Contemporary Perch, Castle Cove


Dylan Farrell, of
Dylan Farrell Design

Tatyana Klauzner

I met John Fielding and, after one conversation with him, knew I wanted Bellevarde to renovate my home. Given their reputation, I had a concern that they might be too busy building houses to do a refurbishment, but I needn’t have worried. John and team tackled what ended up being quite a revolutionary change with skill and professionalism.

I worked closely with Adam and Campbell from Bellevarde; they were a delight to collaborate with. They know exactly what they’re doing and everything was completed to a very high quality. They leave you feeling confident that you’re getting it done right. The time-frame was always what they said it would be and there was no need to second-guess the outcome. John is amazing. Every Bellevarde employee spoke of him with affection and respect and I can understand why. Respect is a strong currency in any industry and John has earned theirs and mine too. Without exception, I found the Bellevarde team to be honest and above board.

This is a family home and the original architect had done a wonderful job with the exterior design. I suspect he must have spent some time studying the topography as the positioning of the house is perfect for ingress of light and breeze. The designer Dylan Farrell (Dylan Farrell Design) and his partner Nicolette collaborated with Bellevarde and me to elevate the internal structure and finishings to marry with the external beauty of the house and land.

With some thoughtful changes, we were able to segregate areas of the house into zones, overcoming the feeling it might otherwise have had of being in a gallery or warehouse space. Rooms were given a more intimate and distinct feeling with subtle entryways.

Removing the cupboards and heavy window frames that were partially blocking the view and adding full height sliding glass doors has given the kitchen a much less formal feel, making it a more inviting space. It’s great for entertaining and when the kids have their friends over, it’s a light-filled yet cosy place to be in. The new doors and glass-work are millimetre perfect.

The original floors had matched the reddish colour of the previous exterior and, with a new paint job outside, they needed re-doing. I wasn’t sure it would be possible but John assured me that the wood was of a good enough quality that it could stand being bleached and re-stained. I am very pleased with how it’s turned out. Norby and his team worked diligently to get the floors and balustrade perfectly executed. Borello also deserve a special mention for their attention to all the woodwork. Domenic and the Borello team skilfully brought to life Dylan Farrell Design’s joinery drawings with Bellevarde making sure all the pieces were coming together.

Despite the rich finishes the overall feel is open and approachable. And while it’s large, I didn’t want to feel like I was living in a museum. Ultimately, Dylan Farrell Design and Bellevarde created a beautiful home that balanced luxurious materials and outstanding artisanship with casual and liveable areas.

With the job complete, I’m very comfortable knowing that Bellevarde will continue to look after the maintenance of the house.

Working with Bellevarde was rewarding and enjoyable.

Dylan Farrell, of
Dylan Farrell Design

The brief was to update the house in a contemporary transitional style on a big scale with relaxed aesthetics. The owners wanted it to be special, high-end and high specification, yet still the kind of place where you can get into a pair of shorts on the weekend, not overly precious. The house wanted a modern solution, however we cut the otherwise possibly cold edges by drawing inspiration from France and Belgium and the kinds of living finishes and urban details you might find in old stripped back Parisian apartments—finishes that will age and take wear gracefully.

Bellevarde were recommended to us by an associated client rep, and we’re thrilled that they were. John Fielding is wonderfully professional to work with.

The brick and render construction of the exterior was solid so we were free to concentrate on the interior with some broad brush exterior changes. The glazed atrium had been overly framed and needed opening up. Because the property was private and isolated, we wanted to be able to see in all directions from the central core, creating an atrium much like a large private fishbowl in the day or light box in the evening. The Bellevarde team understood this intuitively and often called on their skill and experience to suggest improvements on the concept as it developed.

A series of overly large flat walls left the previous interior feeling a little rushed and cold. Walking around, one often had the impression of arriving at a dead end. Clearing many of the walls and reducing the size of others let in a lot more daylight and gave access to larger vistas. The newly reduced wall sizes also provides context for some smaller pieces of the owners’ diverse art collection.

Refinishing the interior gave us the chance to play with colour and texture. Pickled wood, pushed-pigments, pops of colour and contrasting marble patterns lend a sense of casual elegance—the hyper micro interacting with the monolithic. Bellevarde innately understood the nuances of what we were looking to achieve. The architecture itself is spare and monolithic, so you can’t hide any error—Bellevarde’s insistence on precision meant this was never an issue.

My favourite feature has to be the powder room—a mix of marble, pigmented wood, concrete and steel that has been beautifully realised by expert craftspeople doing their finest work.

The timelines and budgets were sometimes tight but when we needed to stretch the budget, the team was flexible and understanding. Where it was tightened, it was never tightened to failure. Bellevarde ensured the process was enjoyable and collaborative from outset to completion, and their patience, skill and open-mindedness was a true asset. We are very happy with the result.

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