Australian Homes

Peter and Helen Cole

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 13th March 2013

The Kyneton home of artists Peter Cole and Helen Cole – this is the exterior of Peter’s studio.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room. Large sculpture in far corner ‘Information’ , 2009 by Peter D Cole.  All small sculptures by Peter Cole.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room. Timber sculpture at left – ‘Impossible Alliance’ , 1979 by Peter D Cole.  Large sculpture with books – ‘Information’ , 2009 by Peter D Cole.  Wicker chair by Marc Newson.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The open plan living area, designed by Peter, looks out to the back garden through an amazing enormous frameless glass window.   Vintage Danish leather sofa in foreground. Timber sculpture near door – ‘Impossible Alliance’ , 1979 by Peter D Cole. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Peter’s ‘Shibuya’ sculpture sits on a shelf at the front door.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

I tell you what, TDF has introduced me to some pretty amazing people over the past five years, but meeting sculptor Peter Cole, and his partner Helen, a painter, really was something special!  You know those people you meet who just have so much wisdom and experience to share… you feel like a wide eyed kid, asking too many questions?  Peter and Helen are one such couple – both so incredibly talented, so generous and friendly, so entertaining and lovely to chat to.  Photographing their beautiful home in Kyneton recently with Sean Fennessy was just a DREAM SHOOT.  Perfect weather, brilliant company, and such a beautiful outcome, if I do say so myself!

Peter, or as he is professionally know, Peter D. Cole, is one of Australia’s most well known contemporary sculptors.  He is amazing!  In his purpose built studio adjacent to their home, Peter creates the most incredible sculptures, characterised by their angular, architectural forms, minimalist lines and bold, very distinctive colour palette (as you can see here, he has a thing for RED!).  His work encompasses large scale public works, as well as smaller pieces, utilising a variety of sleek materials including powdercoated steel, brass, aluminium and marble.  He also makes beautiful abstract watercolour paintings.  He has won numerous accolades and awards over the past 40 odd years, and his work can be seen in many public and corporate collections throughout Australia, including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra’s Parliament House, and at Brisbane International Airport.

A testament to Peter’s incredible skill and creative vision, he designed this home from scratch (!!), with the assistance of an experienced draftsman to produce the necessary drawings and details. Peter and Helen were then fortunate to find a young local builder, Toby Williams, who took approximately eight months to build the home, from demolition to occupancy. It was completed in late 2010.

‘The design of the house really came from the brief we gave ourselves’ explains Peter.  ‘That included high ceilings, large, almost gallery style living, and the ability to capture the cool evening breezes that the Kyneton climate offers most of the summer’. The style of the home, in particular the exterior, came from looking at Tokyo houses, with their minimal aesthetic and contemporary details. ‘The house is built on an elevated, almost floating platform with a simple set of steps at the entrance’ says Peter. ‘This is in a sense like the way you enter a Japanese temple.

The home’s interior is a light-filled, generous space, which does indeed feel like some kind of cross between a gallery and a house.  In designing this home, it seems as though Peter has created the most perfect backdrop for his own work.  Or, I guess some might say, he has created an enormous sculpture to live in!  Many of his pieces feature throughout the home – though, he says these are always on high rotation.

‘Most of the work is of our own making, so this is a changing experience, due to the fact that this our livelihood’ says Peter.  However there are a few pieces that he and Helen would never part with. Amongst them, ‘Impossible Alliance‘, a piece displayed in the living area, which is an early work of Peter’s from 1979, made from Australian timbers. It depicts the Pentagon being transformed into a Mosque, and was inspired by a trip through Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan in 1974.

In addition to designing the home and most of the artwork you see within it, Peter has also designed and made many of the less obvious details too. Most of the door handles and drawer pulls were made by Peter, along with many of the light fittings.  These modern details sit happily alongside Peter and Helen’s collection of modern furniture and favourite antique pieces. ‘We have always enjoyed the juxtaposition between antique furniture and the modern’ says Peter.

Other treasured pieces here include artworks by close friends, including work by Peter and Helen’s son Oliver, who is a photographer and stylist.  The Mark Newson pieces they have collected are also special – ‘they remind us of times spent in Tokyo’ says Peter, explaining that Helen and Oliver once had a shop in Richmond called AMO (Artist Made Objects), during which time Oliver met Marc Newson!  Um, AMAZING!  These pieces were sourced from the Idee shop in Tokyo, which was owned and founded by Teruo Kurosaki, who helped Marc Newson produce a number of his earlier products.

MASSIVE thanks to Peter and Helen for sharing their very special home with us today!  DO visit Peter’s new website to learn a little more about his work.  He’s also very entertaining (and can be quite political!) on Twitter!  Peter is represented by John Buckley Gallery in Melbourne.

