There was no doubt that this four-bed, 1916 classic Queenslander needed a little more love than the makeovers it had undergone in the 1950s and ’60s.
Fortunately a Brisbane family was up to the task of renovating the home, seeing through the dilapidated finishes and poor layout to the home’s original quality.
Who lives here? Amanda, a childcare centre director; her husband Jeff, an electrician; their children Hudson, four, Charlie, 13 months, and Poppy, four months; and dogs Lulu and Lenny.
Location: Inner southern suburbs of Brisbane.
Original property: A four-bedroom 1916 Queenslander, with modern additions.
Renovation time frame: Eighteen months, on and off.
Why this house? Amanda grew up next door, where her parents still live, and, as a child, was intrigued by the house, which had been given numerous “makeovers” in the 1950s and ’60s.
“When the property came up for sale, we were nervous about the size of the project, but when it didn’t sell at auction, we made an offer and it was accepted,” she says.
“We knew it would be a big job, especially with a baby and both working full-time, but we were excited by the challenge.”
The works: The internal layout was reconfigured to allow for an enlarged kitchen, new bathroom and new main bedroom. The exteriors were totally overhauled, with timber stairs reinstated at the front and a deck added at the back.
The result: “Removing several internal walls has created a much more open-plan feel, with an abundance of natural light throughout,” says Amanda. “Stripping away dated finishes and restoring original features has also given back the home its architectural integrity.”
Favourite aspect of the redesign? “The kitchen – because we chose every element from the drawer handles to the light fittings,” Amanda says. “It’s a favourite place for the family to congregate.”
Major changes included restumping the house, removing exterior bricks from the lower section and replacing them with timber battens in keeping with the home’s era.
The front deck was stripped back, tiles were removed and damaged timber and joists replaced. New timber cladding, balustrades and French doors, along with a set of external butterfly stairs, were added to give the exterior a beautiful new look.
Inside, several internal walls were taken out to create a much more open-plan feel, with the original carpets and sheeting stripped off to reveal beautiful timber floors and vertical joinery.
The layout was reconfigured to allow for a grand, Hamptons style kitchen.
Central to the new layout is a striking kitchen island bench topped with marble found on Gumtree, with beautiful cabinetry and industrial-style pendants.
French doors lead out to the new back deck, transforming the former casual eating area into a light, white dining room.
Philippe Starck for Kartell ‘Louis Ghost’ chairs surround a one-off dining table found at Verandah House, with a vintage sideboard from The Old Boathouse and chandelier from Beacon Lighting create a fascinating mix of old and new.
Removing the internal wall between the living and dining room has given a much more functional layout.
A ‘Stockholm’ rug from Ikea almost stretches the width of the room and anchors a classic ‘Arianne’ Chesterfield from Early Settler and a pair of wingback chairs found at Botticelli House, while a black timber ‘Riviera’ cabinet from Town & Country Style houses collected treasures.
This serene retreat is a far cry from the original decor. The bedroom is furnished with French provincial-style pieces, including an upholstered bed, found on Ebay and dressed in a ‘Nyponros’ quilt cover from Ikea.
It is layered in soft grey, blue and taupe tones that co-ordinate beautifully with the bedside lampshades and the walls, painted in Taubmans ‘Cliff Face’.
A ‘Lorne’ button-back armchair in Natural Linen, from Early Settler and curtains in ‘Waterfall Ruffle’ in Ivory from Urban Outfitters, along with a striking chandelier (try ‘French Provincial’ iron chandelier from Design Chandelier) add the finishing touches.
The nursery features an eclectic mix of vintage furniture, curios and books that complement a timeless palette of grey and white.
Sheer ruffle curtains not only modulate the natural light, but also add a lovely textural element.
With the existing wash zone demolished in order to extend the kitchen, the original sunroom was divided up and reconfigured to create a new, generously sized bathroom.
A clawfoot bath acts as a central focal point, while timber floors and vintage-style pieces, such as the Early Settler tapware and vanity add warmth.