Our projects

PlaceMate 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.
St. Lucia – Small lot house

A peaceful, light and airy architect-designed family home, surrounded by garden and sitting comfortably in a street of gracious old St Lucia houses. Four bedrooms, a double garage and accommodation for a small business were essential.

Surrounded by a mishmash of house styles, including student rentals on both sides, this small lot was situated in a gully, with an unfavourable north aspect to the street and a huge Poinciana tree.

While bringing northern sunlight into all the main living areas, our home design brought the focus towards the pool courtyard and outdoor living areas, with a garden planned to screen the neighbouring properties. The floor plan included an office over the garage incorporating strong, simple roof shapes.

  • St. Lucia – Small lot house

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St Lucia – Four-unit development

To economically develop four three-bedroom residences with generous indoor-outdoor living in leafy surrounds. To build a home and garden for her mother on the ground floor.

Although the block faced north and was conveniently located overlooking a park, overland flow, flooding, a four-metre crossfall, busy road, close neighbours, height restrictions and western exposure provided challenges.

Use timber frame commercial construction techniques and standard fitouts to keep build costs down. Step the ceiling levels down over the upper level bedrooms to stay under the height limit, for faster planning approval. Open upper floor living areas to the views with timber decks built above metal roofs. Create a top-lit staircase as a community heart. Add extra acoustic insulation. Use colour for interest and mass definition. Plant up every spare square metre of site with trees.

  • St Lucia – Four-unit development

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Shorncliffe – 1910 transformation

To create a serene sanctuary for effortless living and discrete entertaining, and build underneath without raising the house, avoiding the need for town planning and heritage permissions.

Previously a holiday home for a Brisbane lord mayor, few Art Nouveau details remained following this 1940s conversion into four poky flats. The original house rested on a water table and termites had rotted the timber from underneath. Inside, cracked aluminium windows obscured panoramic views of Moreton Bay to the east and western views to Taylor Range were lost in the oppressive heat generated by a corrugated iron roof. Add to all that the presence of very close neighbours.

Pare everything back and get out of the way. Frame beautiful views and turn ugly ones into light. Reduce visual clutter to create more flow and space. Transform semi-underground bedrooms into a light, airy garden rooms.

  • Shorncliffe – 1910 transformation

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Tumbulgum transformation

An old-style, relaxed country homestead where they could develop their boutique distillery, care for rescued horses, entertain and host friends and family for extended stays.

This grey 1980s project home had scant connection to its extraordinary location – the ridge of Terranora over paddocks to the north, and the blue hills of northern NSW, over the Tweed River and across canefields, to the south. The house lacked presence. Entry was along a side path, past bathroom windows and through a poorly positioned sliding door. Only a good size floor area and OK bedrooms precluded demolition and starting all over again.

Leave both ends of the existing structure as is for bedrooms and garage. Add on three elements common to traditional homesteads: a ‘stables wing’ to house a garage, office and loft; a ‘side verandah’ as entry; and a ‘great room’ with raked ceiling on a north-south cross axis. What resulted was a calm balanced interior that immediately increased the home’s scale and presence in the landscape.

At one end, the great room roof extended into a north terrace down to paddocks. At the other, a river terrace with a truncated gable framed a sunset silhouette of Mt Warning. Sandstone walls marked the main entry. Inside, a range of large and small spaces to sit, dine and relax were detailed with neutral colours, natural textures and heritage features. Independent living was made possible with a self-contained flat on one side of the house, separated from the family’s three bedrooms, including a master suite with outlook in both directions.

  • Tumbulgum transformation

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