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Connection to the outdoors inspired the design of this dynamic home

Childhood memories of the bush and nature inspired the design of this cool home

Jane Power grew up on large farm and, as an adult, had visions of waking up and looking out her bedrooom window at lots of trees, something she’s finally managed to do in her new home by award-winning architect David Boyle.

“I had read about the work he was doing in sustainable architecture, with natural materials assembled in a decorative way,” says Jane. “Of all the architects I met, David gave me the most confidence. He was respectful of our budget and completely got my desire to create my own four-bedroom ‘treehouse’.”

Completed in 2017 after a year-long build, the multi-level dwelling is perfectly set into its sloping, bushy block. Inside, the home is open plan but with areas that can be closed off or opened up, thanks to wide thresholds and hidden doors.

“When houses became much more open plan, you ended up with these chasm-like spaces,” says Jane. “David has given this house a sense of openness and flow, while allowing us to create more intimate spaces when we need to.”

Beautiful and practical

The ceiling heights increase as you move through and skylights bring in plenty of light. Burnished concrete floors start at the glass-roofed entrance and continue down to the living area on one side and the kitchen/dining space on the other. Dividing them is a whitewashed brick fireplace replete with built-in shelves.

“The fireplace knits the spaces together and really shows the craftsmanship of the brickies,” says David, whose firm specified just about all the internal finishes, fittings, colours and joinery.

“Bricklayers are very skilled and often their work is unseen because it’s all just rendered on top of, so for them to be able to express their craft here is really nice.” The furniture has a mid-century feel, which is continued in the media room on the lowest level.

Adjacent to the dining area is a spacious kitchen featuring stainless steel and timber set against homely tongue-and-groove walls and cabinetry, all choices as practical as they are beautiful.

Hidden from view is an expansive butler’s pantry and laundry running the length of the room. “We are not tidy, show-home people,” Jane explains.

Beyond the kitchen, through a set of timber-framed doors, is a two-level deck leading to the swimming pool and garden. The sightlines were important. “I wanted to be in the kitchen and still see the kids in the water,” says Jane.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms, but it’s the main bedroom, complete with walk-in wardrobe and peaceful ensuite, that calls to Jane when she gets home. “I must admit, I am a little obsessed with my bathroom,” she says. “I sit in the bath with my music on and look at the trees. It gives me an incredible sense of calm.”

Beauty in practicality

However, Jane’s favourite way to experience the home does actually include the rest of the family.

“On a summer’s day I love opening all of those back doors and just being in the bush,” she says. “I sit on that deck at four or five o’clock in the afternoon and watch the beautiful light. That’s my absolute favourite time, with me and Mark on the deck or the concrete steps while the kids are jumping around in the pool.”

Words by: Freya Herring. Photography by: Chris Warnes. Styling by: Claire Delmar.

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