Graceville – Tropical Small Lot

Owner’s dream

The owners of this new build wanted to construct a modern house on a minimal budget to raise their young family in. The home needed to be unassuming, secure and private from the street. Natural light and air had to flow throughout the open-plan house, allowing for a minimalistic style in the spacious living areas. A large backyard needed to contain a tropical garden, modern pool and covered outdoor entertaining space.

The site

The empty lot was small, flat and located in a quiet suburb surrounded by other Queenslanders. The back of the house opened up to the north, but neighbouring houses were pressed up close against the boundary fencing.  

Our design solution

PlaceMate architects designed a two-storey home inspired by neighbouring Queenslanders. The centre of the house flows around a grassy courtyard and open stairs, bringing light, air and lush greenery to all spaces. The master bedroom balcony overlooks the backyard and large double-height alfresco.

Doors and windows are carefully positioned to screen out the neighbours and frame distant city glimpses, creating an illusion of endless space. A limited neutral palette of materials and textures creates a classic, soothing feel, while plenty of built-in storage allows the rooms to appear effortlessly organised.

Standard home building procedures were used to ensure the most cost-effective method of construction. The project came in on time, and on budget.

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Our Happy Clients

We knew we only had one chance to get the look and the acoustics right and the room also needed to work if we ever sold the home.PlaceMate took into account not just the acoustics, but also the aesthetics of the room. We are delighted with their work

Greg & Trish Elgar Brisbane

I have been working with Jan on small and large projects for over 15 years. These ranged from small extensions to very complex projects, one which was awarded the Master Builders best renovation over 250 k and the quality and workmanship award. Working with Jan has always been a pleasure, and despite whatever difficulties a large renovation throws your way, Jan always displays the ability to work though it, providing the best result and a pleasurable working relationship. Jan’s designs are practical, efficient and work for the needs of the client. I can speak for this as Jan designed my home in Camp Hill.

Stewart Harris Builder

My favourite real estate agent said “Your renovations are fabulous, I still think you have best designed kitchen“ I must say I agree with her. I do love my little place and my beautiful kitchen makes me happy every day.

Jenny Doust Ashgrove

Best use of a steep site

PlaceMate topped the state for best use of a sloping site over $250000 at the Queensland Master Builders Association Housing & Construction Awards. The award was for the design of two contemporary townhouses built on a 500sqm site that dropped 10m from a busy road. All the bedrooms and living areas captured picturesque city views.


Best renovation $250-$500,000

PlaceMate took home the prize at the Queensland Master Builders Association Housing & Construction Awards for the best renovation between $250,000 – $500,000. The winning renovation was a 1910 cast concrete Californian bungalow-style home in Indooroopilly. The design added a new wing and unified alterations undertaken in 50s, 70s and 80s.

Recognised in The Courier-Mail

PlaceMate’s skills were recognised in The Courier-Mail for our transformation of a Shorncliffe residence originally built around 1910.

Registered with Board of Architects Queensland

Registration Number 2457

Our Client Success Team

Placemate Architects works with successful and innovative clients. Together we achieve significant and lasting transformations of cities, houses and landscapes.