In Focus | The Eastern at Thredbo Village
The Eastern at Thredbo Village is the creation of Sydney-based photographer Monique Easton and made up of two Scandinavian-style boutique properties - the Oak Apartment and the Cedar Cabin. While the compact Oak Apartment is perfect for a couple, the Cedar Cabin sleeps four. Monique was at the design helm for both projects and collaborated with Nicholas Gurney for the Cedar Cabin, which has been shortlisted in the covetable Australian Interior Design Award (AIDA). The interiors draw on design principles from Japanese, Belgian and Scandinavian minimalism - think raw blonde timber, pure simplicity and minimal use of materials. The focus? Mindful design which focuses on how a space makes you feel. We caught up with Monique to discover more about the properties.
Hi Monique, tell us about the design inspiration behind the Oak Apartment and Cedar Cabin. What did you most want to achieve with the design? I’d recently been to Naoshima, the art island in Japan. The project’s founder describes Naoshima as ‘an anthesis to a life driven and shaped by hectic frenzy in the world’s capital cities’. The island very much adheres to the principles of living slow, with Ando’s calm, shrine-like architecture and most of the transportation is done by foot or pushbike – which is very similar to Thredbo. After my visit to Naoshima I was interested in how a space makes you feel.
Tell us about the minimal aesthetic - what was behind this design decision? It’s a response to the parameters of the existing structure and the landscape. Working with a compact space challenges you to refine what is only truly needed. Inspired by Dieter Rams’ ‘less, but better’ approach, I wanted the compact spaces of both the apartment and the cabin to feel generous. I reduced the elements to the bare minimum, keeping the colour palette muted and textural, incorporating organic materials like wood, stone, leather and brass. All principles of Japanese, Belgian and Scandinavian minimalism.
A personal favourite standout design feature? I love sleeping upstairs in the loft of the Cedar Cabin. The original architect, Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke, designed the double height, pitched roofline to increase the feeling of space on the lower level of the cabin, while creating enough height for a loft area bedroom. The ceiling is clad in textural, rough-sawn timber and when lying in bed the ceiling slopes down in front of you, almost like a tent.