The Fantales Living Area by YSG

Animated by an eclectic palette of woodgrain textures and bold colour, this beautiful living space promises to make daily life, even working from home, an absolute pleasure.

If the past two years have taught us anything about residential design, it’s that we’d better enjoy spending time in our home’s main living area! This is partly dependent on architectural fundamentals, of course, like access to natural light, orientation to an external view and particular functional needs being met. But just as important is the mix of colours and textures around us, because they can have a significant effect on how we experience every day. This living area, designed by Sydney interiors studio YSG in collaboration with Laminex, is a wonderful example of just how positive that effect can be, with woodgrain textures and bold colour applied in a way that feels comfortable and natural, but also dynamic and energising.

The material palette shares key elements with the adjacent kitchen – Laminex woodgrain decors, dark-toned Danish Walnut and pale Milkwood; and green-stained diagonally laid timber floorboards – which establishes a strong sense of connection and flow between the two rooms. But the living area excludes some of the richer kitchen colours. And it adds lighter tones to the walls, including a French wash paint finish and, in the study area, sandy Laminex Porcelain Blush, making the space feel fresh and expansive. “So you walk from this quite cocoon-like experience of the kitchen into a living space which is a lot brighter and just feels lighter,” explains YSG founder and Principal Yasmine Ghoniem. The warmth of the kitchen can still be felt here, but it comes in “moments” rather than being immersive.

“There’s an ease to this space. There’s nothing too fancy, too fragile, too precious. And it’s actually really achievable. A lot of the materiality is really cost effective, it's just thought about slightly differently.”

Yasmine Ghoniem – Principal at YSG

The feeling here also comes down to the specific way that the colours and textures have been applied, often quite ingeniously harnessing the design flexibility of Laminex laminate. There’s tower cabinetry, for example, crafted from Laminex Danish Walnut and Milkwood, the two decors contrasted in an inlaid stripe pattern along the bottom edge, much like the kitchen island bench. The section above, however, is all Danish Walnut, with sheets laid at unexpected angles to create a dynamic sense of movement from the woodgrain. The cabinetry is further enlivened by curved linear door pulls post-formed from vibrant red Laminex Pillarbox high-pressure laminate (HPL). And inside, the interior is fabricated from Pillarbox, including post-formed shelves in an extra-thick bullnose profile. With the doors open, the brilliant red surfaces bring a whole new energy to the space.

A little removed from the main lounge area is an increasingly essential inclusion in the home of 2021, the study nook. But far from presenting as an unsightly and intrusive home office, this study is seamlessly integrated with the rest of the room. It’s completely crafted from Laminex laminate, including vertical surfaces in that soft, warm Porcelain Blush, more of those brilliant Pillarbox bullnose shelves, drawers in Danish Walnut with another splash of Pillarbox on the inside surfaces, and perhaps most notably, operable screens with post-formed vertical blades, also in Danish Walnut. The screens slide to conceal working-from-home mess, but even when closed, their partial transparency creates a sense of visual interest and depth, another captivating moment in the room.

“YSG does a lot of things with screens in our projects. I love being able to get a glimpse of what's beyond. And this was a great opportunity to showcase how you can do the same thing not just out of timber, but with laminate.”

Yasmine Ghoniem – Principal at YSG

Back in the lounge area, the flash of red from the shelving and tower cabinetry is picked up in two stunning custom-designed coffee tables. Their bases are clad in Tasmanian oak veneer with solid Tasmanian oak at the foot of each leg, and tabletops in dark, saturated red Laminex Kalamata bounded by a 10mm perimeter of Pillarbox. The tables’ laminate tops hark back to classic mid-century furniture designs, and their curved forms sit beautifully beside the inviting organic shape of an olive green Ligne Roset Togo sofa.

Then in the wall adjacent to the sofa, one final moment, a bank of recessed shelving, featuring the familiar bullnose profile but this time in Laminex Danish Walnut. The bottom ledge is in the same woodgrain decor, with vertical surfaces in a concrete-look paint finish. The pale background makes this the perfect place for displaying objects, and the recessed design again brings visual interest and depth. And by using Danish Walnut for the shelves, it reinforces the sense of consistency in the home, but without falling to repetition. It’s another clever little design move deftly executed that typifies the creativity and attention to detail YSG brought to the space. They’ve created a dream living area for sitting out a pandemic. And when we make it through to the other side, what a place to come home to!

Fantale Living Room Products

Coffee tables: Laminex Kalamata and Tasmanian oak veneer
Joinery: Laminex Danish Walnut Chalk finish, Laminex Milkwood Natural finish and Laminex Pillarbox Natural finish
Sofa: DOMO Toga


Wall and bench: Laminex Porcelain Blush Natural Finish
Drawer: Laminex Danish Walnut Chalk finish and Laminex Pillarbox Natural finish
Screen: Laminex Danish Walnut Chalk finish
Shelves: Laminex Pillarbox Natural finish

Design: YSG Studio
Photographer: Derek Swalwell
Stylist: Natalie James
Creative Direction: Ortolan
Editorial Consultant: Infinite Shapes
Videography: Sirap
Island fabrication: Evolve Interiors


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