You know an architect really takes pride in their work when they choose to live within one of their own developments. Such is the case with Ahmad Abas of Perth firm Gresley Abas, who lives with his little family in the Soda Apartments, designed by his practice.
As an architect and interior designer, Ahmad and Emily have ‘strong feelings’ about their living space! ‘When we decided to buy the apartment, we were very fortunate to have the opportunity to completely customise it to suit our family and our lifestyle’ explains Emily. ‘We made substantial changes to the original plan, making decisions that have turned this apartment into a unique space’.
The pair were keen to create a home that felt spacious, even though it is smaller than an ‘ordinary’ family home. They decided to forgo a third bedroom, so as to increase living space. Instead, they created a versatile ‘nook’ connected to the living space. This nook is a sometimes used as a spare room or a workspace. ‘It allows room to make a bit of a mess, without taking over the functionality of the space’ Emily explains.
Beyond the living space, a lush outdoor terrace with a planted green wall softens the space, and provides shelter from the western sun. At low level the garden is edible, higher up it is hardy.
Internally, Ahmad and Emily’s home is warm and welcoming, yet utilitarian at heart. The pair share a love of vintage and industrial pieces, and a passion for chairs! Their chair collection includes the Deter’s chair designed by Hans Wegner (‘it makes everyone who sits in it completely elegant’ Emily says), and an original Danish Safari chair, and well as a contemporary Hay chair, which Emily says represents a shift from ‘conversational furniture to family life!’
Other treasures include the couple’s much loved art collection – Emily is particularly fond of her works by indigenous artists, collected during time spent in the Central desert. Downstairs, a Papunya Tula painting by Tjunkiya Napaltjarri hangs proudly in the living space, whilst upstairs ‘Parrot Men dreaming’ in Eva’s room is by Florrie Chambers, a young and emerging artist from Warakurna Artists.
Though eclectic in its decoration, Ahmed and Emily’s home is characterised by a distinct sense of simplicity. ‘It is so easy, there is nothing extra, no fuss’ Emily says. ‘We walk to work in the CBD in 10 mins, and cycle everywhere else. We have exactly the right amount of space, no more or less.’