Designer Isabelle Harris chose Eveneer Xilo Black 2-Flamed veneer for the bathrooms at the Centennial Park project, turning them into hero spaces in the Federation style residence.

Crossways House, designed by architects Waterhouse and Lake, is a refreshingly beautiful nod to the past. Built in 1908, it is an example of the Federation Arts and Crafts style but was stripped bare of much of its detail in the 1980s. Architect Jonathan Spicer and interior designer Isabelle Harris were engaged to design the upgrade of the house including the kitchen, dining room, bedrooms and bathrooms.

While several spaces feature the stunning Xilo black veneer, the bathrooms – normally hard surfaces – have become hero spaces; Isabelle compares these spaces to living jewellery boxes, her favourite room being the guest powder room. The project has skilfully and sensitively re-inserted elements such as the dark veneer panelling, which references the original in a contemporary and subtle way.

Growing up in a Glenn Murcutt home provided the designer with the grounding in, and appreciation for fine art and architecture, and the house she now lives in provided her the perfect opportunity to follow her passion.

“In Australia we design well for pared back indoor-outdoor spaces, using concrete, stone and light timbers, but this was an exercise in looking back to the past.”

Eveneer Xilo Black 2-Flamed was selected as the perfect colour tone – a dark cool rich timber with a subtle yet striking grain, the perfect shade against the stained parquet floors – not too grey, not too warm. The outcome is a superb marriage of high-end finishes and considered and masterful detailing.

The project is a testament to the fact that great joinery is the result of the triptych relationship between designer, supplier and joiner. N&J joiners took on the challenge, bringing their own passion and commitment to the best outcome. Acknowledging the quality of Eveneer allowed them to achieve the organic curves and appreciate the quality and consistency of colour and grain.

Isabelle observes that the Eveneer sits quietly with the other luxurious and natural finishes of timbers and stones.

“The veneer is stunning; I’d love to be able to work with it again.”

Photography: Dominic Loneragan