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MWa Design Files: new aesthetics for residential interior design

At MWa, we are constantly feeding our appreciation of fine design by looking for new aesthetics for residential interior design.

1 PORCELAIN: Porcelain is changing the asthetics of interiors

From textures and colours, to its thinness, large format porcelain sheets are being used as flooring, walling, benchtops and any other surface including cabinetry.  It’s unique, moving on from replicating the look of other materials such as marble, granite or timber, and coming into its own.  See the beautiful new aesthetic on display at the Artedomus showroom in Roseberry, Sydney.  Streamlined kitchen in maximum marmi onyx gold.  Image:

2 WHITE: White is the new black.

We’ve loved bringing a little bit of black back into interiors, as it gives such a punch and drama.  But we’ve noticed white is coming – white fixtures such as powdercoated taps by AstraWalker, and white steel doors in powdercoat by Dulux Electro Flat White by Steel Windows Australia .  Less contrast, more fresh. Image: / Hot Yoga Studio

3  CURVES: Be lead around the corner.

A curved wall with some texture, you can’t beat it as the way to enter into a space.  We’re using this device in a current project, to transition from the old to the new, from one level to the next, from the hallway into the open plan, just down the stairs and follow the curve…  Image: www. / Move Yoga


4 WALLPAPERS: Bold and exotic.

Unlimited in colour and motifs, wallpaper is a seriously delightful way to add character to interiors.   We have been lucky enough to have seen some stunning wallpapers installed recently in our Pymble project:  in the hallway, in the library, in a dining room and wrapped around huge sliding pantry doors in the kitchen.  We have a client who has a stunningly colourful black and white wallpaper with butterflies in colour, in a teenage girl’s bedroom wall (Butterfly Garden).  The challenge is choosing!  See,,  Image  Ardmore collection – Narnia, 109/10049

5 PERFORATED METAL MESH: Breathable joinery.

Why, we’re not sure, but we are seeing more perforated metal mesh being used in interiors, in particular, in joinery.  Cupboard fronts – breathable pantry?  Also great for robes.  Certainly useful for TV joinery so the remote control lasers work without opening the cupboards.  Here’s a stunning use of perforated brass mesh.  Image: Murdock Young Architects / Further Lane Kitchen.



MWa Architecture, Interiors and Outdoor Living.  Call us today to find out more.

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Australian Interior Design Awards

Australian Interior Design Awards

Australian Interior Design Awards

MWa have entered The Diamond House, Artarmon, into the 2017 Australian Interior Design Awards.

The home’s interior design reflects the choices and standards of contemporary domestic life.

From a house built in the depression, amidst a materials storage and with an outdoor toilet – to The Diamond House of today, this project is a sensitive adaption of an outdated home and reflects the values, aesthetics and standards of today’s domestic life.

The house balances both traditional and contemporary design influences, in a cohesive interior.

Space standards, bathroom amenity, privacy, indoor/outdoor connection, abundant natural light, control over solar access (blinds and vergola), inbuilt USB ports, garaging, home office nook in the kitchen, rainwater tanks – these are all illustrations of contemporary lifestyle and domestic technology.

The insertion of new bespoke joinery into an existing traditional timber bay window seat in Bed 04 – which can be removed at any stage, and the new contemporary box bay window in Bed 03 – are examples of old to new within the home.

The consistent, fresh and playful use of materials and colour, inside and out, also garnered recognition with a commendation in the Dulux Colour Awards for Residential.

The materials and colours form a palette of Australian hardwood (blackbutt), existing red bricks, new “bowral blue” facebricks, off form concrete, concrete look large format tiles through the home including wet areas, colourbond “monument” to new doors and windows, dulux “whisper white” joinery and trims, and orange features (dulux “coppersmith” front door and cladding, “tangerine” pinboards, orange indoor/outdoor cushions, corten steel landscape features).

The winners are announced 9 June 2017.  For more information about the Awards, click on the following link:

The Australian Interior Design Awards recognise and celebrate interior design excellence via a credible, industry-based program, which is backed by the Design Institute of Australia, the professional body representing Australian designers. The Jury this year are Sonda Banney, Elizabeth Carpenter. Amanda Stanaway, Mark Simpson, Nick Travers, Tony Chenchow, Sophia Leopardi, Fiona Lynch.

Outdoor kitchens – MWa in Home Beautiful

Michelle Walker Architects featured in an article about outdoor kitchens in Home Beautiful magazine. outdoor kitchens outdoor kitchens outdoor kitchens outdoor kitchens outdoor kitchens outdoor kitchens

Excerpt from article:

THE BARBECUE IS at the centre of any summer party, where the sizzle of snags forms an ambient background to repartee and good fun. But if you’re missing punchlines every time you have to duck inside for the olive oil, it might be worth expanding your basic barbecue into an outdoor kitchen. And it’s not as extravagant as you might think. More and more, we’re living, lounging and entertaining outside, so it makes sense to make those outdoor spaces as functional as possible.

