When Rachel and Simon engaged us for their renovation, their humble cottage was bursting at seams with a creative family of five and two fur babies. Their primary intention was to introduce living space and personality to the home, but they also wanted to retain the footprint of their rear garden and pool area.

By utilising a side front entry and split-level living, we were able to add amenity without needlessly encroaching on the backyard. The restored cottage now houses the boys’ bedrooms and a rumpus, with a fifth bedroom, laundry and bathroom underneath. An adjoining extension introduces an additional living level to the home that sits halfway between the street level of the cottage and the boys’ wing upstairs. This double-height extension houses a kitchen and sunken lounge that connect with garden, as well an upstairs master bedroom and ensuite (known as Rachel’s ‘isolation zone’). We positioned the master directly above the sunken lounge to enclose this space and create a sense of cosiness against the double-height void and adjoining garden.

Concrete is used throughout to reflect Simon’s love of off-form concrete, and both Rachel and Simon had the confidence to inject their personality elsewhere around the home via colour, custom joinery and repurposed fixtures. We embrace this input from our clients, and in this instance it resulted in a rich and layered interior that truly reflects this warm family. Their final touch was the home’s GTMadHouse moniker, which we lovingly adopted as the project name.

  • Location


  • Client

    Rachel & Simon

  • Builder

    Petro Builders

  • Year Completed


  • Design Time

    2 years

  • Build Time

    9 months

  • Value per m2


  • Photography

    Cathy Schusler

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Shop 3, 475 Sandgate Rd
Albion QLD 4010
(parking at rear, off Highlands St)