This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

An Architect's Own Dream Home

Architecture

‘Designing your own home is possibly every architect’s dream’ admits architect Sally Wilson, as she introduces us to her stunning ‘Timberland’ house.

This home in Woodville, South Australia is a labour of love, completed across two pregnancies, and planned to accommodate Sally’s growing family. Designed so the family could experience the lush outdoors as part of everyday, Timberland is a true dream house!

14th February, 2019

The Timberland House by Sally Wilson Architects. Photo – Sam Noonan.

Welcome to the Timberland house. Photo – Sam Noonan.

Kitchen detailing in the Timberland house, with a bold charcoal island bench. Photo – Sam Noonan.

Strong symmetry in the heritage ‘M roof’. Photo – Sam Noonan.

Welcome the light into the timber paneled living space. Photo – Sam Noonan.

Strong architectural lines frame the courtyard. Photo – Sam Noonan.

Peek out to the backyard. Photo – Sam Noonan.

The external living space functions as an extra room. Photo – Sam Noonan.

Photo – Sam Noonan.

The bricks are recycled from the original lean-to. Photo – Sam Noonan.

This house makes a real splash. Photo – Sam Noonan.

Miriam McGarry
Thursday 14th February 2019

‘After years of designing homes for others, Timberland presented the opportunity for me to unleash complete creative control and create a new addition for my family.’ – Sally Wilson.

The Timberland house by sw-architects was architect Sally Wilson’s opportunity to apply all of her design skills to her own home. She explains ‘after years of designing homes for others, Timberland presented the opportunity for me to unleash complete creative control, and create a new addition for my family.’

The growing family needed a larger living space, new wet areas and craved greater connection to the outdoors. Sally explains that the process of renovating and extending the 1898 sandstone cottage took ‘nearly three years, two pregnancies and countless hours of hands-on labour.’

What guided the project was a ‘unique constraint’ of a 60-year-old 11-metre-tall oak tree in the backyard. Rather than view this as a limitation, Sally used this gentle giant to inform the identity of the project. The tree was welcomed into the home, through careful framing, to avoid overshadowing within a site that lacked northern orientation.

The addition at the rear of the home captures passive sunlight, and envelopes a private internal courtyard. The renovations also needed to provide a new office for sw-architects, as well as facilitating a direct view for Sally to watch over her son playing the backyard.

A timber-lined ‘cabin’ aesthetic is emphasised here through the use of fast-growing plantation Blackbutt timber.  Sally explains ‘timber linings extend beyond the glazed windows, guiding your eye along the ceiling to the oak tree beyond, further expanding the living space, and four large sliding doors retract to fully open the cabin to the exterior.’

The interiors carry the warm timber into the house, offset by burnished concrete floors in the studio, a black ceiling in the bathroom, and charcoal porcelain in the kitchen.

For Sally, designing her own family home has been a process of evolution of experimentation. The result, she says, is a ‘well detailed, hand crafted addition that has enhanced the lives of my family.’

This Week

Studio Visit

The Dreamy New Retail Space Of A Professional Plant Charmer

Consider us charmed by Ryan Klewer’s (aka Plant Charmer) brand new headquarters in East Brunswick!
Sasha Gattermayr

Interiors

The 5 Rules Of Good Kitchen Design, According To Cantilever Interiors

A good kitchen starts with observing these five rules, brought to you by Australian design and manufacturing kitchen brand Cantilever Interi...

Architecture

A Contemporary Beach House Designed By An Architect For Her Parents

The Bendalong Beach House by Madeleine Blanchfield provided such a serene escape for its owners, it became their full-time residence!

Art

The Nomadic Artist Who Is Always Painting On The Road

Emily Imeson lives her life out of a four wheel drive, travelling the country in pursuit of new landscapes to paint! Her solo show, 'Ancient...
Sasha Gattermayr
  10 hours ago

Creative People

The Best News Story Of 2021, So Far!

We check in on Think Thornbury owners Maggie May and Josh Kelly and their son Remy and get an update on their family!

Architecture

A Lean, Clean Renovation To A Grand Heritage Weatherboard

ioa Studio transforms a cavernous Victorian residence into a light, bright contemporary home - and adds an element of surprise!
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

An Owner-Built, Architect-Designed Renovation Of A Charming 1920s Melbourne Home

Lauren Egan and Glenn Hester collaborate with Project 12 Architecture on a thoughtful update to their 1920s Preston home, with interiors by
Lucy Feagins
  18 hours ago

Studio Visit

A Conversation With Artist And Former Youth Prime Minister (!) Aretha Brown

The 20-year-old Gumbaynggirr woman shares her thoughts on the intersection of community and creativity, how she feels around this time of ye...
Bridget Caldwell-Bright

News

Sit Front Row At The Country To Couture Fashion Show Tonight!

The 2020 runway show featuring an incredible lineup of contemporary First Nations designers will be broadcast via Facebook this Friday (toda...