 

Looking from living area through to study.  Work on paper (left) and small sculptures on table all by Peter D Cole.  Embryo chair by Mark Newson.  French provincial 19th Century painted vitrine.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Detail from Peter’s ‘Shibuya’ sculpture at the front door.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living area details.  Super Guppy lamp by Marc Newson.  ‘Le bombole’ love seat and chair by Mario Bellini.  Sculpture on right – ‘Earth and sky’, 1987 by Peter D Cole. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen, featuring custom door handles made by Peter.   Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Study.  Painting to right and all small sculptures by Peter D Cole.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom.  Side tables and bed designed by Peter D Cole and made by David Emery.  Painting by Mark Howson.  Yellow plaster lamp and freestanding sculpture by Peter D Cole.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom.  Bed designed by Peter D Cole and made by David Emery.  Painting by Mark Howson.  Plaster lamps on bedside and pendant by Peter D Cole.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom detail.  Painting by Helen Cole – ‘Hand made’ 2010.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bathroom.  Pendant lamp by Peter D Cole.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

This impressive sculpture by Peter greets visitors in the entrance hallway.  (The sculpture consists of all three wall mounted elements plus floor standing element). Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Peter’s purpose built studio, adjacent to the house.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Peter’s studio, adjacent to the house.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

AMAZING pool, hiding from view down one side of the house, accessable via the master bedroom.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking across pool towards Peter’s studio.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

House exterior.  The house is centred on a large old claret ash tree which is at the front.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

 


by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 13th March 2013

31 comments

  • Cathg1g2 2 years ago

    WOW

  • Jane 2 years ago

    This looks like a really fun and happy house to live in – even down to the bright kitchen door handles which I love. Great find!

  • Emily Wignall 2 years ago

    So much fun! I can just imagine wandering around that house being delightfully surprised around every corner. Such a great example of living with art.

  • Pamela Oberman 2 years ago

    This is a sharp house/studio -

  • Penguin Vicki 2 years ago

    A breathe of fresh air and design. Fabulous

  • Moya Delany 2 years ago

    Wow !! I was lucky enough to have Peter as my sculpture lecturer and he is THE BEST !! I wouldn’t be anywhere without him.

  • kim 2 years ago

    Great simple interiors and fitout. Especially inclusion of art work. Would be great to see more of exteior and how it sits within landscape. – epseically love the ceiling to floor window, detailed exquisitely so interior and exterior meld together.

  • owls house london. 2 years ago

    I really like the mix of traditional furniture with the hits of primary colours and modern pieces. That green door is a knock out!

  • White Forest Home 2 years ago

    What a beautiful space…bright, light, simplicity and great pops of shape and colours… LOVE!

  • This was a delightful feast for my eyes!

  • Ann 2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful home Helen and Peter! (Ann from Aussie Galleries days yonks and yonks ago..!)

  • Cara 2 years ago

    WOW! My hands down favourite TDF house… and let me tell you i’ve looked at them all! :)

  • Lauren 2 years ago

    Amazing house. Thank you ! Loved this Lucy.

  • Ak 2 years ago

    One of my favourite homes so far! Awe inspiring and unique design all the way through and peter’s work is simply amazing! Great discovery !

  • Johno 2 years ago

    Love the green doors!

  • Elsa James 2 years ago

    Eeek! What a stunning space – so light filled, love the bursts of colour in each room and contrast of sharp edges and circular shapes and contemporary and antique. Really unique, thanks Lucy! x

  • Christine 2 years ago

    I totally love the Australian homes you pick for your shoot! They are so bold and yet so stylish! Just like this home of Peter and Helen. Thanks for sharing! x Christine

  • Claudia Lane 2 years ago

    This one is a beauty Lucy! Thanks for sharing. Cx

  • Love the light and space in this house.

  • health 2 years ago

    Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Very useful info specially the last part :) I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck. health http://wiki.chaotic-games.com/index.php?title=Starting-The-Street-To-Recovery-Via-Sober-Does-This-Insane-Diet-regime-Guidance-Make-Better-Long-Expression-Feeling?

  • ejorpin 2 years ago

    Gorgeous – light, white spaces filled with such a wonderful mix of styles, eras and colour. Makes me want to fill my home with sculpture!

  • testdomain 2 years ago

    I will right away grab your rss as I can not findyour email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service.Do you’ve any? Kindly let me know in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  • Kim 2 years ago

    OMG I just walked past this house on a delicious weekend away! I was trying to peak in and yippee I don’t have to! So amazing I am a bit excited!

  • paddy&kevin 2 years ago

    2 of the most stylish people walking the planet

  • Kate Austin 2 years ago

    Sooooooo jealous! Such a creative and personal space. What a life they must live in that wonderful home!

  • Ruth 2 years ago

    Very bold, without being overpowering or obnoxious – Not an easy feat!

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