Kenzai House
by The Design Commission


Kenzai House by The Design Commission

Overlooking the ocean in Coogee, this recently renovated home by The Design Commission was given the name Kenzai. Kenzai is Japanese for healthy and strong reflecting the healthy living environment and robust construction of this beautiful house. Shortlisted for a Sustainability Award this year (congratulations TDC!), the client’s love of Japanese design and nature went hand in hand with their commitment to environmentally sustainable design practices.

Natural materials including timber, stone, wool and silk were paired with raw concrete to create an interior rich in texture. Mafi was specified first and foremost for its sustainability credentials. Opting for natural oiled over coated wood floors saves on waste which pollutes our environment. Our oils are wholly based on natural raw materials making them much more environmentally-friendly than, for example, lacquer treated wooden floors, which need to be disposed of as special waste.

Mafi timbers are sourced from carefully managed forests in Europe and the entire tree is used. For every tree felled a new one must be planted and any offcuts or sawdust are turned into pellets to heat the factory and are supplied to local businesses.

The use of bold colours throughout the home was inspired by the immediate coastal environment. Mafi floorboards in Oak Sand Brushed Natural Oil offer a rich golden colour and matte brushed surface, “they perfectly evoke sand against the sea green/blue of the bathroom tiles” says Jacqueline, The Design Commission.

Mafi was also chosen for its ability to be used in bathrooms and wet areas. Handcrafted in Austria, our boards have a three-layer solid wood construction ensuring perfect balance and stability. The all-natural oil finish allows the pores of the timber to remain open so that the wood can process moisture naturally. This means water can soak into the timber and be released back into the room whilst the floorboards remain stable and unaffected. No warping or cupping!

The feel of materials was equally as important as the look to the designer and clients, as was a healthy indoor environment. Natural oiled timber is warm, non-slip, antibacterial and filters the air. Partnered with the National Asthma Council’s Sensitive Choice Program, Mafi timbers help to create a healthy interior living environment. Indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outside air due to chemicals used in buildings and furniture which are then sealed in. Mafi wood floors are completely chemical free containing no VOC’s or formaldehyde.


Photography by Sharrin Rees