Dechellis Homes

Passion project

Luxury inclusions, well-considered customisation and meticulous workmanship gave this project home the winning edge.


Gabrielle Chariton
Dechellis Homes
Georgian-inspired façade
Dechellis Homes
Classic parquetry flooring in the library

Project homes are a popular choice with many home buyers: they’re cost-effective, incorporate a great range of inclusions and reflect current interiors trends. Consumers have a clear idea of how their finished home will look and feel, and, because the bulk of the design is already completed, the building process is efficient and smooth.

The more progressive project home builders – such as HIA member business Dechellis Homes, which has been building family homes in South Australia for the past three decades – also understand the importance of allowing clients to adapt designs to reflect their own individuality and lifestyle needs, and the 2018 HIA Australian Project Home is a stunning example of this approach.

‘This home is based on the Swanson design,’ explains Dechellis Homes design manager, Stephen Piotto, who oversaw the design phase of this project. ‘The clients have young children, so the layout and inclusions really had to suit the needs of a growing family.’

‘They wanted a large home with lots of lifestyle extras,’ Stephen says, which included a home theatre, parent’s retreat – complete with fireplace and bar – a wine cellar, a triple garage, an alfresco with an outdoor kitchen, and a pool. ‘We spent a long time on the design process with the client making sure we incorporated all their requirements so that the layout meets their needs now and into the future.’

‘The clients have young children, so the layout and inclusions really had to suit the needs of a growing family'

At just over 620 square metres, this two-storey, five-bedroom home was constructed using a masterful combination of traditional techniques, luxury inclusions and contemporary styling. Dechellis’ trademark emphasis on quality in materials and finish is apparent throughout.

A covered portico on the Georgian-inspired façade opens into a wide entrance foyer, the scale of which sets the scene for the rest of the home. ‘It’s got a 3.3-metre high coffered ceiling to give it that grand feel, so to achieve that we added more bulkheads through the framing stage,’ explains Dechellis Homes construction manager, Frank Catanzariti.

The ground floor of the home accommodates the primary family living areas, dining area and open-plan kitchen, which all flow around a courtyard-style alfresco and open out to the pool area at the rear and a large manicured garden to the side. ‘We’ve designed around these outdoor spaces in such a way that almost every room downstairs has a view of the side garden,’ Stephen explains. Wall-to-wall custom-made glazed timber doors, at 2.7 metres high, frame these views and provide a seamless integration between indoors and out.

The focal point of the causal living space is the kitchen, with its free-standing marble-topped island. ‘The marble benchtop was quite tricky,’ Stephen says. ‘It was just about finding the right piece with the right vein. We also had to make sure it was large enough to do the joins and corners correctly.’ A section of decorative timber shelving at one end of the island visually links the kitchen with the adjoining alfresco, which features a western red cedar-clad ceiling.

Dechellis Homes
Crisp Shaker profile cabinets
Dechellis Homes
A wonderful showcase of Dechellis Homes’ flexible approach and uncompromising commitment to quality

Above the island, a series of ceiling bulkheads lend depth and architectural integrity, working to define the zoning within the open-plan space.

Frank says that throughout the home, the meticulously finished joinery and plasterwork are integral to the overall aesthetic of the interiors. The crisp Shaker profile of the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, together with traditional detailing such as the high skirting boards and moulded architraves, evoke a refined elegance. This carries through to the library, with its classic parquetry flooring, coffered ceiling, and floor-to-ceiling shelving.

‘As you move through the home, it transitions to a more modernised heritage look,’ Stephen says. With bold, geometric shadowlines of the square-set ceilings and modern joinery to the alfresco kitchen, timber flooring adds warmth to the contemporary finishes.

Moving upstairs via the custom-designed and -made steel string staircase, we find the space that Stephen considers the standout of the home: the luxurious parents’ retreat. Complete with a marble-clad ensuite, two walk-in wardrobes, an integrated office area and romantic gas fireplace, this part of the home is all about resort living.

The home theatre is also on this level. ‘We built a separate stepped flooring platform over the STRUCTAfloor to create two seating levels, such as you’d find in a real theatre,’ Frank explains. The heavy curtains installed to block out daylight were also cleverly converted into a luxe design feature. ‘We put a pelmet bulkhead around the perimeter which hides the curtain tracks and give it that sleek look.’

A wonderful showcase of Dechellis Homes’ flexible approach and uncompromising commitment to quality

After a streamlined, hassle-free 10-month building process, Frank and Stephen report that the clients were thrilled with the finished result. ‘They were great clients to work with,’ Stephen says. ‘And obviously, after winning all the awards, they were even happier.’

A wonderful showcase of Dechellis Homes’ flexible approach and uncompromising commitment to quality, this home was special from the outset. ‘The size, getting all the elements to come together so beautifully … I was so proud to be part of this build,’ Frank says.

And while Dechellis Homes is a regular winner of South Australian HIA awards, this is the first time it’s taken out the national prize for project homes, which represents a huge achievement.

Stephen says winning HIA awards is integral to the company’s professional image. ‘It’s great for future clients to see that we’re an award-winning builder. It’s good for the staff as well. We have 40 staff members and everyone plays a part – from the sales team right at the beginning who bring the sale in with a preliminary sketch, the in-house design and planning department, the selection team, admin team, the construction teams. Everyone contributes and the awards are a great recognition of that.’

At a glance

Award: 2018 HIA Australian Project Home
Partnered by: Liberty Steel Reinforcing
Builder: Dechellis Homes
Location: Lockleys, South Australia
Energy Rating: Six stars
Inclusions: Floor-to-ceiling shelving, coffered ceiling, decorative light fittings, built-in wine rack, fitted custom built joinery including desks and storage, walk-in robes, laundry chute, Shaker profile doors, floor-to- ceiling tiling in bathrooms, glass splashback
Materials: Parquetry flooring, timber floorboards, feature glass door, stone benchtops, marble kitchen benchtop, Termimesh, skylights, aluminium sliding doors.

Related Articles

Second nature

This eco-friendly and socially-responsible brand elegantly blends nature, ethics, and style.

Pretty in pink

With a perfect pop of pink, seamless integration and millimetre-perfect execution, the 2019 HIA Australian Kitchen Design project takes Scandi styling to the next level.

Tree of life

As the leaves outside brown, keep your projects lively by adding green.

Drawn to life

This home, built with a focus on the aesthetic qualities of raw construction materials, effortlessly welcomes the outdoors in.

Join more than 120,000 like-minded subscribers