Andrea Savage’s Home is a Kaleidoscope of Vibrant Colours
Away from the spotlight and cameras, home living for the resident judge of reality competition The Apartment is no less stylish.
Design Intervention partner and project director Andrea Savage’s Mount Faber maisonette is a gutsy juxtaposition of different colours and prints, textures and styles.
It is an interior that you would never have expected from the apartment’s colonial architecture. Judging by the flair with which Savage has managed to bring such a contrasting and diverse palette under one roof, you would also never have guessed that she only officially embarked on her career as an interior designer seven years ago.
Prior to joining Design Intervention, Savage was a top-billing fashion-model and a regular face on the runways of fashion shows around the world. After eight years in the industry, Savage felt a growing restlessness that was partly prompted by her yearning to explore (and subsequently conquer) other worlds and take on new challenges.
As to why interior design was a natural choice that followed, she says, “I have always been passionate about interior design, inspired by my own mother’s bold use of colours and fun interiors in our various family homes. I used these spaces as my interior design playground.”
Savage and her husband, Cameron Richards-Savage, bought the apartment just over two years ago and completely retrofitted it. “I wanted the apartment to be a vibrant space with pops of colour yet appear uncluttered to the eye. Therefore attention to detail is quite important throughout the whole interior, with specific areas providing visual relief,” she emphasises.
The sophisticated and vibrant atmosphere of the home is unmistakable from the very moment one enters the space. The wallpaper in the foyer is like a frieze that draws you in. The signature umbrella and walking cane design by Italian master, Fornasetti, is a riot of colours but the grey background balances the overall effect and mitigates the transition from the wall to the black-white-grey floor, which sports a daring herringbone pattern instead of the usual square or rectangular marble tiles.
The herringbone floor is like a metronome, which sets a rhythm that orders the space. Space planning sets the framework within which Savage then gets flambuoyant with her quirky furniture and furnishings, adding her creative blend of patterns and a seamless integration of old and new. To her, “a home is a mix of history, textures, colours and feelings.” But within this vivacious composition is an underlying symmetry. “Symmetry makes me feel psychologically balanced and comfortable,” Savage reveals. So it is interesting to discover the symmetries within each space, such as how the coffee table is aligned with the window frame.
One Step Back, Two In Front
One of Savage’s design manifestos revolves around the discipline that is required in the application of an interior scheme. When combining contrasting elements, it is important to know when to stop. “Step back and ask, is it finished? Be selective and most importantly, understand yourself as a designer,” she cautions.
The first storey of the apartment is conceived as an open plan, with areas purposefully carved out for the living, dining and other spaces. The existing staircase was demolished and relocated so as to free up the layout. Savage was able to create a bar, to her husband’s delight, by making clever use of the space below the staircase. Next to the dining area is a cosy alcove, Savage’s favourite spot in the apartment, with a Botero table and two zebra-print chairs framed by French doors looking out onto a glorious canopy of trees. The kitchen is tucked beside the staircase but remains visually connected to the rest of the first storey by doing away with a door. A black-and-gold theme with mirror-finish cabinet doors enlarges the kitchen spatially and a blue-painted ceiling with a sun-shaped light subtly makes up for the lack of windows and natural light in the kitchen.
Instead of the usual family portraits and memorabilia, Savage designed a bespoke carpet that covers the staircase with names of family members and cities they have lived in. Moving up the staircase is like transcending into a totally different realm. “There is a clear transfer of energy into a sense of tranquility,” she enlightens. There is one master bedroom and two bedrooms on the second storey. Its palette comprising black, white and neutral pastels has a calming effect. The master bedroom is a picture of serenity.
“My home is my sanctuary and provides a peaceful oasis where I can rest my soul. I need a calm room to relax at the end of the day,” Savage explains.
Other traits that have found their way upstairs is the herringbone flooring, but in timber instead of marble. Zebra prints are Savage’s favourite and she has covered her work desk in the open-concept study area with this reminder of Africa. More prints show up in an unexpected place on the ceiling of the bathroom attached to the two bedrooms. But these are all predominantly black-and-white, keeping in harmony with the theme on the second-storey.
With a new addition to the family, Savage is busy juggling work and motherhood. Besides her work at Design Intervention, she is also a permanent judge on the hit reality renovation TV show, The Apartment, alongside Jamie Durie and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. On how she manages to do it all, she says, “A great, supportive husband and family, good coffee, a wonderful business partner and let’s not forget passion!”