For this dramatic lakeside home, two forms merge to create a cohesive structure that offers both social living and private retreats

Designed by David Chilton, Chilton + Mayne

From the designer:

The brief

This enjoyable project revolved around the fusion of families. 

The owners sought a modern, custom-made family home that could facilitate their constantly evolving needs and capitalise on the remarkable lakeside site, allowing them to integrate water sports into their daily routine. 

The design had to incorporate warmth, ample lighting, expansive open spaces, and energy efficiency – resulting in a comfortable family home that was simple to live in and host gatherings.

Design features and creative solution

Our approach to designing this family home was to create a seamless blend of architecture that catered to the needs of the owners. 

They wanted a space that could function as a family home, while also providing thoughtfully crafted areas for each individual to be themselves. 

The exterior design is a literal representation of this narrative, with two forms merging to create a cohesive structure that responds to the site's characteristics.

Upon arrival, the owners wanted a sense of openness and lightness in the living space, which we achieved by incorporating high ceilings that created volume. 

This allowed us to design a kitchen, living, and dining area that felt spacious despite its relatively compact size. 

The integration of taller windows and unobstructed views from the dining space towards the outdoor living areas and water's edge further enhances this connection with the outdoors.

The living areas are oriented towards the north and the water, with the outdoor spaces designed to provide shelter from the prevailing cold winds of Lake Hood. 

The bedrooms are situated on the first floor, with the teenagers' two bedrooms branching off from a small rumpus area that offers them their own private space. 

The master bedroom is placed to take advantage of the water views and to provide a luxurious retreat for the owners.

To achieve a cohesive family feel, we carefully selected materials and achieved warm, calming colour palette throughout the interior. 

The use of timbers, white-space, and soft furnishings combined to create a timeless ambiance. 

This house embodies the simple beauty of combined forms and materials that tell the story of a blended household, creating a welcoming and comfortable space for all to enjoy.


The project's design phase prioritised energy efficiency, given the need to accommodate a family under one roof and the expected high energy consumption. 

To this end, the team incorporated precise measures to enhance thermal performance, including 140mm thick external walls, roof-mounted solar panels discreetly positioned behind the parapets of the single-storey living wing, and thermal insulation throughout the structure. 

The use of thermally broken aluminium and strategic placement of glazed openings, roof overhangs, and sun angles all contribute to a passive solar design approach, aimed at harnessing and managing the Sun's energy while also preventing overheating.

Credit list

Building designer
McIntosh Builders
Kitchen manufacturer
Anderson Joinery
Chilton + Marne / McIntosh Builders
Espan – Metalcraft; Enviroclad – Viking Roofspec
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Runner-up
Structural engineer
TM Consultants
Kitchen designer
Dougal Anderson
Interior designer
Nadine Barron
Espan – Metalcraft; cedar – Hermpac
First / Kennedy Aluminium

Designed by: Chilton + Mayne

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Dennis Radermacher, Lightforge Photography

18 Feb, 2024

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