Experience informed design, elevated by immaculate detail | Nolan House by FE Design
Speaking to Fiona Bruzzano (Fee), from FE Design, it’s hard not to be taken with her passion – she loves what she does and approaches each design project with an open and curious mind.
“I try not to replicate any of my projects. They are unique and bespoke to each client – curated stories. It is absolutely a collaborative pathway throughout every project.” – Fee
Nolan House was no exception – a renovation project full of poise and personality – not short of its challenges but of course, that’s what makes a great story.
Owners Alexis and Rob have indulged a life of travel and share an affection for the alpine environment. Along with a deep appreciation for luxury and the finer things in life.
The concept of ‘beautiful living’ is an important part of their story and becomes a motif throughout their home – one that the couple would share with friends and extended family through their love of entertaining.
Their 1970s brick abode was purchased while the couple were overseas, but upon their return they discovered they needed more room – they realised they needed to renovate. A sloped site was the first of many obstacles, all of which were eventually overcome with the right amount of creative problem-solving and teamwork.
“The project became a complete collaboration between clients, planners, builders and other trades. This meant there was a lot of design freedom to go beyond their comfort zone and build a very unique home.” – Fee
Hard working design
In the living area, the story motif is materialised by rich textures, decadent colours and immaculate attention to detail.
Exuding a bold elegance, a MODE Peninsula gas fireplace with 3 sides of glass casts eyes over the lower level of the home.
Sitting within a purpose-built wall, the fireplace designates spaces within the open plan area, creating privacy and areas of intimacy, as well as softening the journey of noise throughout the home.
“The living room grew throughout the design process,” Fee explains “when you have a large open plan design, whilst aesthetically beautiful, it’s not easy to control noise that travels or create zones for peace and quiet.”
“I have been working with Stoke for many years, so my clients went to visit, their heart was sold on the three-sided MODE Peninsula – this created the need for a wall to feature all three sides. The design and purpose of this wall became very functional and hard working.” – Fee
The fireplace is an exemplar of Fee’s love of unconventional design – it sits between an opulently veined marble, and a curved, fluted cladding demonstrating the unexpected harmony of conflicting shapes and materials.
The fireplace shares the wall with bespoke, hand-stained oak joinery – a unique design made possible thanks to MODE’s flexible flue technology and zero clearance rating.
Natural, gold veined stone was selected early in the design process. “It’s like choosing a piece of art,” Fee says, “It’s very individual and once chosen, it sets the palette.”
While the bold material was a risk, it was one which paid off – the density is beautifully balanced by the MODE Peninsula’s airy flame.
Fee recalls how Alexis, Rob, and their two children fell in love with the MODE Peninsula at first site on their visit to the Stoke Sydney showroom. A nature-inspired fuelbed narrates the couples Nordic adventures – a nod to the rugged, alpine terrain.
More than just visually stunning, the MODE Peninsula provides the family with an efficient and convenient heat for the cooler months, as well as the option to have the fireplace on ambient mode when a powerful heat is not needed.
“MODE gas heating is so efficient and provides a natural flame as close as possible to a real log fire. I have absolute trust in Jarrod from Stoke Sydney as a specifier for his fireplaces. The MODE was a superior design with its clean glass sides and frameless appearance – low line and sleek.” – Fee
Ultimately the hero of the space, the MODE Peninsula also serves as a metaphor for the unique impact of collaboration – be it the collaboration of materials, skills, or experiences to create something spectacular.
Find out more about the MODE Peninsula here.