Felicity & Paul’s Innovative South Australian House

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Name: Felicity (interior designer) and Paul (architect), Jade (6) and Ella and Mia (twinnies, 18m)
Location: Torrens Park, Adelaide, South Australia
Size: 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
Years lived in: 2 years; Owned

What an impact! Walking into Felicity & Pauls’ 1975 architect designed wundervault*, I am immediately reminded of a trip to Paris and being overwhelmed by the beauty of the Arts et Métiers station on the Paris Métro, a station clad in shining curved copper.

*quite possibly a word I made up for this article

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The 30-metre high River Red Gum in the front yard (Image credit: Leanne Bertram)
(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Here, a world away from Paris, in Adelaide, Australia, the rich golden tones of the plywood ceiling is no less impressive, and perhaps even more so considering the differences in the pliability of the two materials.

This, my friends, is true beauty in form.

Although quite modest in original design ( 2 bedrooms, an open living/dining area, a kitchen, bathroom and ‘utility’ room ( laundry ), the high ceilings, open spaces and 2 courtyards make this home feel quite expansive.

In the two years the family have lived here, 3 has grown to 5, so Paul and Felicity have moved the master bedroom upstairs into what was originally termed an “attic”, leaving the downstairs bedrooms for the girls.

With louvered windows and circling ceiling fans to regulate temperature, it’s worth noting Adelaide summers can get a bit toasty – regularly hitting over 40-42° days ( 104-108°F ).

I couldn’t think of a more beautiful home to escape the heat.

(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Is relaxed and practical. We like the concept of “less is more” and try to stick to this as much as possible but finding it more and more difficult particularly now with young babies ( Paul would prefer us to have a lot lot less but that’s just too hard for me! )

Our style palette is neutral and natural (a mixture of blacks, whites, greys and timbers as a base palette with added pops of colour here and there)
For us, this palette is timeless and compliments the architecture of our home well and doesn’t compete. I am going through bit of a timber artifact /object phase at the moment- I love the concept of how useful everyday objects are also a piece of art. We love Australian Design and we also love fossicking around second hand shops for interesting items when we can.

Inspiration: We are both very lucky in our industry to be surrounded with a wealth of amazing inspirations through colleagues/contemporaries/friends/history/websites/ blogs /journals. We love Modernist Architecture/design and James Bond Films. I must say that lately I am rather inspired by the talented people that I follow on Instagram!

Favorite Element: Would have to be our barrel vaulted ply ceilings. We never tire of the space and volume they create and the connection they give to the sky. We are forever finding new forms and ‘pictures” that we make out from the natural knots and grains of the plywood (just like cloud watching!)

Biggest Challenge: Feeling like we never get anything done since our beautiful twinnies entered our family!!! So many projects on such limited time.

What Friends Say: 1st – “Wow that’s a huge tree!” – we have an impressive 30 metre high River Red Gum in our front yard

2nd – “Is that a pizza oven?” We have an original solid cast-in concrete arch over the wood combustion heater (and no it’s not a pizza oven)

3rd – “Did you guys design this?” Even though our home was built in 1975!

Biggest Embarrassment: We have outgrown the home already! (we committed to purchasing the home before we were expecting ….. twins).

Proudest DIY: While still a work in progress, so far it would have to be the BIG tidy up of the outdoor garden space. The good stuff is definitely yet to come!

Biggest Indulgence: Probably our King Sofa…we love how it adapts so well to our changing needs and lifestyle.

Best Advice: Get to know your home and understand the relationship between spaces before committing to any major changes. Preferably try to experience all four seasons so you can truly understand how the spaces respond and relate to the natural environment.

Try and free your surroundings of clutter to allow a clear mind. In the famous words of William Morris “have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful

Never underestimate the benefit of Indoor plants and fresh flowers to give your interior spaces a boost of life and just to make you feel good.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match styles and eras and have fun.

Dream Sources: Where to start….oh so so many….it’s impossible to list as I would fear missing one and would feel so guilty!

(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Resources of Note:


  • General wall Colour – Dulux Natural White
  • Storage/heater alcove – Dulux Tristan
  • Mid Grey Wall Dining room- Solver Snowdonia
  • Passage Wall colour – Dulux Tinker


  • Cow Hide Rug (Daisy) NSW Leather Co. Pty Ltd
  • Miscellaneous Glassware – sourced from anywhere and everywhere including second hand stores


  • Lounge- Jasper by King Furniture
  • Coffee Tables- King Furniture
  • Floor rug – Ikea
  • Floor Lamp- Ibis Floor Lamp by Touching Space through Stylecraft Furniture
  • Arm Chair – Pocket Chair by Discipline through Stylecraft Furniture
  • Arm Chair Cushion – On The Sly


  • Wall Clock – Freedom Furniture
  • Red Chair – Toro Chair by Schiavello
  • Dining Chairs – Derlot Lerod/2007 through Stylecraft Furniture
  • Copper Tray- Roule Tray by Discipline through Stylecraft Furniture
  • Stool – Drifted Stool by Discipline through Stylecraft Furniture
  • Glassware – sourced from anywhere and everywhere including second hand stores
  • “Kink” Vinegar & Olive Oil Bottles by Deb James The Jam Factory
  • Grind Pepper Mill -The Jam Factory



3RD BEDROOM ( Jade’s )



  • Chinese water carrier – Antique shop at Goolwa SA


  • Framed Optometry Chart – Sourced from a project Felicity worked on
  • Mobile- Flensted
(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Thanks, Felicity & Paul!

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