In a house without a dining room, the design brief to fit seven seats around an island was the starting point for this terrace renovation. Stripped of its 1980’s interior, the project was an exercise in restraint, to achieve a quiet backdrop for the dinner parties to come. A neutral palette of pale oak floors, Victorian Ash details, matt Caesarstone benchtops and simple white joinery combine to create a minimal yet multi-functional kitchen and dining space.
The powder room and bathroom were also renewed with tactile aquamarine mosaic tiles, balanced by the warmth of the Victorian Ash cabinetry. The bathroom was redesigned to fit a generous bathtub and a separate shower that takes advantage of the natural light from the existing skylight.
Through the use of muted finishes, simple geometries and thoughtful planning, the result is a house that evokes a sense of calm.
Builder: Frank Jay Custom Concepts Photographer: The Palm Co.
With a terrace located on a busy arterial road in a heritage conservation area, a young professional couple wished to simply renovate their existing kitchen and bathroom. After initial discussions about the way they live and the potential of their compact 70sqm site, the project quickly grew into a full transformation of the house.
The project involved demolition of the existing two-storey addition to make way for a new ‘bath box’ perched over a generous new kitchen.
Behind the existing terrace, a gentle step down into the new kitchen creates an important connection to the ground, with granite flooring continuing through to the courtyard. This enables the living area to extend into the outdoor space and maximises the use of the whole site. The constraints of the narrow block have been alleviated by the tall volume of the new room, and the sliding stacking doors which open up the rear of the house.
On the first floor, the bath box houses a Japanese-inspired bathroom and a separate dressing room and Juliet balcony to the rear. New windows and a large skylight over the Japanese bathtub not only fill the upper floor with natural light but also provides a much-desired link to the outdoors. The vista to the treetops and an unobstructed sky view from the bathroom work together to expand the sense of space in this modest addition.
Every surface of this house has been refreshed with a carefully considered palette of natural colours, light timber tones, warm whites, black accents and shades of green that visually connect with the glimpses of greenery outside.
Meticulously detailed to present itself as a simple box, the house has now become a sanctuary in its urban setting.
An imposing brick fireplace once stood between the dining room and small kitchen at the rear of the existing house. Removing this structure and relocating the kitchen to the heart of the house has achieved a more rational layout and opened up the house to views of the vine wall in the courtyard.
A long skylight was added above the kitchen to flood the room with natural light, which is also subtly reflected in the grey cabinetry. In lieu of a large fireplace, the space is now grounded by the timber island bench, the new gathering place for the young family.
Built atop an infilled kidney shaped pool is a freestanding studio designed for a pair of empty nesters. Naturally-lit and self-contained, this little studio is a flexible and adaptable space that affords its guests privacy from the main residence. Simple and durable materials of metal cladding and large format floor tiles were selected to keep maintenance requirements low. The skillion roof adds generous volume to the otherwise modest interior whilst highlight windows open up the room to sky views and provide opportunity for natural cross ventilation.
Builder: Hongtech Structural Engineer: Luke Tsougranis & Associates
Located on a corner block, the existing house is sunken below the street level and surrounded by established trees, providing a great sense of privacy as well as a garden outlook from every room. The brief for the project allowed half the existing house to be retained but required new contemporary living areas, a new main bedroom with ensuite, and importantly, a place to check the surf. Starting with an approved DA (designed by Kieran McInerney Architect) with a DA condition to delete the proposed lookout tower, the challenge was to find a solution to include a lookout that would be acceptable by council.
With a clear and logical sequence of rooms, there was little change to the approved floor plans but the exterior of the house was reimagined. A pitched roof form that mimics the existing roof allows a viewing platform to be concealed within the roof space of the new bedroom balcony. The exterior of the new addition is inspired by the client’s grandmother’s original Queenslander but adapted to suit the harsher conditions of its coastal setting. Charred Jarrah weatherboards give the addition its characteristically black appearance, juxtaposed against the white rendered brickwork of the existing house. The charred hardwood cladding was selected for its qualities of low maintenance and durability which were essential to meet the clients’ brief for an enduring timber house close to the beach.
Inside and out, the new addition showcases timberwork. The timber verandah frames the front of the house and the new timber doors and windows, posts and beams have been clear sealed in contrast to the black cladding. Internally, Victorian Ash joists have been skilfully pressure-blocked and exposed; Spotted Gum floorboards have been used throughout the ground floor and grooved timber boards line the soaring gabled ceilings on the first floor. The selected internal finishes are simple and durable, the bathrooms are colourful and playful, and along with the passive design considerations, the house is a thermally comfortable and liveable family home with a relaxed and casual atmosphere.
Builder: Renotech Building
Builder: Geometric Construction Structural Engineer: Burgess Arnott & Grava