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Incredibly humbled to have won the National award for ‘Development of the Year’ for our fabulous Pine Ave Project.

Lachie Gibson - +61 400 026 000


Elwood History

Elwood continues to find itself at the fore of cultural progression, maybe due to its naming after Thomas Ellwood, a British poet and religious rebel who was rather close with John Milton. This homage to the arts and poetry is delicately reverberated throughout the suburb, where you will also find Byron, Keats and Wordsworth streets. The suburb is one of alluring contradictions, at once unapologetically stylised yet infinitely defined by its stunning displays of nature.

Elwood carries a wild and wind-swept beauty, hosting landscapes that could inspire a Monet and streets that echo the various architectural iterations the city has witnessed over the generations. It’s a peaceful neighbourhood where treetop canopies cast delicate patterns of light across the roads and footpaths, creating dreamy daylong shadow dances. Pale ivory shorelines are kissed by golden sunlight and cooled by the deeply hued waters of the shifting tides, veiled by a weathered charm thanks to the surrounding native topography.

Cera Stribley

Cera Stribley’s managing principal, Dom Cerantonio, is a consummate perfectionist with a folio conducive to weak knees. We thought getting inside his brain would help us delve deeper into what truly distinguishes these homes.

Elwood has these really interesting dichotomies within culture and nature – youthful and established; historic and modern. How much did you draw on these elements when considering Pine Ave’s architecture?
Throughout Elwood you will find a lot of Art Deco-inspired buildings. That comes from architecture in the 20s and 30s. Pine Ave has a bit that flavour. Circular forms were a big part of Art Deco movement, so bringing that in was important – we’ve done that by curving the entrances. They are made up of white brickwork – another thing else that was integral to the movement.

Just looking at the floor plan, are we correct in assuming that another appealing duality to the homes is their innate flexibility - particularly within the homes’ middle levels?
In the three-bedroom townhomes, the third bedroom can be used more flexibly. It could be used as a kid’s playroom, an office, or obviously, yes as a bedroom. We’ve really tried to make these as flexible as possible for modern households, which I think are becoming far more dynamic in today’s age.

With technology, we are using spaces within our homes quite differently than we were - say - twenty years ago, when open plan was the way to go. There’s actually been a bit of a deviation from that style of living of late and what we’re finding now is the desire to have more segregated spaces. I think people are really starting to appreciate not just more space, but more intimate spaces as well. And that sense of flexibility is something that the market is pushing for, so that’s what we’ve done for Pine Ave.

Cera Stribley Architects Studio

Dom Cerantonio & Chris Stribley

“Circular forms were a big part of the Art Deco movement, so bringing that in was important.”

Dom Cerantonio - Architect

Hana Hakim - Interiors

The Stella Collective

Rapidly building an enviable reputation for her coveted designs, we sat down with The Stella Collective’s founder, Hana Hakim, to have a chat about her inspiration behind Pine Ave’s inimitable interiors.

Tell us a little about The Stella Collective.
We are simply trying to do incredible work. Our formula is “if it feels good then we have to do it”. All of our spaces are created with genuine care and love for good living. We ask “will it make our client, guest, customer, feel amazing?” Because for us that’s what design is all about.

Pine Ave’s location has a remarkable duality where at one end of the street is this incredible cultural hub and at the other the beautiful beach, which really gives the community a distinct feel. Did this influence your musings at all?
Living in Elwood, you get everything you could want. It’s almost like living in Santa Monica; like having the most amazing city in the world and then the beach at your doorstep. It really embraces that soulful kind of living.

How is this sense of “soulful living” reiterated in Pine Ave?
The key theme for these homes has been about embracing the light and letting the Elwood sun in. All of the finishes have a little bit of reflectivity to ensure that the homes have a sunny feel to them. The inspiration that we really took from the site was a villa that you might find in Ibiza – a space that’s quite Mediterranean in style, showered with golden sun, and encourages blissful living.

It’s interesting to hear you talk about the tension between glamour and authenticity. How does this play out in more practice places in the home?
Well, we’ve been really functional with the kitchen space. Everything has a place, which we think is extremely important. We want homeowners to feel they are so well thought of, that when they’re in their homes they have these moments of, “ah, great, they’ve thought of where I can put my broom or my juicer”.

Can you give us some examples of this?
We have this beautiful feature where, fixed between the tap and the splashback, there is a little reveal behind, where you can put your Aēsop hand soap, lovely organic dishwashing liquid and so on. We have also included really roomy drawers, because drawers are just so much better than cupboards. You can see everything when you pull them out. You don’t end up with tins hidden at the back – everything is easily accessible.

We also designed this planter-come-cookbook display, I call it a “chef’s caddy”. Personally, I am an avid cookbook lover. I would love to have my favourite books on show in the kitchen, but I don’t have anywhere to put them. They just get dirty while I’m cooking. So we thought, “how good would it be to have a plant – like fresh mint or something – and your favourite cookbooks right there?” But of course you could do anything with this display, like place some beautiful crockery. These features really are so flexible, the occupant can do whatever they wish with them.

We see both the kitchen and the bathroom as spaces to unwind, so we don’t want to create cramped spaces where you just want to get in and get out. We want them to feel big, spacious and luxurious.