Brisbane Country Homestead Renovation (Built 2015)

Owner’s Dream – Tumbulgum Transformation

The owners of this beautiful country property wanted to transform their aged property into a relaxed country homestead in this Tumbulgum transformation. The interior needed to be renovated in a manner that was both modern in functionality and traditional in style. It needed to be a tranquil home where the owners could develop their boutique distillery, care for rescued horses, and host guests for extended stays. 


Site Condition

The existing property lacked a sense of presence in its expansive country surroundings. The home was positioned on a large rural lot located just below the NSW/South-East Queensland border. It had a scant connection to its extraordinary location – the ridge of Terranora over paddocks to the north, the blue hills of northern NSW, the winding Tweed River and cane fields to the south.

The entry to the home was along a hidden side path, past the bathroom windows and through a poorly positioned sliding door. The kitchen and main living areas were cold and outdated, lacking airflow and natural light throughout the interior.  Only the well-sized floor area and adequate bedroom structure precluded demolition for a new build. 


Architectural Designer Solution

Tumbulgum Transformation

PlaceMate Architects transformed this property to benefit from and to the stunning green surroundings. We added three elements common to traditional homestead structure: a ‘stables wing’ to include a garage, office and loft; a ‘side verandah’ as the main entrance; and a ‘great room’ complete with a beautiful raked ceiling. 

At one end of the home, the great room extends into a north terrace down to the paddocks. At the other, a river terrace with a truncated gable frames a sunset silhouette of Mt Warning. Sandstone walls now mark the main entrance and the interior is detailed with neutral colours and natural textures to compliment the home’s heritage features.

The kitchen and main living areas underwent a total makeover to now bring in the beautiful scenery of the green hills outside. A fully self-contained flat was added to allow for independent living/long-term guests. The flat includes a master suite with a picturesque outlook in both directions. 

What resulted from PlaceMate’s redesign was a calm, balanced interior that immediately increased the home’s scale and presence in the landscape. The project came in on time and budget, and the owners are thrilled with the results of their forever home.


Project Partners



Peter Walker, Walker Building Contractors

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Client & Partner Testimonials

Jan has a great eye for detail. Her plans are very comprehensive and she thoughtfully considers every aspect of how her clients will live within the space she designs for them. She specialises in period homes and homes with character.


Manley Homes Manley Homes

We engaged Jan and her team at Placemate for our small block renovation in West End, Brisbane. Fantastic result, Jan’s creative genius solved tricky problems related to BCC restrictions and what we were aiming to achieve. Renovation is now finished (Yay!) and throughout the process they were extremely helpful (thanks Amy!), again, jumping in to solve unforeseen technical issues. Everyone who visits always comment on what a clever use of space, thanks Placemate!

Jason Hawkins and Diana Tolmie Owners

For an architect, Jan’s not an idiot.

Dave Maguire Builder

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.