News

Art Deco Meets The 1980s In Greg Natale’s New Vase Collection

The Australian interior designer launches his latest vase collection, ‘New Wave.’
Amelia Barnes
  8 hours ago

Homes

Louella Boitel Gill's Loved And Layered Bungalow By The Beach

Interior and furniture designer Louella Boîtel-Gill has turned her former Airbnb in the Northern Rivers into an idyllic family home.

Architecture

This Couple's Home Is Two Houses In One!

Coy Yiontis Architects have designed this home with separate areas for a couple who have been living together for 50 years. His and hers goa...

Architecture

Bigger Isn’t Better In This Newcastle Home

Covering just a 55 square metre footprint, this Curious Practice project in Newcastle proves less is truly more!
02:40

Small Business

Our (Free!) Small Business Summer School Is Here!

Got a burning business idea but no idea where to start? Small Business Consultant Fiona Killackey is here to guide you through how to get st...

News

Colourful New Kids Books From A Legendary Local Illustrator

Artist Kat MacLeod teaches us our ABCs in this super cute range of books from Thames & Hudson.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Country Cottage That Makes A Real Splash

Off-the-grid luxury at Hill Plains Cottage Pool House by Wolveridge Architects, in the Macedon Ranges.

Architecture

A Different Kind Of 'Tree House'

A home inspired by a magestic backyard magnolia tree, by Green Sheep Collective.

Architecture

A Pavilion in the Trees

A spectacular, seamless addition to an existing mid-century house in Camberwell, by Melbourne firm AM Architecture.

This Week

Art

The Nomadic Artist Who Is Always Painting On The Road

Emily Imeson lives her life out of a four wheel drive, travelling the country in pursuit of new landscapes to paint! Her solo show, 'Ancient...
Sasha Gattermayr
  10 hours ago

News

Art Deco Meets The 1980s In Greg Natale’s New Vase Collection

The Australian interior designer launches his latest vase collection, ‘New Wave.’
Amelia Barnes
  8 hours ago

Architecture

This Couple's Home Is Two Houses In One!

Coy Yiontis Architects have designed this home with separate areas for a couple who have been living together for 50 years. His and hers goa...

Homes

Louella Boitel Gill's Loved And Layered Bungalow By The Beach

Interior and furniture designer Louella Boîtel-Gill has turned her former Airbnb in the Northern Rivers into an idyllic family home.

Homes

An Owner-Built, Architect-Designed Renovation Of A Charming 1920s Melbourne Home

Lauren Egan and Glenn Hester collaborate with Project 12 Architecture on a thoughtful update to their 1920s Preston home, with interiors by
Lucy Feagins
  18 hours ago

Studio Visit

The Dreamy New Retail Space Of A Professional Plant Charmer

Consider us charmed by Ryan Klewer’s (aka Plant Charmer) brand new headquarters in East Brunswick!
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Colourful New Kids Books From A Legendary Local Illustrator

Artist Kat MacLeod teaches us our ABCs in this super cute range of books from Thames & Hudson.

News

Sit Front Row At The Country To Couture Fashion Show Tonight!

The 2020 runway show featuring an incredible lineup of contemporary First Nations designers will be broadcast via Facebook this Friday (toda...

Architecture

Bigger Isn’t Better In This Newcastle Home

Covering just a 55 square metre footprint, this Curious Practice project in Newcastle proves less is truly more!

Studio Visit

A Conversation With Artist And Former Youth Prime Minister (!) Aretha Brown

The 20-year-old Gumbaynggirr woman shares her thoughts on the intersection of community and creativity, how she feels around this time of ye...
Bridget Caldwell-Bright

Creative People

The Best News Story Of 2021, So Far!

We check in on Think Thornbury owners Maggie May and Josh Kelly and their son Remy and get an update on their family!

Architecture

A Contemporary Beach House Designed By An Architect For Her Parents

The Bendalong Beach House by Madeleine Blanchfield provided such a serene escape for its owners, it became their full-time residence!

Interiors

The 5 Rules Of Good Kitchen Design, According To Cantilever Interiors

A good kitchen starts with observing these five rules, brought to you by Australian design and manufacturing kitchen brand Cantilever Interi...
02:40

Small Business

Our (Free!) Small Business Summer School Is Here!

Got a burning business idea but no idea where to start? Small Business Consultant Fiona Killackey is here to guide you through how to get st...

Architecture

A Lean, Clean Renovation To A Grand Heritage Weatherboard

ioa Studio transforms a cavernous Victorian residence into a light, bright contemporary home - and adds an element of surprise!
Sasha Gattermayr

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Country Cottage That Makes A Real Splash

Off-the-grid luxury at Hill Plains Cottage Pool House by Wolveridge Architects.

Architecture

A Different Kind Of 'Tree House'

A home inspired by a magestic backyard magnolia tree, by Green Sheep Collective.

Architecture

A Pavilion in the Trees

A spectacular, seamless addition to an existing mid-century house in Camberwell, by Melbourne firm AM Architecture.

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.