Believe it or not, this playful Paddington, Brisbane home used to be a small, dilapidated two-room cottage. While elements of the original house remain – the small timber cottage is now raised and perched at the front of the home – CG Design Studio have completely transformed the site into a unique Queensland take on mid-century design.
The brief from the clients (a couple with a young family) asked for ‘functional spaces’ to suit their lifestyle, but with a ‘unique and fun’ twist – something that would build on their appreciation of mid-century design, bold pattern and colour.
‘We had to find the right balance between contemporary and mid-century, as we did not want it to be a kitsch reproduction,’ says Christopher Gyzemyter, director and head designer of CG Design Studio.
The complexities of the steep, narrow site led them to design functional spaces, rather than large ones. Mid-century design elements, such as built-in furniture allowed them to achieve this.
Colourful, retro-inspired tiles that feature throughout the communal areas are the balancing act; providing the base of the colour palette of the house, adding pattern, playfulness and intrigue to areas where built-in elements and hard surfaces couldn’t.
These colours; blue, orange, brown, are touched on throughout the house in kitchen cabinetry, rugs, soft furnishings and clever painted details in the entry recess and door. Together with warm timber features, this subtle nod to colour provides relief from the concrete and white walls, which would otherwise dominate the home.
Other complications on the building site – a sewer running through the middle of the property, for instance – dictated the location of the central courtyard space, as it turned out, for the better, Christopher says. ‘It actually made it more interesting and allowed us to feature the pool in the middle of the home.’
The sloping block and building heights also meant they couldn’t have high ceilings, so instead they used windows placed at ceiling height to capture the light and greenery hanging in the roof garden. Even where the ceiling is the lowest – in the main bedroom – the eye is still pulled through the room to the expansive roof garden and city skyline beyond.
In two and a half years, CG Design Studio have completely overhauled the ‘unliveable’ cottage set in the middle of this property, and created a tropical, mid-century-inspired family home that intrigues and delights – but still sits discreetly on its streetscape of neighbouring cottages.