everything covered with spaces that are used every day.
Dual frontage: Visitors can drop by using the ‘front door’ facing the park, while the garage and entry door at the back make it easy for those arriving via the rear laneway.
Boudoir balcony: With its own outdoor space, the master suite is so much more than simply a bedroom retreat.
For the stay-at-home millennials; The upstairs floor plan has been arranged as two distinct ‘wings’ divided by the rumpus room and void, giving adult offspring their own zone.
Inside out: Is it an alfresco? Is it a courtyard? It’s both! From morning yoga practice to family barbecues and holiday get-togethers, the central outdoor spaces can be combined as needed. Even the study/guest bedroom/multi-purpose room opens up to the alfresco.
Indoor/outdoor kitchen: Not only do stacker doors slide back to open the kitchen up to the alfresco and the courtyard, but the dining room can be opened up to the outdoors too. Wrapping the house around the main outdoor space has created a private sanctuary that can be enjoyed all year round.
Multi-purpose space: If it’s not being used as a home office or hobby room, the study makes a generous guest bedroom, complete with storage and easy access to a powder room that is effectively a third bathroom thanks to its walk-in shower.
Connection: The China White may be on a long narrow block, but nowhere feels disconnected or isolated. Equally, there’s always a space to retreat to.
e-nook: Neat and discreet, the e-nook in the kitchen is a must for many a modern family.
Open-plan flexibility: The easy-to-use spaces feel open and flow freely, yet the layout allows for flexibility and the ability to divide and furnish as needed.