Room by Room + Bones Studio
Northgate, QLD, Australia
Bones Studio: The owners of this Queenslander home wanted to transform their tiring rental property into a modern family home to raise their young family. Typical of many original Queenslanders, the dwelling lacked a grounded connection to the outdoors – a place the family wished to spend more time. Views to the large north orientated backyard were only available via an uncovered, non-original deck that was unbearably hot and unusable in summer months. Our proposal included raising and shifting the existing house to allow for an additional level on the ground floor. Utilising the block’s natural fall from front to back was key to the initial master planning of the site. A split-level ground floor following the site’s contours allowed the traditional proportion of the Queenslander’s street elevation to be maintained while achieving a dramatic double-height space at the rear of the home. This strategy also minimised the need for, and expense of, excessive earthworks and retaining. The house has been zoned to separate quiet private spaces from noisy living areas. Bedrooms and utility areas are located at the front, while at the rear, large open plan living areas open out to the north orientated backyard and pool, achieving the owners’ aspiration of a strong indoor-outdoor connection. A clear distinction between old and new has been consciously made with regard to materiality and scale of spaces. The ornate Queenslander, respectfully restored to its original condition, is juxtaposed against the new extension’s contemporary material selection and considerable expansion of space. At the transition from old to new, a perforated metal bridge bordering the side of a light and airy void delicately connects to the rear facade of the original dwelling.’
Room by Room: The interior design strategy was to create a functional and unique overlay of materials, textures and accessories to compliment the architectural strategy. A hierarchy of materials and finishes were adopted in the concept phase to be layered across new and existing spaces; a simple palette of plywood, concrete, tile and walnut timber tones were used throughout. Unexpected and sometimes playful features throughout the interior environment were included, from the organic formed concrete island bench, through to the keyhole pantry wall opening. A visual feature in the main bathroom was the utilisation of the existing decorative archway, (part of the original Queenslander) that frames the vast bathroom mirror. Pale pinks and minty greens were applied to bathrooms and laundry to insert elements of colour throughout the home always considering a liveable and usable interior palette. The clients have an eclectic and unique collection of art and furniture we wanted to showcase key pieces in the grand living environments; ensuring thresholds and viewpoints framed the loved artworks. Feature lighting was discreetly included throughout the home interior, including anchor ceramic wall lights, and the delicate and timeless Moooi random light you see in the double void.