Our projectsPlaceMate works to suit your purpose not ours. We can help with any – or all – stages of your new home project. It costs nothing to take the ﬁrst step to meet us. After that, you decide how much – or how little – you’d like PlaceMate to take care of. Not everything needs to be done in one go. It’s entirely up to you how many steps you’d like to take and at what level of detail. Here’s an outline of PlaceMate’s steps and their cost estimates.
The heritage loo was located inside the original house, Ross Roy, which had been designed by colonial architect Claude W. Chalmers and built in 1897. In 1946 Ross Roy became St Peters Lutheran College. For the first ten years classes were held here while the headmaster, his family and girl boarders lived upstairs. From the 1960s the house was neglected and ignored, much to the disappointment of the “old girls”. Although Ross Roy’s grand rooms were later restored, the original downstairs toilet remained unaltered and became a focus of special nostalgia. After lobbying to raise funds, the school now wanted to restore the heritage loo to its former glory for the use of staff and visiting parents, improve user experience and ensure finishes were robust enough for commercial cleaning.
At the time it was built in 1897 Ross Roy was an elaborate Victorian brick home that would have been considered at the height of fashion and technology. Its downstairs toilet featured indoor plumbing, beautiful brickwork and 13 types of decorative tiles. Over the years, the washroom and toilet room had suffered a lot of wear and tear and weathered the outcome of expedient repairs. It smelt of drains.
PlaceMate recorded all the original details for posterity, matched colours precisely, designed the detailed scope of work, selected compatible fittings and found appropriate contractors. As much as possible of the original materials remain untouched. Craftsmen repointed the brickwork, polished the original concrete floor, manufactured tiles to precise size and colour, repaired the cedar door, removed redundant pipes and wiring and installed new drainage. The toilet room has a new WC. A new vanity attaches to a false wall in front of the bricks, to conceal pipes and services. In another century, it can be entirely removed without damaging the original bricks. On completion, the principal held a “First Flush” ceremony. The Old Scholars are happy and Ross Roy’s heritage continues.
Richard and Ray were seeking a private haven of peace and comfort with all the convenience of an inner-city lifestyle that would also easily fit the template of a standard family home. When the council refused their demolition application, the couple approached PlaceMate to assess the property’s potential for renovation.
The original workers cottage was roughly made and raw but still fairly intact despite decades of tenants. The small lot was in a flood zone, rising from a busy road, facing south over a park and included a mysterious old pipe running across the middle of the block. One side of the cottage was so close to the boundary, its window hoods encroached on the neighbours’ property, while the other side fit a driveway. Add to that a series of fibro built-ins and rear verandahs that became progressively lower. You couldn’t see much of the rising north-facing back yard or use it. The house was not insulated. It was hot, pokey and dark with no outlook.
The original cottage remains in precisely the same position, to avoid triggering complex town planning and Building Code approvals. The back verandahs and fibro were demolished, then dug in flat from the kerb for parking. The original cottage is now a two-bedroom guest zone. Behind it, a second “two-storey Queenslander” replicates the cottage roof and details. The old driveway is now a staircase and access path to the middle of the house. Internally, open stairs mark the transition between old and new. The open plan living area opens to the guest sitting room in front, and to a terrace and courtyard at the back. On both new levels views extend right through the back fence to Moreton Bay figs in the park opposite. It feels much larger than its floor area. Big corner doors at the top of the stairs slide back to an indoor-outdoor verandah with outlook across the park. The owners’ bedroom, ensuite, study and back verandah have glimpses across rooftops to the city, trees and hills beyond. It is light, airy and catches every breeze. The builders’ craftsmanship is evident in every detail.
The ultimate family home to take their family of young boys through to their teenage years, that won’t date quickly and incorporate plenty of outdoor living areas.
A gently sloping block facing north on to bushland.
A family friendly home that brings the outside in. From entry through the central front door, all living spaces open out to the north, across the pool, play areas and to the bush beyond. Parents’ rooms are located on one side, kids on the other. An east-west axis provides private access from garage to bedrooms. Interior spaces are clean, uncluttered and open. Expensive materials are saved for sparing use in feature locations, with pale neutral finishes beautifully resolved throughout.
A big white classic, Georgian Queenslander townhouse for her family to live and play in, with lasting value and spaces for art, music and entertaining.
Three previous rounds of alterations and additions had left this 1920s Queenslander with little connection between house and garden.
Lift the house and move it forward on the block to accommodate a tennis court. Create new living areas downstairs that flow outdoors to the classic garden. Create spacious open verandahs upstairs. Retain focus on an internal stairwell to unify formal space arrangements, and apply carefully chosen colour and classic materials throughout.