Private front facade gives way to openness and light at the rear of this new family home

This contemporary home plays with wall planes and ceiling heights to create a dynamic interior that optimises natural light penetration and spaciousness

This new home by ONeil Architecture and Eterno architecture, backyard, cottage, elevation, estate, facade, home, house, property, real estate, residential area, villa, teal
This new home by ONeil Architecture and Eterno Design opens up at the back to connect with the rear yard, pool and outdoor living area.

Entering the front door of this modern home, visitors are struck by its spacious, open-plan interiors, flooded with natural light. However, with site constraints to address, designer Darren O'Neil had to make some dynamic architectural moves to create the relaxed, family-friendly feel.

O'Neil says while the design had to respond to issues like a limited frontage, a long, narrow site and steep shading angles in respect to the neighbours, it was never compromised by them.

"To give the home weight within the wider streetscape, I designed a private, almost abstract frontage that emphasises natural materials and strong rectilinear forms," says the designer.

The garage's cedar strip cladding forms one part of the facade while, to the right, board-formed concrete and a batten corner element combine on the front of the home proper. The extended garage soffit shelters the front door.

However, if the design is quite private and closed off to the street, it's quite a different experience when actually stepping into the interior.

Stained wood, marble tiles and an engineered stone architecture, bathroom, bathroom cabinet, countertop, interior design, product design, room, sink, tap, white, black
Stained wood, marble tiles and an engineered stone countertop all work together in this bathroom.

"A vista extends from the front door right down the length of the long, relatively narrow home," says O'Neil. "And from the entertainer's kitchen right to the back of the residence, the home has strong links to the outdoors, including from the kitchen to the alfresco dining area and yard, which is also accessed from the lounge."

O'Neil used several strategies to facilitate the upper-level set backs needed to maintain the required shadow lines to the neighbours and also to maximise natural light penetration. These included strategically raising some ceilings, the use of high clerestory windows and even a glass ceiling on an upstairs hallway.

"The stepped ceiling heights create intimacy in some areas while optimising the main living area's sense of volume and light," says O'Neil.

Designer Emma Morris of Eterno Design was involved from the early stages and undertook the interior architecture and interior design.

"Our brief was to create a warm, welcoming interior that captures a sense of Scandinavian style seen for example in the predominantly white walls and oak floors," Morris says. "The palette was chosen to enhance the home's strong architectural forms and also the interplay of light coming through the varying ceilings."

Interiors specialist Eterno Design softened the look of ceiling, dining room, floor, flooring, home, house, interior design, living room, property, real estate, room, table, gray
Interiors specialist Eterno Design softened the look of this homes dramatic architectural lines with luxuriant throws and double drapes

There are a number of character finishes, such as the textured concrete wall seen upon entry and the bespoke, dark-stained oak panelling to evoke cosiness in the winter or media room. And shutters were specified on tall narrow windows to bring a more architectural feel into the spaces.

"In fact, we added texture and interest in several ways," she says. "Another was with the custom Italian porcelain tile splashback in the scullery. This was also brought through into the powder room and master suite, for continuity.

"Maximising discreet storage was another requirement and this was addressed in every-thing from a walk-in drying room for the laundry to the dedicated floor-to-ceiling coat and shoe cupboards behind the hallway wall."

Credit list

Darren ONeil, ONeil Architecture
JE Dean
Weatherboards; concrete tilt slab panel with Rockcote plaster system
Window/door joinery
Rylock Thermal
Azjule Mutina tiles in scullery and powder room; mix of Marble Porcelain, Grey Armani and Azjule Mutina black porcelain mosaics in bathrooms
Kitchen cabinetry
Base units and scullery 2 pot matt lacquer; wall units, island panel and table American oak, horizontal grain, grey oak stain
Kitchen benchtops
Island Carrara marble; perimeter Snow, from Trethewey Artisan Stone
Cooktop, warming draw
Fridge, cooling drawer
Fisher & Paykel
American Oak, quarter cut
Bocci Lights in stairwell; Henge light over dining table; Artec lights in kitchen-dining area
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Winner
Interior architecture and design
Emma Morris, Eterno Design
Shotcrete Spa & Pools, Niveau Pools
Steel & Tube Plumbdek powdercoated roofing, Ardex Butynol membrane
Main flooring
Solid American oak timber with whitewash stain
Kitchen manufacturer
Bates Joinery
Gaggenau, Gaggenau steam
Award power pack
Vanity benchtop
Solid American Oak
Top mounted from Plumbline
Living Flame Eastside plasma gas Fireplace
Bespoke couch in Blue Velvet in media room; Henge Matisse Couch; Ro chair and footstool; dining table and dining chairs by David Shaw

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Jamie Armstrong

16 Feb, 2018

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