Rustic yet refined on the landscape

At one with its rural setting, this homestead celebrates the traditional barn vernacular – disciplined proportions, crisp detailing and sustainable aspects further inform the home 

Designed by Darren O'Neil, O'Neil + Architecture

From the building designer:

Owner brief

  • Rural lifestyle property that doesn’t look out of place
  • Protected from the elements while maximising the views
  • Energy efficient
  • Clean and minimal aesthetic

Our response

A modern interpretation of a country retreat, this homestead mirrors the rural forms of the surrounding landscape, and beds comfortably into the natural environment. 

The gatehouse is a prominent landscaping feature, welcoming you as you approach the property. 

The main design influence is the traditional barn vernacular; however, the real beauty lies within the discipline of proportions, pitch and clean crisp detailing. 

The limited and carefully curated colour and material palette complement the home's spectacular surroundings.

The rectilinear barn design is divided into several interconnecting wings, centred around the open-plan living area with a feature glass gable. 

The intuitive floor plan forms a place of restraint and efficiency. 

We orientated the living and shared spaces of the home to capture the views and connect with nature. 

As with any view you’re exposed to the elements, especially the wind. 

Our unique full height vertical batten sliding screens and opening louvred roof provide shelter and flexibility to the outdoor living areas, enabling them to be used year-round no matter the weather. 

The generous layout perfectly adapts to large social gatherings, while still feeling intimate, comfortable and warm.

Designed as a series of built forms, one of the challenges was to create an intimate and inviting interior while honouring the home’s angular volumes and the homeowners’ desire for a clean, European look. 

To achieve the balance, Lume Design created a sleek, foldaway kitchen, pairing the polished concrete floor with chocolate-toned cabinetry and wall panelling throughout the home. 

The heart and warmth of this project lies within the carefully balanced and richly layered play of textures and natural materials. 

Warm, cool, raw, and polished elements are woven throughout creating an intriguing marriage of distinct but harmonious textures.

Some of the sustainability features incorporated into the design include solar panels, extensive water storage tanks, low-e argon-filled double glazing throughout, and the passive solar nature of the polished concrete floors.

The result is tailored, luxurious and enduring. 

We were able to satisfy our owners' brief, designing an energy efficient lifestyle property, which has become their sanctuary.

Credit list

Structure design and construction, landscape design
Henry Blakely Landscapes
Heritage Tray Colorcote, by Dimond
Window/door joinery
Low-e, argon-filled double glazing
Co-designer – kitchen, interior and lighting design
Lume Design
Brendan Falloon Builders
Herman Pacific horizontal rusticated weatherboards and Herman Pacific vertical shiplap weatherboards, both with silver coated WoodX oil
Louvre system
Division Architectural electric opening roof louvres
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended

Designed by: Darren O'Neil, O'Neil + Architecture

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Anna Mcleod

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