Design Of The Times


State of Kin is leading the charge on a rebirth of cool in the local residential design scene, with a passion for materiality and designing homes for Perth people with a yen for the unique.

For too long we’ve languished amongst McMansions and stuffy beige colour render, and it is this stagnation in outside-the-box residential design that paved the way to much more bespoke front door. The new collaborative brand has been chipping away on three homes that embody the most ardent of design acumen and originality. These high-end custom homes are still under construction, but already whispers of the distinctive nature of these projects are trickling down. At the core of it, State of Kin is a family business with building in the blood – a self-made tribe of graduates of architecture, interior design, builders and project managers who bond over creating exceptional spaces. While cousins Alessandra and Donny Salomone followed in the footsteps of their fathers Steve and Gino Salomone of Manor Homes, Donny’s wife Ara Salomone perpetuates her father’s architectural line from AJCD. State of Kin is where the two generations unite.

We spoke with Alessandra, State of Kin Associate and interior designer, and Ara, State of Kin Associate and graduate of architecture.

What’s it like being a young creative in the most isolated city in the world?

ARA: We see Perth as an open playing field, anything is possible and the current evolution and growth of design in our home State is phenomenal. It’s an exciting time to be a design and build team in WA and we are thrilled to be contributing to the residential landscape with the Perth community.

Whose creative work do you follow in Perth?

Architecture studio Space Agency, interior designer Gabrielle Scott, florist The Wildflower and photography duo Lajos Varga and Ryan Murphy at Varga Murphy.

So what about the limitations of building homes in such a city?

ALE: Living and working in an isolated, yet beautiful, city like Perth can be a bit of a mixed bag. We do face constraints with access to materials (and the lead times and expense that often coincides with this access), but we treat this as an opportunity to think outside of normal processes and products. It actually assists us to push the usual boundaries and find solutions that can lead to incredible design features within the spaces we create.

ARA: As individual firms we have been in the Perth market for many years so our trade relationships are long-standing, and we are very lucky to work with open minded teams. There is always a way to access what we need for an end-result, sometimes you just have to change your approach to get there… Like we often create our own solutions by doing unusual things with standard products. By applying a bit of thought and energy to using local and Australian-made products in unexpected ways you can achieve some awesome results.

Such as?

ALE: The terrazzo floor finish in the Shutter House, which is currently under construction on Lake Monger Drive, is a good example. It is easy to source terrazzo tiles, but very difficult to find someone to do it as a slab, the ‘old-school’ way. The guys who used to do it in Perth have all long-since retired and it has become a bit of a dying trade. Our team came together and figured out how to do it ourselves, sourcing the right combination of ‘seed stones’ and the right oxide, and conducted a few experiments to get the ratios and base colour perfected. We took it to site where our build team executed the full scale formation themselves, including meticulous hand-seeding of the aggregate to ensure the ultimate blend of texture and colour was achieved. The finished product is something we are all really proud of! It’s a custom piece of art, which is full of character and created with love.

What is great about designing homes for Perth people?

ARA: Perth has a new energy and our people have an increasing appetite for global inspiration and new experiences. The community here is generally well-travelled and has an enhanced appreciation of design, quality and art, which has translated to an appreciation of the design process and an admiration for the building craft. We hope that State of Kin is answering this by providing local design with a global appeal.

What was the decision behind collaborating as a family?

ALE: We already had several projects underway together as Manor Homes or AJCD, so it made sense to embrace the partnership and launch the all-encompassing State of Kin as the premium residential brand. With the combined skill sets, diversity of knowledge and years of experience spread throughout the family, it simply made sense to collaborate this way.

Perth homeowners seem to be getting a bit more open to experimenting. Where do you see future trends in Perth homes going?

ARA: We’re not a trend-based firm – we are focused on creating incredible spaces that suit our client’s lives. Our homes are something they’ve never seen before and blow what they thought was possible well and truly out of the water.

ALE: Our projects are for people who have a true love and eye for design and a respect for the unlimited possibilities within that.

State of Kin
Call (08) 9328 6679,