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An Interior Designer + Builder’s Calming Glen Iris Home

Interiors

When the couple behind this Glen Iris pad set out to build their dream family home, they knew they wanted it to be a calming sanctuary.

Nala Ryan, of Nala Design, and husband Joel, a builder with Orbis Constructions, started the project during the peak of the pandemic (shortly after welcoming their second daughter!) and the build was completed in 2021. Despite the challenges of building a property amid lockdowns, the end result is a triumph – a tranquil, yet sleek and contemporary space, with garden views from every room.

25th February, 2022

The show-stopping kitchen by Nala Design. Photo – Dylan James

The family home has plenty of indoor and outdoor spaces for entertaining on the 470sq m block. Photo – Dylan James

Soft flowing curtains help diffuse natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Photo – Dylan James

Even the hidden-away butler’s pantry features the same minimalist colour theme. Photo – Dylan James

Sleek and stylish. Photo – Dylan James

‘As the property is surrounded by trees, our vision for this home was to look outwards for inspiration. The home forms a relationship within its environment, creating a feeling of a true sanctuary, a tree house,’ Joel Ryan says. Photo – Dylan James

The sculptural stairs blend brick and timber. Photo – Dylan James

Spot the impressive curved timber wall, which Joel says the home has become known for. Photo – Dylan James

A peaceful garden completes the Zen-like atmosphere at the abode. Landscaping by Brett Robinson, ACRE Landscape Design. Photo – Dylan James

The family have relished having a home office amid the pandemic. Styling by Karin Bochnik. Photo – Dylan James

The chic basement theatre features green walls. Painting by Peter Churcher, ‘Regarding Picasso’, oil on canvas. Photo – Dylan James

A wine cellar anyone would be envious of! Photo – Dylan James

Twin sinks in the bathroom. Photo – Dylan James

Timber battens create light patterns in the bedroom. Photo – Dylan James

‘The entry into the home is an adventure, with a winding crazy paved pathway leading to floating steps made of hand made Krause bricks,’ Joel says. Door by West Wood. Photo – Dylan James

Complete with a sweeping curved feature wall! Photo – Dylan James

Christina Karras
Friday 25th February 2022

Husband and wife duo Joel and Nala Ryan had already designed, built and developed four previous homes together, before embarking on the build of their own home. By that time, they had a clear vision for a project that would be perfect for their family, and make the most of the property’s green surrounds.

‘As the property is surrounded by trees, our vision for this home was to look outwards for inspiration. The home forms a relationship within its environment, creating a feeling of a true sanctuary,’ Joel says.

‘The selection of colours is calming, chosen to unify the indoor and outdoor spaces. The native green [colour] palette can be found in the powder room and [basement] theatre where it is combined with the Signorino Terrazzo bench-tops and Japanese curved finger tiles.’

Joel calls the entry ‘an adventure’, with its winding crazy-paved pathway leading to floating steps made of bricks, while an enormous American Oak front door and skylight welcomes people into the light-filled residence.

Inside, the home is characterised by warm finishes, untreated timber battens, pitched ceilings and large spans of organic raw concrete. A curved timber wall is the hero feature of the home, complemented by a stylish curved kitchen, designed by Nala, and a sculptural oak staircase.

The couple’s architect, Archtistic Designs Group’s Fabrizio Peda, helped ensure functionality was at the heart of this design – which meant ensuring the home would seamlessly accomodate studying and working from home. ‘We underestimated the importance of the dedicated office, which is tucked away from the heart of the home – something that has become so important given the way we live these days’ Joel says.

‘Having elements of the landscape visible from every window of the home is something very special for us’ Joel continues. ‘Welcoming the sun into our backyard early in the day, only to see it dance around behind the canopy trees to the front of the home is a wondrous thing.’

See more of Nala Design work here and more projects by Orbis Constructions here.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net