Quantcast

Interiorssneak peeks

In Australia, A Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees

by Garrett Fleming

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge

In a couple weeks I’ll be sitting at a table with my partner, Aaron, signing the barrage of paperwork that comes with purchasing a home. And boy, is it a good one. With 22-foot ceilings and a lofted kitchen/second living area, the space is a perfect blend of our respective styles. Not only is it modern enough for him, but it has the original details I’ve always craved as well. Our loft’s location can’t be beat either, but the fact that we found a space we both aesthetically love is hands down the reason we’re purchasing it.

When asked why they chose their home, architect Catherine and tech consultant Tony of Brisbane, Australia had a different reason: “The house was in our price range!” Without a doubt, this was due to the 1930s-era cottage’s age and condition. Before they worked their magic on it the home was small and had a kitchen that wasn’t easy on the eyes or the cook. In fact, it was barely functional.

That was 12 years ago, and the couple has since given their cottage many nips and tucks — the most noticeable of which have been made to the rear of the home. In this portion they added just enough square footage to accommodate a larger living area and fully renovated kitchen. Perhaps the best feature of this new addition, though, is the window seat and adjoining veranda. Both sit amongst frangipani trees and all manner of wildlife.

The renovation overall was quite involved, but Catherine and Tony did strive to stay true to their home’s humble beginnings. No change was made just for looks or to erase the space’s original charms, and not one bit of the cottage’s history has been compromised. This is a house that not only toes the line between urban and rural living, but also seamlessly mixes both retro and current designs. Scroll down to take a peek. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Rachael Honner

Image above: The house sits near a bowling alley. While out on the veranda, you can hear the faint cracks of bowling balls knocking down pins.

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
1/15

The family’s home is in “a leafy valley tucked in-between two big shopping areas.” Catherine says, “A creek runs by a couple of houses down, pythons curl up in our frangipani tree and kookaburras wake us pre-dawn!”

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
2/15

Catherine and Tony’s Queensland worker cottage was built around 1930. According to House Histories and My Family Home Experts, these homes are elevated, typically quaint, feature a veranda and are oftentimes made of timber.

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
3/15

The original plan for the back deck was to build it out of inexpensive timber and then paint the pergola white. When the builder showed up with this rich, red timber, however, the couple was hooked and changed their entire concept.

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
4/15

Tony and Catherine met 22 years ago in Paris, France. Their two children Josh and Lily are 13 and 11, respectively, and they both absolutely love sports.

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
5/15

This nook in the living room has a magical effect on people. The second anyone sits down, they’re quickly horizontal and nodding off to sleep. “All the windows can be opened up and you are lying literally in the frangipani tree!” Catherine explains.

 

 

Design Tip: Take time living in [your home] before you renovate. If you can, live through each season!

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
6/15

In the newest part of the home – the combination living room/kitchen – wall art takes a backseat to the view of the surrounding valley.

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
7/15

Before the addition, the couple struggled with their tiny kitchen. It had minimal storage, an odd layout and was barely functional. Their new one features a peninsula with seating to keep everyone out during prep time, abundant storage and soft-close drawers. Together these elements make cooking so much more enjoyable for the family.

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
8/15

The new kitchen highlights how to successfully use two countertop colors. If the peninsula counters had been black, the kitchen would’ve run the risk of appearing bulky.

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
9/15

When it comes to older houses, Catherine and Tony urge homeowners to make updates that improve the functionality – not simply the look – of their space. They walked the walk and talked the talk when they removed the too-tiny kitchen that sat here and installed that larger one at the top of the stairs.

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
10/15

Before converting Josh’s old room into this proper dining area, Catherine, Tony and their kids were in need of a dedicated space for enjoying meals together. They used to belly up to a makeshift table made out of wooden planks. It barely fit all four of them and was mounted to a wall uncomfortably close to the bathroom.

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
11/15

The dining area’s cutouts help this space flow into the combination living room/kitchen. “I can also keep an eye on the kids doing their homework [at] the dining room table while I am working in the kitchen,” Catherine says with a wink.

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
12/15

Tony and Catherine took their time decorating, so for a while the home was very sparse. Back then, Catherine’s dad – “an aficionado of secondhand shops and antiques” – used to bring his daughter decorations he came across to give it some life.

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
13/15

The couple’s bedside bookshelf came from a secondhand shop around the corner from their house.

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
14/15

The bathroom’s greenery is yet another example of how Catherine and Tony help their house blend into the surrounding landscape.

In Australia, a Modern Cottage Nestled in the Trees, Design*Sponge
15/15

“I love the way our house moves from the old part with its private quiet rooms, to the new extension that opens up in space & peels back the walls to our own little green jungle in the backyard.” — Catherine Woodward

SOURCE LIST

Overall
Builder – Michael Ross Builders

Backyard
Decking, pergola – red ironbark timber

Living Room
Window seat cushion – Javad Raghab
Boat yard paintings – Simon McIntyre

Kitchen
Tiles – Petti Bella by ASA Tiles
Kitchen – Tailored Flatpacks Direct
Lighting – TedLec and Andrews Light Up
Cocktail shaker– antique

Dining Room
Chairs – secondhand
Carved wooden shepherd – shop in Peru
Silver lizard – shop in New Zealand

Catherine & Tony’s Bedroom
Various paintings – Rachel Prince
Triptych print – Tony Ogle
Landscape watercolor – Joyce Williams (Catherine’s grandmother)
Wooden bedside table –secondhand

Suggested For You

Comments

  • Beautiful home, but I can’t get past the fact that she said *pythons* curl up in the frangipani tree … the same tree (?) that hangs over that beautiful nook with wide open windows?? NOPE.

    • @Bethany – LOL – that was my first thought too! Nonetheless, this is a beautiful home that perfectly blends the nature outside with serene decor inside….but those pythons, no….

    • OMG, Bethany! I had the same thought about the pythons curled up in the frangipani tree right outside where people love to nap?!? I had to read this a couple of times to make sure I read it correctly. Beautiful house, but I can’t get pass the image of the pythons. Surely I’m missing something.

  • Lovely house and setting (minus the pythons, which I believe are an invasive, non-indigenous species in Australia) but only one bathroom? Not even a powder room/toilet and sink?
    PS Love this website.

  • OMG, Bethany! I had the same thought about the pythons curled up in the frangipani tree right outside where people love to nap?!? I had to read this a couple of times to make sure I read it correctly. Beautiful house, but I can’t get pass the image of the pythons. Surely I’m missing something.

  • Swoon! A beautiful all-grown-up-treehouse, and I love the accordion glass door out to the deck with pergola, just dreamy! The stairs leading from one level to the next are very pretty, too, and love the little nooks everywhere.

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.

x