Run outdoors and play

In this family-friendly design, the children are encouraged to use the backyard as an extension of the interiors and as a more direct path to access the heart of the home

Designed by Dalecki Design

From the designer:

The owners of this home approached us to design their own version of the quintessential Australian family home. 

They wanted a humble home with a strong connection to the outdoors, a carport that would fit their beloved boat, and a design that was impactful, functional and supportive of their coastal lifestyle and their growing children. 

Design solution notes

A core part of the inspiration for this project came from the desire to create a seamless and intuitive transition from indoors to outdoors.

The ground floor was meticulously planned to encase and ‘hug’ the backyard and provides many moments of connection and direct access to the outdoors to encourage the use of the outdoor spaces as much as the indoor spaces. 

The ‘broken’ alfresco design provides a tucked away experience that still permits supervision of the pool and surrounding garden areas, while also facilitating the owners' desire for a more direct connection to the gardens and backyard right from the main living space and children's bedrooms.

 Although there is a central passageway within the home providing a connection to the main living space, the children are encouraged to use the backyard as a more direct path to access the heart of the home; through doors leading directly outside. 

This allows the backyard to feel as though it is an extension to their rooms, as well as providing a more direct route to the main living hub of the home – a key request of the owners. 

The design is responsive to the site and the location, with existing mature trees not only being retained on site but incorporated into the design. 

Focus was given to passive solar design, including correct orientation, solar control, and capturing cooling breezes from the nearby coastline. 

Inspiration for the external design was taken from the eclectic nature of the surrounding streetscape, which really had no rhyme or rhythm at all. 

We embraced a lighter, more coastal, palette and have utilised thoughtful and sensible materials, however in a modern, sharp and dramatic way, which was aligned with the owners' aesthetic preferences. 

Beyond this, the rest of the design was responsive to the owners' ever growing needs as a family. 

This includes separate wings for adults and children, a highly functional layout and a central space for the family to gather which would support their day to day living. 

The owners did not want to build an extensive home – they preferred an intimate space with a feeling of ‘living together’ rather than a feeling of cohabitation.

Sustainability considerations

  • We focussed on correct site orientation along with solar passive principles when approaching the design for the home.
  • The entire living space has been angled to encompass more northern light, however, with the addition of sweeping curves, this angled floor plan isn’t noticed when journeying through the home.
  • Given the coastal location and the scorching Perth summers, we focussed heavily on capturing cooling summer breezes via high-level (operable) glazing to flush heat from the home.
  • The central entry void area captures warmer air and is flushed out by cooling breezes from the top-level balcony.
  • A low embodied energy timber framed construction was used where suitable.
  • Mixed construction methods were used throughout the home based on their location and performance characteristics – concrete blocks and flooring were used in the design for their thermal mass properties, allowing them to capture heat in the winter to aid in the heating of the home once the sun goes down.
  • High-performance thermal glazing units have been used throughout the home.
  • The home includes a solar PV system.
  • Thoughtful material selections throughout assist in ensuring a comfortable and conscious living environment for every season and for all the years to come.

How the owners experience the home now, and into the future

From the first steps into the home you are offered glimpses and smaller details of what's to come. 

The home has a generous double height entrance, accompanied by an instant connection to the gardens outside via views through the adjacent full height window. 

A curved timber hallway draws you into the expansive open plan living space where the family spend most of their time. 

The main hub of the home hovers around the dining area, where the family enjoys a lot of time together over shared meals, puzzles and conversations and where the parents can enjoy a cup of tea while watching the children play in the backyard lawn area. 

The lounge space is cosy, with the fireplace being a source of delight and a place to gather together in the evening. 

Beautiful light play is present throughout the home, from the playful patterns cast by ‘hit and miss’ brickwork outside the children's bathroom, to the dramatic shadows and sunbeams that creep into the kitchen and living space throughout the day. 

The owners have a particular love for the large pocket sliding doors connecting them to their outdoor oasis, while the children love that they can take a few steps straight from their beds to the backyard play area, or can quickly make their way across the lawn to grab a snack from the kitchen. 

The design integrates perfectly into the owners' daily living and allows them to blend indoor and outdoor play and pleasure all year round. 

There are many elements throughout the home that are perfectly nuanced for this family; from the kitchen nook to the ‘kick off your boots’ entrance, and of course, to the boat sized carport. 

The home's beauty is directly coupled with its unrivalled functionality. 

This home was built for this family to enjoy for many years to come.

Credit list

Kitchen manufacturer
Brightwood Design and Mat Main
Landscape design/install
Revolution Roofing
Main flooring
Wood, by Woodpecker Flooring; polished concrete, by DS Grinding
Cheminees Philippe, from Subiaco Restoration
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended
Kitchen designer
Dalecki Design
Interior designer
Dalecki Design/owners
Pool designer/installer
Aqua Technics
Window/door/louvre systems
DGA Windows
Temple Fine Rugs
Feature light fittings
Kovac Family

Designed by: Dalecki Design

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Dion Robeson

04 Feb, 2024

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