Flack Studio’s Armadale Residence

 02 Nov 2018

Only a mere four years since founding, one Australian design studio in particular has captured the world’s attention. Gracing a litany of Asia Pacific’s leading design awards programs – including the shortlist for the Belle Coco Republic Interior Designer Of The Year for 2018 – Flack Studio has quickly established itself as one of Australia’s most innovative and tenacious design practices.

Armadale Residence is one of Flack Studio’s recent residential projects in Melbourne. In the home’s restraint of colour there is a superabundance of textural depth. Revelling in the dichotomies of beauty – dark and light, refined and robust – it emerges with a personality entirely its own: one courageous, heartfelt and intelligent. Stepping inside from the overbearing activity of Melbourne you find yourself in a sanctorium of absolute calm. Here, the riotous colours of urban living cede to a serene palette of chocolatey golds, blacks, whites and greys. And much like Flack’s own sensibility, such a design prompts you back within: a retreat into mindfulness; a slower, quieter living where, womb-like, you’re immersed in total sensory profusion.

Working within the client’s preference for a restrained colour palette, everything upon which the eye alights appears meticulously handpicked. Where a rush of colour might otherwise provide bold, visual interest, here instead the eye is unhurriedly drawn down to textural chevron timber filling the floorplate with soft geometries. Offsetting the lustre of its patina by adjacent white walls and generous use of Calacatta marble, the pristine sincerity of white allows the interventions of time and nature to shine through – whether that be in the curious knotting and ring marks of timber, or the delicate veining and variegation decorating stone surfaces. Mottling is elevated to the distinction of a masterpiece. Discolouration becomes a coveted detail. And everywhere, hand finishing on brass fixtures, trims and fittings demonstrates the incredibly granular scale at which Flack designs. Meanwhile, touches of the macroscale – particularly the use of stained American Oak joinery across the home – serves to reunite a variety of spaces into one harmonious design resolution.

Streamlined, confident and fuss-free, this sense of self-assuredness carries through all elements – be it in the sleek form of the Zip HydroTap specified in the stylish rectilinear kitchen, or the expertly minute curation of tonal varieties throughout furniture, fixtures and surfaces – all reflecting a particularly contemporary approach to thoughtful living.


In more ways than one, Armadale Residence’s sense of harmony offers a correctional to the excesses of our daily lives. At once insouciant and attentive, discreet and dynamic, the home declares a system of quiet contemplation as paramount. Refusing a clamour of polychromatic activity, the home looks for its hypnotic cues elsewhere. And here we note yet another instance of ‘Flackification’.