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

Architecture

A Compact + Colourful Extension Of A Fun Family Home

Foomann Architects replaced this Melbourne home's dated extension with a personality-filled renovation, behind a vibrant pink door!
Christina Karras
  20 hours ago

Interiors

A Mediterranean-Inspired Holiday Home Right On The Water’s Edge

CLO Studios styled the interior of this new Noosa home (dubbed Sky Garden) with earthy tones and pieces by local artists.

Studio Visit

Kelly Thompson’s Playful Preston Showroom Clashes Colour In The Best Way

The clever creative behind online store, Makers’ Mrkt, gives us an inside look at her fun Preston stockroom-turned-store!
Christina Karras

Creative People

Landscape Studio Ayus Botanical On Creating Calming + Enduring Gardens

The husband-and-wife team of Ayus Botanical share the thoughtful processes behind their lush residential and commercial projects!
Christina Karras
  12 hours ago

Creative People

Artist and Yindjibarndi Elder Wendy Hubert On Mapping Country + Culture

Our new columnist Jirra Lulla Harvey talks to respected Yindjibarndi Elder, artist, Cultural Custodian and linguist, Wendy Hubert about Coun...
Jirra Lulla Harvey
2:04

Inside Look

Behind The Scenes At The NGV’s Epic New Picasso Exhibition

Exhibition designer Allie Mactier takes us through one of the National Gallery of Victoria's biggest exhibitions ever.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Costume + Production Designer, Catherine Martin

The four-time Oscar winning designer shares insights from her career working alongside husband Baz Luhrmann, and how she helped bring 'Elvis...
Christina Karras

Stays

A Dreamy Getaway With Panoramic Views In The Heart Of Hobart

Edwardian architecture meets a Japanese-style extension at this peaceful Tasmanian retreat, complete with spectacular views of the city, riv...
Christina Karras

Homes

A Creative Couple’s Loft-Style Pad, With Brooklyn Vibes!

Designer Phi Do and his husband Yaniv Brayer give us a tour through their warehouse-style Richmond townhouse.

News

Bruce Munro's Spectacular Light Installations Are Coming To Heide

See a showcase of light and colour when the acclaimed English-Australian artist takes over Heide Museum of Modern Art and its gardens!
Sponsored

Interiors

The 2022 Australian Interior Design Awards Winners!

From Troye Sivan's divine Flack Studio residence to a converted warehouse abode, the industry’s best designers and projects have been reve...
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Timeless Renovation Incorporating Three Eras Of Design History

The Autumn House by Studio Bright unites a Victorian terrace with its 1980s renovation by architect Mick Jörgensen, in one contemporary des...

Interiors

A Green New Addition For An Ageing Edwardian Home

Brave New Eco revitalises an existing Brunswick home for multiple generations with a new extension, natural material palette and clever use

Gardens

A Cottagecore Folly Buried At The Bottom Of A Grand Garden

Cameron Kimber’s pocket-sized patch contains a folly and a sweet guest cottage mirroring his stately home in the Southern Highlands.

Interiors

Two Sleek + Stylish Side-By-Side Homes On One Block!

This dual-occupancy build by Boutique Developments proves developments don't have to be generic, with each unit offering up its own contrast...
Christina Karras

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

Creative People

Landscape Studio Ayus Botanical On Creating Calming + Enduring Gardens

The husband-and-wife team of Ayus Botanical share the thoughtful processes behind their lush residential and commercial projects!
Christina Karras
  12 hours ago
2:04

Inside Look

Behind The Scenes At The NGV’s Epic New Picasso Exhibition

Exhibition designer Allie Mactier takes us through one of the National Gallery of Victoria's biggest exhibitions ever.

Architecture

A Timeless Renovation Incorporating Three Eras Of Design History

The Autumn House by Studio Bright unites a Victorian terrace with its 1980s renovation by architect Mick Jörgensen, in one contemporary des...

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Costume + Production Designer, Catherine Martin

The four-time Oscar winning designer shares insights from her career working alongside husband Baz Luhrmann, and how she helped bring 'Elvis...
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Compact + Colourful Extension Of A Fun Family Home

Foomann Architects replaced this Melbourne home's dated extension with a personality-filled renovation, behind a vibrant pink door!
Christina Karras
  20 hours ago

Interiors

Two Sleek + Stylish Side-By-Side Homes On One Block!

This dual-occupancy build by Boutique Developments proves developments don't have to be generic, with each unit offering up its own contrast...
Christina Karras

News

Bruce Munro's Spectacular Light Installations Are Coming To Heide

See a showcase of light and colour when the acclaimed English-Australian artist takes over Heide Museum of Modern Art and its gardens!
Sponsored

Interiors

A Green New Addition For An Ageing Edwardian Home

Brave New Eco revitalises an existing Brunswick home for multiple generations with a new extension, natural material palette and clever use

Creative People

Artist and Yindjibarndi Elder Wendy Hubert On Mapping Country + Culture

Our new columnist Jirra Lulla Harvey talks to respected Yindjibarndi Elder, artist, Cultural Custodian and linguist, Wendy Hubert about Coun...
Jirra Lulla Harvey

Studio Visit

Kelly Thompson’s Playful Preston Showroom Clashes Colour In The Best Way

The clever creative behind online store, Makers’ Mrkt, gives us an inside look at her fun Preston stockroom-turned-store!
Christina Karras

Stays

A Dreamy Getaway With Panoramic Views In The Heart Of Hobart

Edwardian architecture meets a Japanese-style extension at this peaceful Tasmanian retreat, complete with spectacular views of the city, riv...
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Mediterranean-Inspired Holiday Home Right On The Water’s Edge

CLO Studios styled the interior of this new Noosa home (dubbed Sky Garden) with earthy tones and pieces by local artists.

Interiors

The 2022 Australian Interior Design Awards Winners!

From Troye Sivan's divine Flack Studio residence to a converted warehouse abode, the industry’s best designers and projects have been reve...
Christina Karras

Homes

A Creative Couple’s Loft-Style Pad, With Brooklyn Vibes!

Designer Phi Do and his husband Yaniv Brayer give us a tour through their warehouse-style Richmond townhouse.

Gardens

A Cottagecore Folly Buried At The Bottom Of A Grand Garden

Cameron Kimber’s pocket-sized patch contains a folly and a sweet guest cottage mirroring his stately home in the Southern Highlands.

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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net