“Having your barbecue in close proximity to the house means you may need fewer outdoor kitchen appliances” ~ Michelle Walker, MWa

Choosing appliances and fixtures requires you to get real about how you live. “A pizza oven is a great idea, but they are expensive and take up a lot of space,” says Josh. For most, the essentials include a barbecue, fridge, storage and bench space, while
a sink is another nice-to-have. If space isn’t an issue, there are many inclusions to play with. “A fireplace, wok burner, extractor fans, heating, speakers and rotisserie,” lists architect Michelle Walker of MWa. “We haven’t done a project with an outdoor TV, but clients joke about how good this would be!” Don’t just rely on a brisk breeze to clear away smoke and steam: if your kitchen is undercover – even if it has open sides – you’ll need to look into a rangehood. Crucially, all appliances must be designed for exterior use, even if they will be undercover.

Home Beautiful Magazine



MWa on Sky News – Best of Houzz 2017

Best of Houzz 2017 Winner

For a look at Michelle Walker’s winning deck in this year’s Best of Houzz design awards skip ahead on the video to minute 9.


This is MWa’s 5th win in a row.

Coastal Architecture Outdoor Living

Outdoor living - coastal style

Michelle Walker Architects feature on a promotional video and article on Coastal architecture and outdoor living on

Excepts from the article:

” For homes situated between beach and bush, maximising the indoor-outdoor flow is essential. We meet one renovator who has aced modern outdoor living.

When architect and mother of three boys Michelle Walker was looking to renovate her Manly Vale home, she wanted to create “a modern coastal home”, with living spaces that flowed easily between indoors and outdoors.

“We’re a family of surfers – my three boys and my husband all surf. For us it’s about all our living spaces opening up to the outdoors,” Walker says.

The Walkers are the third owners of this Manly Vale home located on Sydney’s northern beaches. Wear and tear over the years meant it was time to renovate, but there were a few key considerations when it came to the makeover as the home straddles both a coastal and bush setting.

The three key considerations for the new design included:

The composition of colours and materials had to fit in with the bush setting
Materials had to be non-flammable to comply with the bushfire rating
The house needed to have a good indoor-outdoor flow for the outdoorsy family.
Walker says she chose Scyon Linea weatherboards for the outdoor deck and extension as they met all the build criteria.

Traditional weatherboards are made from timber, but Linea weatherboards are made from a mix of sand, cement and wood pulp, making them bushfire resistant, as well as resistant todamage from termites and moisture.”

Click on the link below to find out more:

Palm Springs Residential Architecture: mid-century modern residential architecture, inspiration and photos from Michelle’s recent trip

Palm Springs Mid-Century Modern Architecture

Palm Springs - mid century modern residential architecture at its best

Check out Michelle’s photos of her recent trip to Palm Springs to visit the home of mid-century modern residential architecture


Michelle’s recent architecture trip to Palm Springs let her experience mid century modern residential architecture – first hand.

So many beautiful examples of homes which pioneered indoor/outdoor living and homes inspired by and connected with their landscape.  Homes toured included The Albert Frey House, Town and Country Inn and The House of Tomorrow and Steel House NO 2 by Wexler and Harrison.  External viewings included The Kauffman House and the Burgess House.  A drive around the residential sub division known as The Twin Palms estate was a treasure trove of single storey, mid century homes including The Alexanders.

These homes are Palm Spring’s desert legacy.

If you’re in California, take the chance to visit these incredible homes yourself with Palm Springs Modern Tours 

Top 10 images from Palm Springs Mid Century Modern residential architecture tour – Michelle, Dec 2016

The MWa team grows again

MWa welcomed Gareth Jenkins to the growing MWa team this year.  Gareth is a UK qualified architect with previous Sydney experience at JPW and Candalepas Architects.

He joins Danielle Apap (recently registered with the NSW Board of Architects #9687) and Melanie Blankenstein (formerly Manly Council) as our Project Architects.

Also joining us recently is Lauren Pevy, providing her expertise in small business management and administration, while working on her building design qualifications.

2017 – upcoming architecture and interiors

We are working with beautiful building details, some classic, some new, with our best work yet in our upcoming flagship projects set to start construction in 2017, including

  • plywood joinery, wall & ceiling linings 
  • wallpapers in the kitchen (and library)
  • rainforest mural wall tiles from Italy in the shower
  • brass edging and details in the kitchen and ensuite
  • resin flooring for open planned living areas
  • polished concrete floor and off form concrete stairs in the hallway
  • watermelon and lime glazed bricks in the fireplace chimney breast
  • limestone pavers and coping around the pool
  • recycled brick and sandstone interior walls