Creating a Sense of Place: The Curtain Heritage Retirement Project

Creating a Sense of Place: The Curtin Heritage Retirement Project

In the realm of interior design, there are few projects as fulfilling as transforming a space into a warm, sophisticated environment that truly feels like home. In the case of the Curtin Heritage Living Project designed by Hames Sharley, we had the opportunity to catch up with Emily Wilson, one of the lead interior designers who embarked on a journey to create a residential aged care facility in Cottesloe WA, that surpassed conventional notions of an institution.

Curtain Heritage Living Velis Tub Chairs by Potocco & Otway Porcelain Coffee Tables by Kett

The initial design concept for the aged care facility was driven by a deep empathy and understanding of the residents' needs and well-being. It was important to the client that the new interiors helped ease the transition from their homes into care and they felt the best way to achieve this was through infusing the space with life, comfort, and sophistication.

Curtain Heritage Living Velis Tub Chairs by Potocco & Otway Porcelain Coffee Tables by Kett

To achieve this, the Hames Sharley team focused on creating a "sense of place that was carefully balanced through texture, colour, and the familiar characteristics of the Waterfront Cottesloe community," says Emily. Drawing inspiration from the identity of Cottesloe homes, Emily and her team meticulously selected materials and furniture that reflected the rich blue hues of the Indian Ocean, the dusky orange and pink sunsets, the rippling waves, sun-bleached timbers, and the vibrant native greens.

Curtain Heritage Johanna Sofa in Velvet by Kett (left) & Velis Lounge Tub Chair by Potocco with the Otway Porcelain Side Table by Kett (right)

Emily also mentions that the new residents were mostly already living in Cottesloe, and by seamlessly blending these environmental elements and incorporating them into the interior, the design team at Hames Sharley were able to create casual yet intimate settings that could immediately evoke a sense of familiarity for the transition. 

Curtain Heritage LivingJohanna Sofa in Velvet by Kett (left) & Velis Lounge Tub Chair by Potocco

When it came to selecting these furnishings, the brief called for a range of casual and refined materials, finishes, and furnishings to achieve a modern, homely ambience. Cosh Living, a high-end luxury furniture retailer with an extensive range of local and imported designer pieces that are not only beautiful but exceptionally comfortable, seemed to match CHL and Shalely’s vision perfectly.

Emily felt that alongside the handful of European pieces selected, Cosh Living's Australian-designed and locally-made furniture proved to be an ideal fit for the sophisticated beachside location. “The versatility of the timber finishes and the ability to customise fabric meant pieces could be used to create different moods in various locations of the project.”

Curtain Heritage Forrest Sofa, Lounge ChairCoffee Table & Side Table by Kett

Emily goes on to explain that balancing practicality and aesthetics became a fundamental aspect of this part of the design process. “We conducted thorough testing of every piece of furniture, ensuring comfort and ergonomics aligned with the needs of the residents”. Working closely with Cosh Living and their selection of locally made furniture meant they could alter seat heights of key pieces to ensure that all the furniture offered the support that the residents would require.

Curtain Heritage Forrest Sofa, Lounge Chair, & Wye Armchairs (outdoor) by Kett, Branch Bistro Tables by Tribu

The Curtin Heritage Living project is one that serves as a testament to the profound impact and importance of good design. Emily describes her experience on the project as truly wonderful, to work with a client who displayed a remarkable understanding of design and a deep commitment to the well-being of their residents. Through this collaborative experience, dedication to the residence and meticulous attention to detail, Hames Sharely and Curtin Heritage Living successfully created a residential aged-care facility that defied traditional notions of institutional environments. 

Curtain Heritage

Photos by Jody Darcy

Back to blog