Japanese shoji screens Are you keen to embrace a screen that stands out, rather than blending in? Traditional Japanese shoji screens, with their beautiful and breathable washi paper panels, offer an option in between pervious flyscreens and impenetrable walls or glass doors. Today, many shoji screens use fibreglass or acrylic panels, but traditionalists can still opt for true washi paper inserts. This translucent, porous material welcomes diffused light and balmy summer air indoors, but screens against mosquitos and bugs. While they don’t withstand wet weather well, shoji screens are ideal for undercover use.
Retractable insect screens work in a similar way to roller blinds and usually feature a spring-loaded system that neatly rolls the mesh back into its frame when not in use. Retractable screens are often the best option if you need mosquito netting for apartment balconies or patio enclosures. These designs can withstand wet weather and you can often choose from standard strength mesh or heavy-duty aluminium. In this balcony, hidden screens have been fitted vertically to slide up and down on tracks that blend invisibly into the verandah’s pillars.
Location: Woollahra, NSW Set-up: An open-plan kitchen/dining room used by a young family in a small 1950s terrace house Size: Around 20 square metres Design architect: Luigi Rosselli at Luigi Rosselli Architects Project architect: Sean Johnson Interior design: Sean Johnson and the client Builder: Building With Options Joinery: Kitchen Trend
A contemporary entertaining area, which was designed in conjunction with the architect, comes complete with a barbecue, outdoor fireplace and generous seating, making it an idyllic place to entertain friends and family. To provide privacy Scott planted non-invasive, clumping gracilis bamboo (Bambusa textilis ‘Gracilis’) adjacent to the alfresco area. “It’s a great bamboo variety for Melbourne – fast-growing and ideal for screening where you have a narrow footprint,” along with Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata). Ben Scott Garden Design “I grew an ornamental grape vine over the pergola to provide summer shade to the entertaining space. Being deciduous, it allows the winter light in so the space can be enjoyed in the cooler months,” says Scott. An L-shaped built-in seating area makes it easy to accommodate extra guests.
The project began with some construction work: the designers changed the entrance area slightly and merged the attic with the bedroom, so the room is now several square metres larger and 2.2 metres taller at its highest point. Such a space needs light, so the next step was to change the windows. The one window in the bedroom was extended to a height of three metres, and a second smaller window was added next to it. The shape of the windows follows the slope of the roof. Instead of curtains, specially designed MDF shutters provide privacy. A glass barrier was installed outside the windows to create a Juliet balcony. There are two young children in the house, so safety is a priority for the owners. Convection heating was built into the floor.
Lovely placement - must be Golden Rectangle - but wood strip is useless and unusable - so essentially just a spider home. Be aware that LED lighting does have its side effects. It has been found to have ‘photo-toxic effects’, which can lead to macula and retina degeneration, plus it can alter your circadian rhythms, which makes it harder to sleep. Using LED lights with a warm white tone is currently the most successful way to combat this. But as LED technology evolves, these issues are likely to be solved.
2. Hide the TV Hiding the TV is a subject dear to many people’s hearts – and this Melbourne home has one of the cleverest solutions around. When the TV is not in use, it’s hidden by mirrors on rolling barn tracks. This also means the relatively narrow living area appears larger, as light from the mirrors is bounced around the room.