This Winning Renovation Takes Cues From 1930s Cruise Ship Design

Plaster Fun House in South Australia draws on Art Deco and P&O style.
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With its stucco facade and steel-framed, arched windows, Plaster Fun House is an architectural anomaly amid the surrounding cottages and 1960s brick residences in the town of Torrensville in South Australia.

Large windows keep Plaster Fun House bright and breeze-filled. The contrasting stucco and steel frames riff on materials commonly found in older homes in the area.

"The contrast between the stucco and steel windows is something we wanted to play on," says Sans-Arc director Matiya Marovich. "Those are common materials used in older houses in the area, so we referenced that, reframed it, and modernized it." 

The home also incorporates the homeowners’ love of Art Deco and 1930s P&O architecture, which was inspired by luxury cruise liners: these influences shine through in the residence’s clean white exterior, framed windows, and curved walls. 

An elongated, pink terrazzo kitchen island accommodates larger gatherings; it extends all the way into the dining area. Powder-blue cabinets provide a cool contrast.

The clients also requested more space for relaxing and entertaining—an environment that would be "full of light and fun to be in," says Marovich. They also hoped to display an impressive collection of Italian and Czech glassware and German pottery.

The bookshelves provide ample storage and display space for the homeowners’ glassware and pottery collection.

The 700-square-foot residence has an enlarged bathroom, and a kitchen and laundry space that is seamlessly melded with the dining area by way of an oversized, pink terrazzo kitchen island.

"We loved the idea of one bold element connecting the two spaces, but creating varied zones around it," says Marovich. "It felt like a logical solution, minimizing circulation space and embracing the existing dining room."  

The overhanging brass lights add a warm glow to the space, which nicely complements the cool pink and blue tones seen throughout the house. 

And while the color may seem like a bold choice, the Sans-Arc team looked to a bit of neighborhood history for some help: "The salmon-pink terrazzo color was used a lot on front porches in Adelaide in the 1950s and 1960s, so that was a bit of inspiration."

The long pink terrazzo island effortlessly joins the original dining area with the renovated kitchen.

Built-in, curved banquette seating "makes the space feel more embracing and less rigid," says Marovich. Altogether, the space radiates polish and sophistication, but still feels friendly and lighthearted.

Related Reading:

This Candy-Colored Apartment in Tokyo Looks Good Enough to Eat

Project Credits: 

Architect of Record: Sans-Arc Studio /

Builder/General Contractor: Build Inc. 

Structural Engineer: Intrax Consulting Engineers

Landscape Design Company: Pad Studio


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