This modern, two-story house is the ideal family home. Modest from the street, it opens out into a handsome, spacious dwelling on the inside. A high-ceiling central space houses a living, dining and kitchen areas, while cozy bedrooms abut onto a grand upstairs balcony, open on two sides to the interior and a compact garden bathed in sunlight. Whether you're looking to build your dream family home from scratch or you're about to renovate, remodel or build an extension to accommodate the clan, you'll find the inspiration you're looking for in this good-looking dwelling.
From the street, this house betrays little besides perhaps the fact that it is a robust two-story house suitable for a family. It's clad demurely in natural khaki tones, with one rake of the handsomely asymmetric, heavy-timbered roof supported by a stone-clad section of the structure. A carport provides practical access, while a broad balcony lets the architecture breathe. Otherwise its a strong but unassuming design. This all changes once you step through the front door.
This home opens up dramatically once you're inside, with the ceiling pushed right up under the eaves, timber and structural beams brought to a rich, mahogany polish. The interior design has combined a living room and dining room at the foot of an open staircase, letting the rhythms of family life flow uninterrupted. The use of wood continues in these communal areas, offset by modern industrial touches such as the staircase's use of white steel tubing of the handrail and balusters inset with clear glass panels. The furniture makes the use of a woodland palette, but draws upon modern minimal design for its form, and, where a roaring hearth might sit in colder climes, a flat screen TV has been discreetly mounted.
This photo, taken from the head of the stairs, shows off the grand volume in which the main living space is situated. We get a peek of the kitchen on the left, set under a ceiling with a regular single-story stud-height, and the dining table and living area set beneath the lofty ceiling. Across from is is the rear balcony, set above the garden terrace and linking the bedroom to the right-hand wing of the dwelling.
An enviable bedroom opens directly onto the rear balcony via floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors set on a corner of the structure, providing wraparound access and maximum breeze on hotter days and nights. A private sweet spot in the house, sunlight is far from scarce here. A willowy pot-planted tree adds eye-catching texture, and you'll notice a mesh has been mounted from the railing to the eaves to protect against curious birds – who wouldn't want to nest in this home?
A sense of the options available to the lucky couple that get to spend their nights in this bedroom is granted in this shot. While the balcony can be easily reached, there's little risk of risque lines of sight thanks to the considerate placement of the room in relation to the balcony.
This bathroom follows through with the relatively high ceilings found elsewhere in the house, culminating in a slot-shaped skylight that admits a flood of natural light into the clean-lined, functional space. Making the most of the opportunities for illumination, the wall mirror mounted above the sink and cabinet unit reaches up to the full height of the wall.
Another bathroom – this is a family home after all, ablutionary real-estate is in demand! – incorporates a playful sense of color and goes coyly to town with decorative flourishes like the floral sculpture on one wall and matching candle-holder set upon the laminated wooden sink unit.
This is the zone that the family's younger members can call home. Here they can study, stash their bikes and toys, and there's little that can be easily damaged – it's a scuff-proof room for play and getting down to kids' business.
Back downstairs, we get better impression of how the spacious communal living area consists of three blurred-boundary zones – the living room (out of sight), the dining room, and the open kitchen, tucked underneath the superstructure of the rooms above. With all this space to play with, the interior architects commissioned to bring this house from blueprint to reality thought modular, adding a slide-mounted set of door panels that can be accordioned across the dividing line between kitchen and dining area, offering a measure of separation.
Turning 180-degrees, we can see how the shaded, lofty interior gives way to the sun-drenched terrace at the rear of the house. Again a generous set of sliding doors lets the inhabitants control how open to the elements the interior and the exterior are. In the relatively hot climate in which we found this home, it's advantageous that the upstairs rear balcony provides serendipitous shade, with the low sun flooding the terrace but stopping short of the cool interior.
Think back to the fairly restrained facade at the front of the house, and then double-take at this sun-kissed spot on the other side. A flagstone terrace leads you out from the inside, you cross a sealed and stained wooden deck, and take a plunge into the pool. When this garden gets properly going, the pergola will be resplendent with fragrant climbing plants, and you can be sure that the proud homeowners will be looking down on all this from the upstairs balcony with more than a small sense of satisfaction.
Like the sensibilities you see in this family home?