This beautiful home belonging to and designed by Architect Chris Hing Fay and wife Kia is located in the leafy Brisbane suburb of Teneriffe. We were lucky enough to be given a tour through the interiors which are an eclectic mix of timbers, antique furniture pieces and Scandinavian vintage paintings from the 40’s and 50’s.
Mafi is used in unique ways throughout the family home. The main seating in the dining room consists of a bench along the length of the room. Mafi Oak Country Brushed Natural Oil was installed from the floor up to and including the seated bench and as wall paneling behind, completing a magnificent wooden feature that doubles up as a practical storage solution.
The finishes on the cabinetry, furniture and benches display the unique three-layer cross section of the engineered Mafi boards. The builders were skeptical of how this would look but the owners really loved the finish that this detail provided. The cross section shows the symmetrical solid wood construction of a Mafi board where the top and bottom layers of european oak contrast the middle layer of spruce with a different grain, direction and colour.
“Using Mafi as cabinetry has pulled the house together,” explained Kia, “it has made the house.”
The sideboard next to the kitchen and one of the kids bedrooms is made entirely from Mafi and performs as a special spot to keep the owners collection of wine. “We didn’t want handles for anything, so we used mafi for all the cabinetry as a grab and push system.”
When building the kitchen, extra care was taken to keep the grain going around the cabinetry. Chris and Kia oiled the Mafi boards themselves prior to installing the cabinetry demonstrating the passion and thought that has gone into every detail of the home.
As we moved into other areas of the house, we were enthralled again by the little details and finishes that complete this amazing home.
A mix of different timbers were incorporated into the design including Mafi european oak for flooring and cabinetry, pine for bed frames and picture frames, and a slightly darker timber for some of the walls. The desire was to bring all of the wood together so that it was cohesive. These materials extend into the bathroom with timber used for the towel racks, newspaper racks and toilet paper rack as well as a Mafi vanity and floor.
Against popular opinion, Chris and Kia installed timber for the bathroom flooring. Initially told that they had to tile the bathroom floor, they questioned the theory that timber is not suitable for bathrooms and found Mafi timber to be the solution.
Mafi floorboards are guaranteed in bathrooms. The reason Mafi is perfectly suitable for use in wet areas is due to the all natural oil finish which allows the timber to process moisture, as well as the perfectly balanced three-layer construction of a Mafi plank. The timber can breathe and as a result the boards remain incredibly stable and will not warp or cup.
“Washing the floor is so nice as it smells so beautiful” notes Kia.
Mafi floors are cleaned with an all natural oil soap which lathers up with warm water and flushes the wood pores. Soaping the floor with a cotton mop allows the natural plant fats and oils of the soap solution to soak back into the wood to replenish and strengthen the floorboards. In common with all Mafi products, the oil soap cleaning product is 100% chemical free.
The owners feel a real connection with their Mafi floor. Their decision to choose Mafi was in favour of the natural oil finish and in keeping a closeness with the natural wood. In expressing the downfalls of lacquered or polished timber floors our client passionately explained “ you have this beautiful wood and you cover it up! You can’t touch it. That wasn’t for us!”
Photography by Shantanu Strarick