Anyone who knows Ruth van Overbeek of Kaamer Design is probably familiar with a story she tells of moving out for the first time (or second if you count boarding school). She was about to start studying at Sint Lukas School of Arts in Brussels and needed to furnish her new home.
“My mother gave me money for the things I needed and I came home with a Philippe Starck chair,” she begins. “She said: where are the rest of the things? Pots, pans, a bed?” It was the beginning of a life-long obsession with contemporary furniture and a career that’s spanned two continents.
The anecdote illustrates just how important design has always been in her life. Statement pieces that define a time in one’s life, an event or a deeply held appreciation of style are equally important elements when designing functional living spaces that continue to inspire as they also remind us of who we are.
The home Ruth shares with her Mount Eliza-bred husband and two sons on Canadian Bay Road has become something of a local landmark, The Big Red House on the Hill. Its oversized picture windows, sprawling lawns and tranquil outdoor rooms surround a stunning outdoor living zone where a pool and firepit compete for attention year-round.
A large collection of furniture and art are at home in grand spaces that absorb light as they gaze on the majesty of surrounding bushland and the twinkling lights of Port Phillip Bay from wrap-around balconies that are hidden from the busy road view. A large open-plan living with plenty of work zones on both levels tucked away leaves plenty of clear space to reflect and enjoy pieces that signify special moments in Ruth’s life and those of the family.
“I still have the chair,” Ruth says as she finishes the story that defines her ethos. “And I still love it.”
For more about Ruth and her work, go to Kaamer Design.