December 1, 2017
A humble abode
What this stunning Noosaville home lacks in size, it makes up for in atmosphere, design and style. Striking features, pared back with relaxed natural materials and plenty of bright spaces, makes the architecturally designed space an inviting and modern home for its owners and their guests.
The magnificent, architectural home with its large front lawn and gorgeous poinciana tree, welcomes you from the street. Home to Sue and John Hargreaves, the structure itself appears quite large from the curb, featuring two levels and a large entertaining and pool area on the first floor. But as they say, you should never judge a book (and in this case, a home) by its cover.
What you’ll discover as you walk past the hand painted artwork at the top of the stairs, and into the heart of the home, is that it only has two bedrooms.
It gives you the illusion of a big house, but as you can see it’s not,” says Sue.
These days, it’s rare to come across a brand new two bedroom home, as most of us are opting for larger spaces and at least a few bedrooms when building. But as Sue explains, they were ready to downsize. And the final product is a massive success thanks to architect Jolyon Robinson, who originally designed the Hargreaves’ large family home in Doonan some 14 years ago.
“My philosophy in using an architect is that they are the expert. I like his work. That’s what attracted me initially because I saw some of their work in a magazine,” she says.
Beautiful materials like timber, glass and corrugated iron give the home that quintessentially Australian feel. High ceilings, louvers, large sliding glass doors and a wide open living space create a relaxed and breezy atmosphere, which Sue says limits the need for heating and cooling.
Jolyon designed it so we can open it up and catch a cross breeze. It didn’t need any heating in winter because the sun streams in here in the morning,” she says.
One of the home’s most striking features would have to be the all-navy kitchen. Sue had her heart set on the colour scheme from day one, and had to do a fair bit of convincing to get it over the line. While she gave Jolyon almost full creative license, this one was a non-negotiable.
Once Sue had managed to get everyone on board there was the trouble of finding a material in a flat-navy colour. They tracked down a navy concrete bench, but as it had to come from the USA, they were concerned about the concrete cracking. Eventually they found the perfect material – marblo, a by-product of corian (a material that is regularly used in kitchens). And the pendant lights had to be spray painted by a local painter to get the exact colour to match the rest of the kitchen.
Another beautiful and practical feature in the home is the large, open office space. It’s situated between the two large bedrooms and has built-in shelves and plenty of natural light.
“If we ever left, it could be converted into another bedroom,” says Sue, addressing the need for space if it was ever required.
Perhaps the most impressive element in the abode actually came about by accident. The large sliding timber door that opens onto the front patio was supposed to be covered in white gyprock until Jolyon and Sue fell in love with the bare timber that you see today.
Sue’s creative touch is evident in the styling of the home. Understated, sophisticated furniture allows the standout features like the timber door and navy kitchen do all the talking. The colour palette of white, navy and timber/orange are scattered throughout every room without being too overpowering.
As they’d only been in the home for one month at the point of photographing, the Hargreaves were yet to pick furniture for the central outdoor area surrounded by an impressive timber frame. One detail Sue had used however, was the quirky bird made from palm fronds who sits happily on a swing from the arbor.
“I bought him in Byron Bay about 16 years ago. In my other house, he stood for 14 years in the pool. Then his legs started to rot away and I couldn’t get rid of him,” Sue laughs.
With its ideal design for entertaining and living, something tells me this home will witness a lot of laughs in the future.