Using Tasmania Timber as a feature piece where it counts

If you want to make an interior space burst with character, look no further than the alluring design of the Sand Castle for inspiration. Studio Yugen’s Creative Director Georgina Twyford opted for Tasmanian Oak as the centrepiece of this luxe, light-drenched Queensland home. Porta’s Strata Tasmanian Oak Lining Boards run vertically up the hallway to meet the kitchen and adjacent living area. Georgina breaks down her interior design methodology for this stunning home renovation.

Firstly, what is the role of an interior designer?

I think first and foremost, we talk about functionality. That is the core of what we do. We also do touch on wellness and overall lifestyle. So we just ensure that the client is engaging with the physical materials that we are specifying. They get to touch samples and be a part of that process really early on. We can educate them about why we select these materials and how they should make you feel and how durable they are, which is important, especially living along the coast here. Some of the projects are directly on the waterfront, so there’s talk about corrosion, durability, salt, and things like that. So it’s having a deep understanding of not only the look and feel but the actual physical space and how those materials will enhance their lifestyle and meet the brief.

Do you try and specify timber where possible?

We always try to specify raw materials if we can. It does bring you closer to nature even though you’re within an interior space. We talk about different textures and feelings, and we try to educate people that a lot of man-made materials are now being scrutinised due to the VOCS (volatile, organic compounds) and nasty things like that. They can have a really damaging effect over the long term within your home.

We explain how beautiful and timeless natural materials are. And they’re not always more expensive. It’s just the way they’re applied, and if it’s within a feature in a home, it’s well worth the money just for the look of it.

So if there are budget constraints, you can be smart around using a timber centrepiece?

We were lucky with this project as it’s a three-bedroom apartment, so it’s quite a small footprint, but we did want a hero, and the timber helped create that.

Also, the linear lengths of the timber help create a greater sense of height and an overall sense of entry down the hallway. It was easily applied by using this simple timber baton method. It was just a nice way to create some warmth in the space and not have it all white and bright, like many coastal interiors.

Was light and bright a part of the client’s design brief?

They were inspired by a renovation that had taken place in the penthouse, I believe in the same building, and we looked at that project. Something we did find that was missing was the element of a warmer material being used. So that’s why we chose the Porta timber product. We also had the ability to wrap it in a radius to provide some curves to the design, which just helps soften the overall apartment because, naturally, they are quite square or rectangular. So it provided more of a softer feature for the living space.

How does the Queensland market perceive Tasmanian Timbers?

They definitely have a good reputation in terms of colourway and overall strength. We are using Tasmanian Timber in a lot of the jobs in Brisbane at the moment. It’s due to the palette being a little bit lighter than other traditional Queensland timbers like Jarra, Merbau and other red tones, which don’t seem to be on trend at the moment.

Photography by Kristian Van Der Beek

Learn more about the Porta range here

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