West Hobart House by Cumulus Studio

Drawing inspiration from a lifetime of exploring Tasmania’s lush and rugged landscape on foot, Cumulus Studio’s latest completed project has been shaped by the trail less travelled. As passionate bushwalkers and enthusiasts of Tasmania’s Wilderness, the vision for West Hobart House emerged from the client’s deep connection to the land. With a palette reflecting the colours, tones, and textures reminiscent of Tasmania’s iconic bushwalking huts, Tasmanian Oak was chosen to help establish warmth and a connection to the beloved memories created along some of Tasmania’s treasured bushwalking trails.

From hut to home

Adjusting the interior layout of the existing home to establish a firm connection to the outdoors was an essential element of the design brief. The once dark and compartmentalised home was opened to the outside courtyard through the installation of big picture windows and large glass sliding doors, allowing the interior space to seamlessly flow into harmony with the outdoor garden. A dark-toned slate tile was selected for the bathroom and carried out into the garden courtyard, continuing the reflection of the use of hardwearing materials.

Essential to the brief was a design to allow the clients to age in place, and the requirement to incorporate materials on the inside that are commonly seen in huts when bushwalking in Tasmania. This has been done through the incorporation of brushed stainless steel, brass, and Tasmanian Oak throughout the interior but in an elevated and refined manner to create a humbly luxurious home.

“When you first walk into the space, it’s warm and inviting. It brings the clients daily joy as they can easily look around and be reminded of being in those bushwalking huts that they love spending time in. The materials like the stainless steel and the Tasmanian Oak reflect those memories of being on the trail but they’ve been finished in a more refined way” says Cumulus Studio Interior Design Lead, Lucy Watts.

Tasmanian Oak makes a home

While the home’s layout was reconfigured to open up the space, the current timber framing, flooring and details remained in excellent condition. Adding in additional Tasmanian Oak flooring, cabinetry, shelving, joinery and a solid Tasmanian Oak kitchen island bench, the new timber was stained to match the existing timber elements.

“The Tasmanian Oak floors and detailing were still in great shape but had a darker stain. We decided to match the new timber with the old and went with a natural stain by Osmo called ‘Havana’. It was our first time staining Tasmanian Oak as we typically opt to keep it natural, but the timber responded really well to the stain and the end result was beautiful,” says Watts.

Carrying the use of timber into wet areas like the bathroom, and laundry, Watts says she’s happy to use timber in these areas of the home.

“A lot of people typically shield away from using timber in wet areas, but as long as it has been properly sealed and treated, it’s a great option. I helped my mum renovate her bathroom five years ago, and we chose Tasmanian Oak. It still looks brand new today,” says Watts.

To complement the medium-toned stained timber and maintain an ever-present connection to nature, earthy terracotta tiles were selected for the kitchen and the bathroom. As a nod to both the home’s original period and the client’s love for two of Tasmania’s famous bushwalks, bespoke stained-glass windows brought an added layer of personalisation and homeliness.

“While the clients are avid bushwalkers, Frenchman’s Cap and Federation Peak have always been special for them. They’ve brought their love in for these walks with bespoke stained-glass vignettes of the mountains, placed at the threshold dividing the active and passive areas of the home. The texture, colours and materials truly capture their love for wilderness throughout the space,” says Watts.

Photography: Jesse Hunniford

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The Details

Cumulus Studio
Hobart, Tasmania
Date Completed:

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