Everyday living & Serenity

Finalist of several architectural awards, the renovation of Kate’s House is impressive. But it’s the collaboration between architect and client that may have proved its greatest success.

“Living here has brought sanity and serenity into our lives” – Kate, owner

Jade Vidal of Bower Architecture says from the very start, both the client and design team respected the value of the design process. The client’s vision for the home was strong. Kate desired a timeless family home, simply for living in. The home was to be a canvas that allowed her to imprint her own personality including artwork, sculpture and furnishings.

This vision extended out into the outdoor space, where the client requested a low maintenance garden, with just enough character to complement their art and sculpture collection. The connections to the garden and the framed outdoor views have been integrated into the movement through the interior spaces. This detail has resulted in moments of peace, visual relief and a sense of surprise as you walk through the home.

Outdoors a raised dining platform extends from the house, before gently stepping down into the rest of the garden. This was a deliberate design decision says Jade. The initial house sat above the garden and landscape, which resulted in little connection between the architecture and the outdoor space. The design team’s strategy was to connect the house and landscape by raising a small area of the garden to met the existing home. The new addition was then lowered to match the existing landscape level and has created an entry courtyard that is one of the stars of the home.

The materials palette selected is deliberately restrained and sympathetic to the 1960’s era. This relates back to the client’s abundance of artwork and sculpture, where the materials need to compliment and act as a backdrop, rather than compete for attention. Natural raw materials have been used throughout including blackbutt timber, bagged brickwork, Endicott™ Crazy Paving and Lagano™ Project Stone. Combining these materials with fine detailing of brass and steel, has just given it the extra edge it needs.

Stitching the new house to the existing home proved a challenge, as they attempted to avoid replicating or competing with the original design elements. Yet, it’s this seamless integration of the new and old that stands out in Kate’s House. The natural materials and the muted colour palette, combined with the design intent of creating a home for living has resulted in a timeless home that both the architecture and client are immensely proud of.

If you’re curious to see more of the home, inside and out, take a look at this video Bower Architecture created with Burning House to showcase Kate’s House.


Photography: Shannon McGrath