‘The Barn at Berry’ is builder Chris Mann and his wife Taylah’s latest build and their family home. Reminiscent of barn style builds, Mann Made in house designer, Mel Allen, took interior design inspiration from their lofty internal spaces and use of panelling.

Working with Chris and Taylah to create a modern light and bright kitchen, Mel used multiple textures to create a visually interesting space that reflected Taylah’s personal style. “The combination of traditional finishes such as marble, walnut and brass were integrated with fresh and modern whites to cover both old world and new design trends,” explains Mel.

The Heart of the Home: The Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home and one of the favourite places for the family to gather. “The curve to the island bench is one of our favourite elements,” says Taylah. “With the positioning of the kitchen within the home, and young (but tall!) children, we opted to curve the front face of the bench for aesthetics as well as safety. To further accentuate this feature, we selected the fluted profile of Porta Contours in Cirque and finished it off with a brass kick 100mm off the floor for ease of cleaning.”

As a textured canvas suitable for straight and curved applications, Porta Contours in Cirque are perfect as a feature in a kitchen. “The fluted look of Cirque softened the look of an otherwise plain island front. It added in some much needed texture to a white kitchen,” explains Mel. “We are all for a white kitchen so long as you have a few textural elements such as timber, contrast and shifts in sheen level.”

Ideal for painted finishes, joiner Jason, from Oceanside Kitchens, selected Cirque in pre-primed Pine and used a 2pack polyurethane spray finish in Dulux Snowy Mountains Quarter to complement the cabinetry.

Mel’s Kitchen Design Tip

As one of the most expensive investments in a home, Mel shares a great tip on creating the perfect kitchen. “Hold everything loosely in your mind before settling on any selections in particular. Gather your concepts and samples and, ideally, have a designer for your sounding board - they can save you making costly mistakes! An amazing joiner is worth their weight in gold, and this stunning result is courtesy of Oceanside Kitchens. Your kitchen first and foremost should be practical in layout, functional and provide easy flow of traffic. From there it’s all down to smart finishes and colours that reflect the people that live there.”

Kitchen Design Trends

On the horizon, the Mann Made team see a movement towards bespoke, furniture style kitchens that can be easily integrated into open living spaces. “We see less formal ‘kitchen’ designs with more freestanding islands on legs as well as textured finishes, mixed materials and organic vibes emulating a sense of quiet sophistication”.

The Great Escape: The Bedroom

In the master bedroom, Chris was faced with a design challenge. “With an odd sized wall in the bedroom, a custom bedhead was required. Using Contours allowed us to build this to the exact size we needed,” explains builder Chris.

Rather than using Contours in Cirque, like in the kitchen, they decided to change the profile to Riverine. “We love that it’s the convex version of Cirque. We kept the theme of profiles running, but swapped out profiles to change it up. We love the tactile qualities that this particular profile gives to the headboard, the variations in tone are great too.”

“Using timber in a bedroom space is important to maintain an organic feel, so this was another consideration when deciding on a painted or natural finish. We finished the timber panelling in Osmo Polyx Oil in Raw.” Osmo Polyx Oil is one of Mel’s favourite finishes allowing the timber to appear as natural and untouched as possible.

Bedroom Design Tips

Mel’s top tip for creating your own bedroom haven is to have a key colour palette in mind, and work to that. “We took inspiration from a beautiful artwork by Aurora Art that was gifted to Taylah by Chris. The natural elements within the art lent itself to a raw timber finish over the Riverine profile. We styled with selected bedding from local suppliers to finish the look. Chris and Taylah have a young family, so we have designed a calm quite space with muted colours to create an inviting feel that will stand up to the young children.”

Bedroom Design Trends

Recent times have seen the bedroom become a respite from the world, so Mann Made see a tend towards earthy, muted colours and organic materials that invoke a sense of well being. “A combination of strong design and excellent build quality will ensure we are creating relaxed havens for our clients to enjoy,” says Mel.

Designing Unique Spaces

Inspired by the contours of the Australian landscape, Porta Contours add natural warmth, texture and movement to any space. “Porta Timber offers an exceptional range of contemporary and classic profiles through local suppliers, which ensures that we can continue designing unique spaces for our clients to appreciate into the future,” shares Chris & Taylah.

About Mann Made

Mann Made is a design and construct company that specialises in bespoke builds with a focus on end-to-end design. “We revel in the process of developing a build from start to finish, getting to know our clients and creating them beautiful spaces to call home,” says Chris.

Product used: Porta Contours Riverine in Tasmanian Oak and Cirque in Pre-Primed Pine
Build: Mann Made Building & Construction
Design: Melissa Allen
Building Designer: Craig Jonson
Kitchen: Oceanside Kitchens
Photography: Red Berry Photography
Location: Berry, New South Wales


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