“We wanted to build a family home that would incorporate loved features from our past homes, and could do justice to some cherished family antiques,” says the owner of this stunning Mapleton home. “There was never a doubt where we wanted to build it, either – it had to be in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland!”.
The land was invaded by camphor laurels, bush shrub and lantana, but the new owners, both keen gardeners, could see the potential and the challenges for developing the acreage into a beautiful family estate for themselves, their teenage family and their two dogs, Charley and Sasha. After a year of careful clearing and land rehabilitation, the reward was an interesting plateau site with exceptional views over the hinterland hills and valleys.
Tania J Coward was the architect and interior designer behind this impressive home and said it’s very much that view and the site that dictated the design from concept through to construction.
“As the block was on a narrow plateau that dropped steeply away to the back and two sides, attention had to be given to the house footprint and heights to meet the regulation limits. The type of construction, including the floors that are cantilevered to each side, was addressed very early in the design stages, particularly given the soil type and budget,” says Tania. “Locating the house as close to that steep back drop off area as was practical has allowed us to adapt the design to take in the view, maintaining a visual connection from within the home as much as possible.”
The architect and her client wanted the formal feeling of entering a special space by stepping up onto the front porch and walking through a formal foyer, so as to be awestruck when entering the open plan living room. It’s all about the view beyond, enveloped in the luxurious, stylish surrounds.
Armed with ideas for creating a Cape Cod/Hamptons-style home to suit with the Queensland climate, the client worked closely with Tania throughout the design to ensure their vision was realised to perfection. They were excellent communicators and relayed a detailed brief with many photos and emails. High on the wishlist were Dorma-style upper windows and interior spaces on the upper level that convey the feel of an attic for the children’s bedrooms. Timber floors throughout were another must have, as were the arched doorways to frame the circulation openings.
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RWD Joinery have a reputation for high quality and attention to detail, and were the obvious choice –their knowledge and expertise were invaluable, assuring the finest level of joinery throughout the home. The full height double hung windows to the front and back of the property allow light and natural ventilation to flood in, and the shutters can be closed if and when necessary. “Our client took our advice to spend the extra money to pre-prime the timber in the workshop prior to RWD Joinery assembling it, which made for a superior and long-lasting finished product.”
While the high ceilings are an essential element to the design, a cosy warmth is palpable throughout the interior. “This is due to careful selection of carpet colours, timber flooring, wall and trim paint colours, the style and detailed stone finish to the fireplace, the elegant light fittings and size and finish of the timber skirtings and architraves,” explains Tania. “I always design a house from the inside to outside. I pay special attention to my client’s furniture requirements for each space. It’s important to consider the arrangement of each piece of furniture and its relationship to the surrounds in the early design concept.”
One can sit or stand in any room and have a glimpse of another space as well as the surrounding outdoor gardens. “If you’re lounging in a comfortable chair in the quietness of the sitting room you can look past the piano and stair detail through the full height double hung windows to see the sunset beyond. And from the master bedroom you can look through a series of framed openings and the ensuite picture window to the magnificent view of the garden and hills beyond,” says Tania. “This layout of the spaces also allows for natural air flow and balanced natural light.”
Pandanus Constructions was chosen by Tania J Coward Architect for their wealth of construction experience and was involved from the early design stage to allow them to become familiar with the scope of the project. “Pandanus Constructions helped our client with the building budget-related advice in the design stage, which was paramount to us moving forward with the development and detailing for construction,” says Tania of the build team’s expert input. “Their meticulous approach to the construction is evident in the quality finish. Pandanus Constructions immersed themselves in all our architectural documentation to ensure they built exactly to our client’s firm specifications, right down to the very last details.”
As the homeowners enjoy cooking and entertaining, many hours were spent on the design of the kitchen, walk in pantry and dining room. A galley-style kitchen was decided on, both for its classic style and for the way it allowed the view to take center stage. “The kitchen has all the mod cons fitted to enable our client to entertain while cooking,” adds Tania. The walk-in pantry also has been fitted out to accommodate appliances, food and crockery storage and plenty of extra refrigerator capacity.
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Mal Truloff from Trubuilt Kitchens was involved in the kitchen design and installation from an early stage, carefully considering and discussing the aspects of the cabinetry design, which includes 2pac finishes for the Blumotion soft-close doors and drawers, with Caesarstone benchtops. “Trubuilt Kitchens’ experience in their field is evident in the quality of the fit out and finish,” attests Tania. Trubuilt Kitchens were also responsible for the build and installation of the laundry, vanities, as well as the wardrobe fit out and study cabinetry.
Tania acknowledges that her client’s commitment to open communication, providing a very detailed brief, followed up by many hours of research and discussion throughout the project, was key to the success of the finished home. The two-year turn around from concept to completion is solid evidence of the excellent teamwork of all involved.
“Everyone brought a passion to working together to create something extraordinary here,” says Tania. “The delight now is seeing and hearing all about how much our clients enjoy the results.” Dream home realised.
Photography: Paul Smith