An exceptional property gave interior designer Kevin Nicolle of Outset Design the opportunity to craft a house he always aspired to own.  

Designed to capitalise on the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, Gilberton House provides the owners with a one-of-a-kind home they’ve long desired. Positioned on the banks of Linear Park’s river, the awkward site presented a challenge and greatly dictated the design approach whilst proving to be its best asset.

From the street, the house resembles a modest single story home inspired by mid-century architecture. By carving into the steep plot, Kevin Nicolle opened the home up over two levels to take advantage of the property’s aspect: the river views and parklands.

We only have a few meters of backyard, but the whole park has become our backyard.

The surrounding landscape, together with a love for mid-century design, influenced the home’s material palette with an emphasis placed on natural textures and colour tones. Coolum Random Ashlar stone, laid traditionally to respect the heritage streetscape, is a prominent feature of the façade, as is the cedar cladding.

Outset Design Gilberton House
The surrounding landscape greatly influenced the home’s material palette with an emphasis placed on natural textures and colour tones.

I wanted it laid like traditional stone with large mortar around all the stone pieces. So I worked with the labourers for a while to get the look I was wanting. It’s turned out fantastic; it’s beautiful stone.

Kevin continued the dialogue by bringing the materials of the stone and timber indoors, using limestone, cedar and timber furniture. “It gives a subtle hint of all these things still happening”, he says, as well as adds warm and makes the spaces more inviting.

Outset Design Gilberton House
Continuing the dialogue, Outset Design used many of the exterior materials in the interior

Andorra Limestone tiles were chosen as the flooring throughout the home, softening the space. “The limestone doesn’t tend to show marks because it’s mottled and not just a plain colour. It also doesn’t have the sterile nature you get with glazed tiles”, says Kevin. The painted cedar wall ties in with the kitchen’s dark palette, featuring black hardware and fittings which at the time, weren’t yet available in Adelaide. This was a unique statement which Kevin says, “keeps things more interesting”. The dark cedar wall also offers the perfect backdrop for the large painting Kevin purchased back in 1976; a piece he says he still loves just as much as he did back then.

Outset Design Gilberton House
The kitchen’s dark palette was a way for Kevin to make a statement.

Because we design all the time, we’re always looking to find something that’s a little bit different or new.

The warmth and liveability of Kevin’s home is not just down to the materials he used throughout the interior. The home is a great conglomeration of things the couple have come across over the years, reflecting their individual personalities. “We have had a long-lasting love of art and design”, says Kevin. “Most of the things in our house are things we’ve accumulated over the last 35 years”. For Kevin, this is exactly what a house should be.

Downstairs, the individual statements continue as we discover Kevin’s passion for wine. As a collector for over 30 years, Kevin saw an opportunity to create an open cellar when carving out the site. The dirt behind the walls provides the ideal environment and another chance for Kevin to inject his own personality into the home.

Outset Design Gilberton House
The cellar is a personal favourite of Kevin’s.

For Kevin, there’s not one thing he loves about the home. “I just like the whole house. This is the first house we’ve said we wanted to do exactly what we want. We’re really pleased with the whole thing”.

Living in his dream home, Kevin considers himself fortunate to own such an exceptional property, hidden amongst the trees and overlooking a beautiful aspect. “I think this is the forever home”, he says. “We would never get a better location than this.”

For more on this project and other’s by Outset Design, click here.