This home is all about subtle sophistication and materiality that is organic and beautiful.
This quietly sophisticated family home, delivered by architect David Hansford, ticks all the boxes for modern family living. When presented with a set of draftsman’s plans that fell short of the mark in terms of the owner’s needs, David, from DAH Architecture (DAHA), took on the challenge of creating a family home that would adapt as the family grew and took advantage of the leafy outlook.
David’s key design philosophy centres on creating homes that not only respond to the site, but capture the quintessential character of those who live there. “The clients for this project had confident and bold personalities with a warmness within, which for me reflected in the form and materiality of the project,” he says.
The home is built with robust materials like concrete, brick and black weatherboard, but internally the house offers some calmer, softer moments. “There are smaller intimate spaces catering for a developing family with a need for variety,” says David.
Sprawling over three levels with five bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, with a plethora of cosy and light-filled living spaces, this three-storey abode is home to a family of four — mum, dad, and two soon-to-be teenage daughters — as well as two Golden Retrievers.
This bespoke project illustrates it’s possible to embrace a potential challenge and turn it into something unapologetically exceptional. In this case, it was the very unique configuration of the house block. David describes it as “a sector of a circle sloping heavily to the rear”, which meant a large 34m north-facing street frontage. Another major obstacle was how to draw north-easterly breezes and natural light into a south-facing block without compromising privacy. This was addressed by adding plenty of greenery and light-filled spaces through generous floor-to-ceiling glazing and roof skylights. There are many light-filled spaces to retreat to and curl up with a good book, to share some quiet conversation or boisterous family board games, to spend special moments with the family or to share with friends and extended family.
Inside, the design is all about clean, modern lines and family living. There’s a generously appointed kitchen with a butler’s pantry tucked in behind. A cold room and bar cater for cooking and entertaining. A mix of warm timbers and stone adds an organic flavour that is easy on the eye, while the colour palette favours neutrals with blue accents. Colour is introduced with large abstract artworks and stylish occasional pieces dotted throughout, with custom furniture reflecting the home’s architecture.
The spacious master suite is the ultimate in comfort, with dual pendants adding a contemporary edge and a cosy sofa offering space to relax at the end of a busy day.
Sheer curtains provide privacy but open up to allow in the light. The shower spaces connect visually with the outdoors thanks to skylights above — at night it’s like showering under a star-filled sky.
This home is all about subtle sophistication and materiality that is organic and beautiful. David says the home also includes some “impressive feats”, like the 3.7m-tall sliding timber stacker doors. The brick fireplace outdoors is another striking built element; it stands at a notable two storeys high and houses the homeowners’ Brazilian barbecue.
A swimming pool offers respite from Queensland’s hot summers, and nearby cosy seating delivers a vantage point for a lazy Sunday with friends. For the pre-teens, the girls’ games room and rumpus give them their own personal area to entertain friends and have space of their own.
There are many eco-friendly elements in the home, including PVC solar cells and rainwater harvesting. Re-orientating living spaces from the previous set of supplied plans provided opportunities for ample cross ventilation, reducing the need for machine-driven cooling.
One of David’s favourite spaces is the sunken courtyard that’s positioned off the girls’ rumpus room. “The space has a peaceful feel to it and functionally masked some levels to keep the house grounded in elevation,” he says. There’s room for the dogs to romp and play and it’s connected visually to the leafy backdrop and streetscape.
This project came to fruition through a collaborative effort of building and design teams who worked harmoniously together, notably the styling of Claire Stevens Interior Design and the builder. “Tim Black (Black Developments) did a fantastic job pulling off this project on a difficult site with tough access and keen timeframes,” says David.
It was a project that David enjoyed planning, designing and delivering to the delighted homeowners, with a few little unexpected gratuities along the way. Among them, says David, were “the obvious perks of client meetings at a chef’s house with a sleeping Goldie on your foot”.
This article originally appeared in Grand Design Australia #10.2 WORDS CARROL BAKER PHOTOGRAPHY CATHY SCHUSLER