Discovering Elegance

Discovering Elegance


Designer Shaun Lockyer spins a new take on a traditional Queenslander

Tired and old, this Queenslander was in dire need of some tender loving care. A previous extension had been executed with bad planning as the dark and sombre space did not take advantage of the home’s delightful view over a running creek.

Designer Shaun Lockyer decided to accept the proposition of taking the old and turning it into something new without relinquishing all of the home’s history. As the house was situated on a 58-perch block, it was imperative the comforting view from the garden be accessible in the new design.

Says Shaun, “The client asked me to embrace the site and connect the house to the garden and creek to capture the north light and design a warm volumetric space that was contemporary and open.”
After a series of radical structural changes there was only a small number of walls left standing from the original cottage. Formal and informal entries also needed to be incorporated at the ground and first-floor levels. This provided an opportunity to design a Queenslander with a twist, as the double entry allows each front door to serve a different purpose.

Celebrating the lower entry is a massive 2.4m² pivot door. Shaun has ensured the void and “bridge” around it is a key feature that creates a warm, light and dynamic space.

Finding the right mix of style was a challenge as the idea behind the design was new versus old, he says. “We had to find out how to embrace and celebrate the past in a way that adds value to the new and now. Responding to a historical context has been very rewarding.”

By using a theme of minimalisation for material and colour, form has been allowed to feature quite heavily in this stunning home. A few clever design tricks were undertaken to ensure the home still portrayed an element of tradition. A simple palette of materials has been kept for the core aspects of the interior with splashes of red accentuating key features.

Simple plasterboard walls are a subtle match to the beautiful jarrah timber covering the floors while the red splashback in the kitchen provides a distinctive hint of colour.

Another aesthetic delight is the feature light hanging in the open living zone, providing a contemporary touch to this fantastic twist on the conventional Queenslander.

Variety is the spice of life, so a range of formal and informal living areas were included for enjoying Queensland’s sultry summer nights. Venturing outside to the relaxing views of the creek, guests have the opportunity to take advantage of the alfresco entertaining area designed to highlight one of the most amazing aspects of the landscape.

Set on a unique piece of land in a character street, this property has experienced some fundamental changes and emerged with newfound elegance.

“The street has been allowed to maintain its character while allowing the clients to express theirs,” says Lockyer. “Well versed in architecture, the clients and I collectively worked out solutions that have given the home a beautiful quality.

“As I still have continuity with the owners after completion of the design, I have had the pleasure of seeing them happy and content in their brand new dream home.”

The project was designed by Shaun Lockyer of Arkhefield, 418 Adelaide Street Brisbane, Qld
Phone: 07 3831 8150; email: or go to
The project was built by Tim O’Donnell
Phone: 0418 785 391

Kitchen, dining, living and stair: jarrah timber 140mm wide board
Bedroom: Cavalier Bremworth carpet
Outdoor: jarrah timber 88mm decking

Dining, living, bedroom, stair: plasterboard
Kitchen: red glass
Outdoor: rendered block, fibre cement with aluminium cover battens, Hardies Nu-Line
Other: jarrah mixed battens over FC sheet to lower entry

Benchtop: Corian
Splashback: red glass
Cabinetry: two-pack
Caroma toilet suite, Duravit, Scola basins

Main: EEC and beacon lighting

“We had to find out how to embrace and celebrate the past in a way that adds value to the new and now. Responding to a historical context has been very rewarding.”