Paddington – City views

To make the most of their available city views, better use of their existing home, plus incorporate an extra two bathrooms.

The site was very steep, with city views from every level, but they could only be appreciated from a couple of spots because the room arrangements were disjointed and dark, and the detailing was cluttered. Side windows looked directly into the neighbours 3m away. The bathroom and guest room opened on to the kitchen. A pool at the top of the block could not be seen from anywhere in the house. They needed two extra bathrooms. Although large, the house felt tight and constrained.

We left the structural shell and roof of the house the same (to avoid town planning issues), gutted the main living area to install a linear kitchen, creating vistas from front to back plus walls for art. New doors and post layouts framed a generous outdoor living area. The top floor grew by four square metres to fit an extra bathroom and windows were rearranged to overlook the pool. Side windows were closed screened or moved for light with complete privacy A light natural resort-style ensuite replaced the dingy colonial one.

All the surfaces from street to pool were simplified and streamlined to frame rather than detract from the views. A stainless steel rod balustrade elegantly echoes traditional handrails. The house feels light, open and flowing. Every living space and bedroom has either city or water views.

  • Paddington – City views

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Mitchelton – Forever Home

Stephen and Lynne wanted to return Brisbane to be near family and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. They wanted a forever haven to enjoy as a couple, separate work areas and the space to entertain family and friends. The style had to be calm and classical to remind them of Paris, complement exquisite mantlepieces hand-crafted by Stephen… and incorporate a secret wine cellar.

This original Queenslander had been built on land which rose steeply from the road. Extended in the 50s and 80s, it had been painted in 10 different colours. All the rooms felt small, hot and boxy, and a driveway separated the garden.

We raised the original house 1.5m and opened it in three directions to create flow for view and air from the rear garden, side frangipani and expansive front outlook. We made everything revolve around the kitchen island. We placed the carport on the street frontage and excavated under the house to create space for a new entry, family room, study, guest room and cellar. The side stairway now has a frameless glass corner to capture unexpected city views. The bathroom features the beautifully restored original clawfoot bath. The details are symmetrical and balanced with a pale neutral palette lifted by duck egg blue.

  • Mitchelton – Forever Home

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Enoggera – Modern Pod

To add space without adding a lot of debt to their modest three-bedroom cottage.

Typically open to a classic suburban backyard all summer, this modernist 50s cottage with low-to-the-ground timber floors retained an easy casual connection with the outside. Inside, rooms were compact and the bathroom felt cramped.

Minimise the costs with minimal alteration to the original structure and instead add value with a two-storey pod outside the kitchen to house the family room and the laundry on the ground floor, and a master suite at the top of a winding stair. Bump out under the eaves to enlarge the bathroom and tuck the shower behind the red tile wall at the back of the vanity. Boundaries between old and new are blurred with the use of materials, roof shape and colours that echo the original house. Stacker doors and windows encourage easy flow from inside to outside. Open corners make compact rooms appear much larger. Storage is everywhere and built into a long window seat under the stairs. The owners' subsequent design decision to open up the existing kitchen to the living room created even more space.

  • Enoggera – Modern Pod

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Stradbroke Island, Point Lookout – Beach house

An easy care, four-bedroom beach house for both family and rental, with minimal site impact and an economical construction.

This long, skinny block was set back from the main road, within walking distance of the beach. Large trees grew at the front and there was a clearing at the rear, with the opportunity for north-facing ocean glimpses from an upper level. It was likely that two-storey neighbours would surround the property in the future.

Using compact planning, a simple structure and off-the-shelf detailing, PlaceMate’s floor plan included a ground-level beach zone for cars and gear, coupled with a north-facing outdoor living area on the upper deck. To create interest and privacy half levels of stair landings were used. Colour successfully blended the beach house with the surrounding leafy site.

  • Stradbroke Island, Point Lookout – Beach house

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