The owners of this house came to KIN Architects with a dense scrapbook of ideas and functional requirements to create their dream family home.
Their existing house was a previously renovated Ashgrovian Queenslander — a circa 1920s style of Queenslander featuring a gabled roof and side porch.
In renovating their Toowoomba home, the clients were seeking more space to work from home and suit their four children. ‘They’re a practical people who are ordered and routine based (given their large family), so much of the time was spent on the domestic brief and functional planning so they could run a tight ship,’ says Leah Gallagher architect and director at KIN Architects.
The clients loved the character of their old home, but they weren’t tied to its architectural style. ‘They liked the cosiness of the cottage, yet wanted to have a contrast between old and new, with a modern extension that opened the space to the garden,’ explains Leah.
KIN didn’t want to engulf the cottage or have this sit ‘second’ to the addition, so they pushed the equally-sized extension (both 120 square metres) to the rear to bring in volume and light. The house sits on a generous 1012 square metre block, so the backyard well retained.
Inside the L-shaped addition is the new lounge, kitchen, and dining area to the north, with service rooms (laundry, office, and butler’s pantry) located off the new home entrance on the side of the home (behind the garage).
The addition is architecturally in contrast to the original cottage, but features the same colour palette for continuity across the interiors. Stone crazy paving on the fireplace brings a textural element to the living space that feels cosy and lived in.
‘They wanted a warm gathering space that felt like you were transported elsewhere,’ says Leah. ‘The steel and stone work together to bring a more natural and robust look to the space. It feels crisp but you can also sit on it.’
Oak flooring and a blackbutt island bench add warmth to the kitchen, alongside durable stainless steel bench tops and Laminex cabinetry.
In the original house, the floor plan has been tweaked to better arrange the four kids bedrooms, main bedroom, a second office, and bathroom.
Bridging the gap between the new and old areas are two intimate courtyards that can be directly accessed from three bedrooms in the cottage.
‘We’re really proud of how the courtyard spaces have worked for this home. They’re successful in maintaining the “cottage in the garden” and it feels connected to the landscape,’ says Leah.
‘It also gives a soft distinction between zones. The courtyards allow breathing room between the original house and the extension, while the shared spaces are positioned five steps up on the site. This really defines the gathering area and provides greater privacy to the bedrooms in the cottage.’
Describing the completed house, Leah says, ‘It’s open, but spaces still feel small and comforting, which is essential on cold winter days in Toowoomba.’