Averna Homes living and kitchen area

Luxe lifestyles

A focus on customised, client-centred design makes it easy for home buyers to imagine all the things life could be in an award-winning Averna Homes residence.


Sarah O'Donovan

Stressing the importance of understanding what clients want in their home, Paul Spatara, general manager of Perth-based Averna Homes, suggests combining those unique ideas with your own expertise to make ‘practical, creative solutions’.

‘Sometimes it’s the simple things that mean the most and listening to your clients is one of them,’he says.

Putting himself in the shoes of the client, Paul, a designer by trade, took full advantage of the land he was working with to maximise lifestyle in this home for years to come.
This approach led to a suite of niche, innovative features, including an undercroft, a top-floor suite with a built-in bed, and a secret room in between.

undercroft wine cellar
'old books' in the lift

Walking through the house could make anyone feel at home, but this particular project is geared at the second or third home buyer interested in enjoying the finer things in life.

Starting in the undercroft, where the homeowner enjoys a spacious six-car garage, arriving home involves a stroll past the wine cellar – and perhaps a short stop to pick up a bottle for the evening – freshening up in the powder room next door, and a brief climb up the stairs to the first level.

Or, for the self-employed client who’s been working from the undercroft home office (which, equipped with a kitchenette, doubles as a guest house), they may decide to ride the lift where they’re surrounded by the comforting sight of old books.

Entering the first level, it’s evident that this is the entertainment zone. To the left, a north-facing balcony overlooks the city skyline and to the right, lies a comfortable backyard including an alfresco and pool.

‘There’s a real understanding of

the materials and palette of this home

that creates a certain look’

No homely hub is without its heart, and the kitchen and accompanying living and dining areas are appropriately placed front and centre, fostering a presence of family even for empty nesters, and allowing for transitional living throughout the seasons.

Off the fully-equipped gourmet kitchen is a butler’s pantry and scullery which opens onto the alfresco, and an equally well-equipped outdoor kitchen for open-air dining.

In the cooler months, the 3.5-metre-long built-in fireplace warms the open plan areas inside to ensure dining is always as enjoyable and social as it is in summer.

At the rear of this level, next to a generous guest room with ensuite and built-in robes, are the fundamentals such as a powder room and laundry. The laundry is generously sized so you’d be forgiven for thinking all that meets the eye is all that truly is, but somewhere between here and the stairway is a secret room.

In the hallway, like something out of a James Bond movie, pushing the right panel in the timber-clad hallway will open a secret pivot door and let you into the private home theatre.

Averna Homes timber and white kitchen
indoor entertaining spaces for the cooler months
Outdoor space
alfresco with outdoor kitchen

Once ready to retire for the night, the homeowner heads upstairs via the floating marble staircase (or the lift) and makes their way to the upper level. The two bedrooms at the rear of the top floor each enjoy a walk-in robe and share a Jack and Jill style bathroom – perfect for teens and young adults or visiting guests.

The master suite, which fills the remaining half of the final floor, is a grand example of clever design and indulgence.

‘The master bedroom is a real suite,’ Paul says. ‘[It’s] targeted at a more mature couple whose kids are out doing their own thing – it’s all about them now.’

First impressions might elicit questions about the built-in headboard in the middle of the room, but Paul says: ‘the idea is that you wake up and see that beautiful view straight away’.

That view being a 180-degree landscape of the city, from iconic King’s Park to Western Australia’s ‘home of cricket’ – the WACA grounds.

With a dressing room fit for a monarch behind the bed, the mirrored robes reflect the stunning skyline so that wherever you are in the room, you feel the full presence of the location and what it brings to the home.

Finally, set behind the generous dressing space is a vast ensuite which centres on a large tub – the perfect way to end the day.

Master suite

‘the idea is that you wake up and see 

that beautiful view straight away

As the designer for this home, it was Paul’s own vision that came to life during this build.

‘We were really excited when we purchased the land for this home because of its proximity to Swan River and the potential views,’ he says.

And from there, every detail was carefully considered with style, versatility and comfort in mind.

The challenging sloped site became an opportunity for the undercroft and the lift. At first glance this may seem excessive to some, however, it nonetheless ensures accessibility is optimised for the couple as they age in the home during years to come.

a private balcony extends from the master suite
the perfect way to end the day

It’s this attention to detail that remains fresh in Paul’s mind long after completing the project.

‘There’s a real understanding of the materials and palette of this home that creates a certain look,’ he says.

Evidently, the creative arena is where Paul thrives.

‘It’s great for me to get involved in a design like this because I’m usually tied up with the general running of the company,’ he says. ‘Working alongside our other designers and our interior and lighting designers gives me a space to be creative which I love.

‘It also ensures that I’m up to speed with the latest products and knowledge, and it’s much more enjoyable than looking at figures and emails,’ he laughs.

With years of experience running his own design firm and seven years so far with Averna Homes, plus a number of HIA awards under his belt (including the 2018 HIA Australian Spec Home award for this residence), Paul’s advice to up-and-coming industry professionals is to ‘never think you know it all because the day you do you stop learning’.

Averna Homes two-storey house

Design details

Builder: Averna Homes
Designer: Paul Spatara
Project: Villa Alto


  • Kitchen bench: Caesarstone in Piatra Grey
  • Feature cladding: Aurora stone, Calcutta
  • Feature cabinetry: Eveneer timber veneer in even sirocco
  • Wallpaper (lift): Wall Candy ‘Old Books Yellow’

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