Oa­sis of cool A breezy re­treat fit for a fam­ily of five



De­sign in­spi­ra­tion can come from myr­iad des­ti­na­tions and sources: for home­own­ers Kirsty and Pete, it was a visit to a favourite restau­rant of theirs dur­ing a fam­ily hol­i­day that in­spired what was to be­come the mas­ter­stroke in the ren­o­va­tion of their old Queens­lan­der. “We saw these huge glass win­dows at our favourite Ital­ian restau­rant, with great plants bring­ing the out­doors in,” says Kirsty. “We knew that’s what we wanted straight away.” An­other point on the must-have list was enough space for their grow­ing fam­ily, which in­cludes Hugo, eight, Kai, seven, and baby Ivy, to en­joy life to the fullest, and a de­sign that would also work for ex­tended fam­ily gath­er­ings. “Pete is one of seven chil­dren, and I’m one of three, so when our im­me­di­ate fam­i­lies get to­gether we have over 50 peo­ple,” says Kirsty. When Kirsty and Pete bought their in­ner-Brisbane home for its en­vi­able cor­ner po­si­tion in 2014, they planned for Pete, a builder, to do the ren­o­va­tion him­self, and called on ar­chi­tect Tim Ste­wart to help cre­ate their vi­sion: a breezy, mod­ern oa­sis in the city. Both the cou­ple and Tim were keen to re­tain the essence of the home’s orig­i­nal de­sign. “We didn’t want to re­move the house, we wanted to cel­e­brate what it was,” says Tim. “The Queens­lan­der was al­ways about light­weight con­struc­tion, ven­ti­la­tion and semi-pri­vate out­door spa­ces.” To make the most of the block, the old home was lifted and moved back to the south-west cor­ner, al­low­ing the liv­ing and en­ter­tain­ing ar­eas to bask in a beau­ti­ful north-east as­pect. Tim and Pete then set to work on build­ing an ex­pan­sive new ground floor cen­tred around a stun­ning court­yard. To­day, a soar­ing seven-me­tre ceil­ing ex­tends over­head from the sec­ond floor, and enor­mous slid­ing rose­wood and glass doors dis­ap­pear to cre­ate a dra­matic – and seam­less – flow from the inside out. “Eighty per cent of our meals are eaten out­side,” says Kirsty of the out­door space. “We have the per­fect cli­mate, and beau­ti­ful breezes most of the year.” An old fig tree just be­yond the fence line pro­vides glo­ri­ous dap­pled shade and a tex­tured back­drop to the joy­ful out­door ar­eas, that are all in­trin­si­cally con­nected to the in­doors. “We can see the kids if they are in the pool, do­ing their home­work, play­ing with friends in the yard or watch­ing tele­vi­sion,” ex­plains Kirsty. “It’s such an easy home to live in.” On what has be­come the rear of the home, the re­tractable win­dows the cou­ple had cov­eted from their favourite eatery now help to cre­ate a gor­geous sanc­tu­ary. “The liv­ing room opens up on both sides to al­low the breeze to flow through,” says Tim. “Hav­ing the gar­den against the edge of the room also helps to pas­sively cool the space.” To ex­tend the easy-liv­ing, trop­i­cal-yet-chic feel of the build­ing to the in­te­ri­ors, Kirsty kept a vi­sion board crammed with in­spi­ra­tion from mag­a­zines, In­sta­gram and Pin­ter­est. “I love clean, sim­ple, neu­tral colours with plenty of green­ery to soften,” she says of her ele­gantly un­der­stated dec­o­rat­ing style. A pal­ette of Du­lux Lex­i­con in quar­ter strength and lo­cally sourced tim­ber plays seam­lessly to the theme. “We used spot­ted gum through­out be­cause we loved it against the stone and con­crete fea­tures,” says Kirsty. “We felt it gave the most earthy, nat­u­ral feel with the trop­i­cal gar­dens.” The green­ery thrives in the Queens­land sun­shine, helped along by an ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem that au­to­mat­i­cally wa­ters ev­ery sec­ond day, mean­ing Pete and Kirsty can spend less time gar­den­ing and more time with their chil­dren and the other peo­ple they cher­ish. “What we love about the home is hav­ing our fam­ily and friends visit,” says Kirsty. Which is ex­actly what a home is all about.

LIV­ING ROOM A swathe of spot­ted gum in a nat­u­ral fin­ish stretches from the front door to the open-plan liv­ing area (above), where a ‘Pure Vi­sion’ fire­place from Real Flame pro­vides heat as well as am­bi­ence in the home dur­ing cooler months. “Tim­ber is a beau­ti­ful ma­te­rial and it has a won­der­ful abil­ity to make a home feel warm and invit­ing,” says ar­chi­tect Tim Ste­wart. A black teak stool and pot plant in a ‘Sea­side’ bas­ket, both from Mag­no­lia Lane, cre­ate a point of in­ter­est by the stair­case. With its wrap­around bench seat and low sofa from Nick Scali (picked up a few sea­sons ago), the liv­ing room is a draw­card for the whole fam­ily. An ‘Iko’ mar­ble-topped cof­fee ta­ble from Jar­dan ties in stylis­ti­cally with the nearby Talo­stone is­land bench­top.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.