Compact Living

House and Leisure|December - January 2020

Compact Living
When four friends built together on a small suburban plot in Perth, they maximised space and flexed their creativity to realise their dream homes
Ceri David
It was 2008, while planning their wedding, that James and Bekk Crombie fell in love with the colour yellow. ‘We were looking for an interesting shade for the bridesmaids’ dresses and bonbonniere,’ says Bekk. ‘We went for a really warm, deep yellow that, strangely, we’d liked from the movie Rosemary’s Baby. It looks so rich teamed with white.’ Though the yolky hue didn’t get a mention in their vows, it’s followed them through the birth of their first two children, Beatrice and Bjørn, then for a couple of years living in Norway and back again to the house they built in Perth. Here, visitors are welcomed by the colour yellow at the front door and when they ring the doorbell. It’s reprised in the family’s bikes and the ladder that leads to James and Bekk’s loft bedroom. ‘Friends have started calling it “Crombie yellow”’ says James, ‘because it pops up in everything we do.’

When it comes to personal touches, that yellow is just the tip of the iceberg. Everything in this house has been adapted, customised and reinvented – right down to the land it occupies, which they share with their best friends Nathan and Helen.


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December - January 2020