This original Queenslander home mercifully survived the demolisher’s chopping block after it was snapped up by a purchaser with an eye for potential coupled with a design and building team who could deliver it.
The tired old cottage in prestigious Wilston, an inner northern suburb of Brisbane, had seen better days and even had a demolition order on it when the owners purchased it. However, a passion for character housing combined with a highly skilled and attentive design and building team has resulted in an amazing transformation – an exquisite home which harmonises effortlessly with the local streetscape.
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The once run-down Queenslander is now a beautifully appointed five-bedroom family home with generously sized living areas, and spectacular architecture and décor, ready to withstand the next 100 years and beyond.
Enlisting the services of building designer Ben from Lifebox, the vision was born based on the owners’ brief. They wanted to create a more functional family home, designed to maximise light and views, with a large living/entertaining space and pool area, garden surrounds, large bedrooms with walk-in robes, and children’s bedrooms with ample space for playing in.Working together with local builder Murray and the expert team at Plumb Constructions, this vision became a reality.
Lifebox’s seamless and practical design effortlessly fuses the old home’s structure with modern extensions. Taking pride of place in the newly designed home is the rear living room that extends out to a spectacular pool, deck and garden entertaining area. The bright and airy living room is not only spacious, but it also offers a spectacular pool outlook complemented by panoramic city views. The pool has been elevated to connect the outdoors with the main ‘hub’ of the home – a seamless integration of living spaces that creates an open, family-feel without any wasted space.
All living areas are situated on the upper level to take further advantage of the city views. Bedrooms are found below, with the master suite flowing onto the backyard gardens. The high ceilings throughout are reminiscent of a bygone era, plus plenty of additional storage space was included in the design.
To imbue the home with quintessential Queenslander charm, elements that had previously been removed from the cottage over the years were re-instated, including character windows and doors made from solid cedar. Inspired by classic Hamptons-style coastal homes and chic French architecture and interiors, a timeless colour palette of soft greys and creamy whites was paired with delicate finishes and décor such as antique furniture, lighting, and tumbled platinum travertine tiles in and around the pool area.
Specifying natural materials for use in the construction of their home, the owners wanted products that would not only complement a traditional Queenslander-style home but also create a polished, high-quality finish. Natural stone features in the kitchen benchtops, internal wet areas and external tiled areas, while blackbutt flooring has been laid throughout the home to add character and sophistication. Pressed metal ceilings bestow charm and a touch of class while spotted gum has been used in external decking for its durability and attractive aesthetic with a rack-sawn grain structure.
The owners were very clear from the outset: they didn’t want to compromise on quality. They chose to work with Plumb Constructions based on their attention to detail and demonstrated track record delivering quality timber home renovations. It was important to them that their project would be given the appropriate level of focus, and seeing Murray on site every day gave them a lot of confidence.
The project took only ten months from initial design consultation to finished construction, exceeding the clients’ expectations despite having renovated several times before. This was made possible from the outset by Lifebox’s thoughtful design, which despite the significant scale of the renovation obviated the need to go through a lengthy town planning approval process, as well as the commitment of the Plumb Constructions team throughout the build. Over this period, solid relationships were formed and Ben and Murray are now counted as friends of the owners, with whom they catch up socially.
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