One of the best things about what we do is becoming friends with our clients – but for this project, Fiona was a friend before becoming a client. Having gone to school with Bec, she trusted us to love her cottage as much as she does.
Fiona’s double-brick Federation-era worker’s cottage is a rarity in Brisbane, but sadly its external character had been compromised by a poor extension to the rear and an enclosed front verandah. Inside, the cottage was dark and lacked flow. So we proposed a new pavilion-style kitchen to improve the layout of the home and open it up to the backyard, together with internal updates that retain existing character.
The corridor to the new kitchen is laid with a patterned concrete tile inspired by the external verandah originally in this location. This visual cue honours the origins of the space and mediates the transition between the original cottage and the new extension. A small set of stairs leads from this corridor to the kitchen – and while these stairs are there to work with the slope of the land, we took the opportunity to design them as ‘tea-drinking steps’ (see them in action in the video). The stairs are bathed in light and look out into the new courtyard intentionally framed by the extension.
Though it is at the rear, the extension essentially joins all the dots of this project. It lets light in from the north, adds functionality and has been devised to connect with the rest of the home. From the kitchen, you can see out to the backyard, the new courtyard and the cottage (including its original chimney). The dining room also opens out to the courtyard, bringing these key entertaining spaces together with the kitchen.
The extension is the first stage of a master plan that allows Fiona to carry out the renovation as her budget allows. A new bathroom and cosmetic upgrades to the master bedroom were also part of this stage. In stages two and three, the remainder of the cottage’s interiors will be updated, an open front verandah will be reinstated to let more light inside, and a carport and landscaping will complete the front of the home.
Yuggera & Turrbal Country
Ecru Design Studio
Install by Eden Scapes
Value per m2