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Same Same but Different House

We met Phil and Brady when they were at a crossroads with the design of their new home. They were working with a master builder to design a four-bedroom house on a sloping block. Despite being a conventional new build, its proposed cost was significant due to the excavation and large retaining walls required for the design. They came to us open to a different approach, and what followed was a warm collaboration, with Phil making pragmatic decisions and Brady enriching the project with his love of colour.

The brief was for a two-story home that worked with the slope of the site, rather than against it. A large garden and outdoor entertaining were important to create the feeling of living within the land, and they didn’t want the home towering over their neighbours. Finally, they were drawn to a luxurious yet honest raw material palette.

To make all of this happen, Phil and Brady were ready to let go of a few conventional ideas and use space cleverly. What emerged is a home that’s warm and textured, yet open, airy and light. A richly coloured working wall for the kitchen, entertaining unit and Euro laundry is the heart of the living space, and this centrepiece doubles as a gallery shelf for the objects and art collected for the home. These objects are illuminated by a north-facing lightwell, filling the living area with sunlight. The other heroes of the living space are a black spiral stair and copper benchtop that will each gain character with age, creating the lived-in patina the couple want their home to develop. The living area opens outside, stepping down to a sunken outdoor lounge and landscaped backyard.

The house itself is structurally simple – it sits up like an island on the block, allowing the site’s natural slope to remain. Materials such as exposed joists and stucco walls provide the texture Phil and Brady craved, while also keeping the project in budget. A modest footprint was necessary to work with the sloping land and allow for the garden, but a sense of space was achieved via the lightwell, low-set windows framing garden views and use of polished concrete both inside and out to unify these living areas.

So what did they have to let go of? In the end, it was very little (hence the name Same Same, But Different). There’s no formal front entry, no scullery and the fourth bedroom was scaled down to a study. This left room in the floorplan for spaces that truly enrich their lifestyle, and allowed them to invest in the hero items that adorn the home like a jewellery box.

  • Location

    Yuggera & Turrbal Country

  • Design Time

    13 months

  • Year Completed


  • Value per m2


  • Builder

    Allen Brothers Construction

  • Build Time

    11 months

  • Landscape

    Ecru Design Studio

  • Photography

    Toby Scott

  • Videography

    Alanna McTiernan

  • Styling & Interiors

    Brady Sherwell (Client) with Maytree Studios


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7 Fagan Road
Herston QLD 4006

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