Projects Journal

At Maytree Studios, we are humans first and architects second.

We are architects and interior designers with a passion for bringing new life to old homes. Whether you have an 80’s brick box or a 1920’s Queenslander, we design for real life, the messy bits, the beautiful bits, and all the bits in-between.

We take the stress out of the design and build process, bringing clever, sustainable, beautiful designs to homeowners who appreciate great ideas and want to create something special for the long term.

We say we’re humans first and architects second.

Working with us is not a short-term fling. It’s a fun filled relationship. We get to know you, your quirks, how you live now and what you’ve got planned for the future. Our homes aren’t just walls and floors, we design spaces that nurture, support and uplift, for the long haul.

Our goal is to take the stress out of the design and build process. We help you to navigate big (and small) decisions by following our robust process to ensure a smooth and fun ride (yes fun!).  We each co-own Maytree, which means we’re all invested in your home. The diversity of skills within our tight-knit team allows us to crack open the possibility of each project while never losing sight of the important details. To check out our pretty faces don’t forget to click on our team bios.

If you’re craving a home that reflects who you are, and a joyful journey to get there, then we’ll be a great fit. Let’s create a space that celebrates all the messy, beautiful bits of life together, and have a good time doing it.

At Maytree we are on a mission to transform the way homes are designed and built. We balance what you love, what you can afford, and what your project needs, with a healthy dose of honest and candid chat.

We aren’t about the single ‘hero shot’ at the end of the job. Our approach to design is to consider the context and the climate, the landscape and the interiors. We will always try to do the biggest thing in the simplest way – marrying pragmatism, with sustainability and impact (and yes, something beautiful too!).

Our homes will have a spot for your ironing board. Our homes are practical and beautiful. We’re in pursuit of a home that you will love so much your grandkids have to carry you out.

Our design philosophy isn’t about trends and fads. We’re all about creating a space which screams YOU! No cookie-cutter designs here. We want your personality to shine through every nook and cranny. Whether that’s a brand spanking new build, renovations to a character cottage or additions to a post war hero, our process starts with you, and ends once you have the keys to your new home.

Don’t take our word for it. Take a sneak peek through some of our favourite homes, and hear some nice things nice people have said about us.

We’re a bunch of good eggs at heart. We work with respect for you, the environment, community and our profession. We want to make a positive impact. No smoke or mirrors, no hidden agenda or commercial motives. We believe that it’s our privilege to help nice people create and build their forever home. So, what does that look like for you?

We put people first. You are at the heart of our designs. We prioritise your experience and create an environment where you feel comfortable to share your ideas and opinions. We want the journey to be as memorable as the outcome.

We lift the curtain. We want to make good design accessible and inclusive. We use everyday language, and straightforward processes. We want you to feel part of our process. We share our expertise with you, so you can make smart design choices, with confidence.

We give a damn. We think the permanency of a home and its impact on the street, neighborhood and the environment matters. We believe in empowering you and others through education. We share knowledge on best practice, and in partnership we offset the carbon of the build.

We nail the details. Every project draws on years of knowledge and is underpinned by care, consideration and intention. From the big to the small decisions. We invest the time to get it right. We balance what you love, what you can afford, and what your project needs.

We are clever. We take smart risks. We’re not interested in trends of fads. Instead, we’re interested in helping you define an authentic response. Clever design solutions to real problems means we can create spaces that are unmistakably aligned to your life.

We make it fun. We like to think of our approach as serious fun. We aim to bring a relaxed social atmosphere to all our interactions. We want you to enjoy and feel supported by our process (all 10 stages of it!) and have a laugh along the way.

Published Works

Houses Magazine
A Different Beat
Green Magazine
Pocket Change (Issue #87)
Habitus Living
A bold Brisbane home serving up clever design
Local Project
A Floating Expansion – Moorooka House by Maytree Studios
Parlour: Gender, Equity, Architecture
The Art of Good Business
Local Project
Animated and Vibrant – GT Mad House by Maytree Studios
Australian House & Garden
Heavy Lifting (May 2022)
Domain
COVID-inspired trends that will shape the way we build our homes in the future
Habitus
Saccharomyces Beer Cafe Touches Down in South Brisbane
Houses Magazine
Glass House Residence by Maytree Studios (Issue 114)
Hunting for George
Glasshouse Residence
Australian Design Review
Unpaid Overtime Is Not Part And Parcel Of Being An Architect

Don’t take our word for it. Take a sneak peek through some of our favourite homes, and hear some nice things nice people have said about us.

Rebecca Caldwell

Director / Architect

Rebecca started Maytree to put architecture within reach of more people. She’s the straight shooter you want in your corner, and that means she’ll talk about money openly from day one (even if it gets uncomfortable… because realistic expectations are the key to success). Mostly, however, her client relationships are built on warmth, empathy and jokes.

Walking side-by-side with clients is the foundation of Rebecca’s design philosophy. She’s an advocate for spending money cleverly – that means doing more with fewer resources, without compromising beauty. Over the years Rebecca has learned that this method of designing can only be achieved through great client relationships, because stepping outside the conventional approaches to architecture takes a commitment to open communication from everyone at the table (that includes you, dear client).

Andy Keeffe

Director / Architect

Andy has a passion to design simple and meaningful spaces. He has a sharp eye for detail that elevates the execution of every project, placing equal emphasis on every step of the journey from an initial idea to a built form. 

Andys love of the outdoors infiltrates his design practice, motivating him to create environmentally responsive spaces that connect with the context of a site. He focuses on details like a window catching the morning sun, while seamlessly keeping a project on schedule and staying across the weekend’s surf forecast. 

Kirsty Green

Practice Manager

Kirsty’s bright and optimistic personality belies her whip smart skills at managing people and projects. Kirsty keeps us accountable to our timeframes and commitments and works hard to ensure every client experience is an excellent one. 

Another kiwi (sorry-not-sorry), her humour and warmth make everyone feel at ease as she seamlessly manages our people, business development and communications.   

Claire Schofield

Senior Interior Designer

If Claire wasn’t an interior designer, she’d run an antique store  So it’s safe to say her heart is firmly in interiors, because even when she isn’t designing bright, functional spaces, she’s dreaming about beautiful things to embellish them with.

Claire comes from a background in commercial interior design, where she spent many years working on heritage projects. This experience fed her interest in respecting existing architecture, and she brings that sense of cohesion to her work at Maytree. Even better, her skills in responding to an existing structure align impeccably with our philosophy of doing more with fewer resources.

Twin daughters keep Claire busy outside of work. Her deep understanding of family life means she truly gets the little things… like avoiding sharp corners and that you can never have too much storage.

A senior team member, Claire is an approachable guiding hand for our clients. She simultaneously maintains the pace and organisation of a project, while giving our clients the guidance and time they need to clarify the mood and functionality they’re seeking – all so you get a home that’s both lovable and livable.

Kate Stafford

Architect / Project Leader

Kate’s equally creative and pragmatic nature makes her an asset at every stage of a project. She is the quiet achiever of the team, usually tucked in a corner refining ideas with her technical eye. 

Kate approaches each project with sensitivity for people as well as the history and context of a building. She appreciates that every client is different, and cares deeply about designing individual spaces with character and spatial flow. 

Abigail Lee

Architectural Graduate

Abby is a passionate member of our team and recently graduated from her Masters of Architecture. She has a keen interest in how our buildings intersect with the environment and spear heads our sustainability processes & reporting. 

Abby loves thinking about how design impacts and improves the lives of the people we are designing for. Her strong values and insightful nature means she asks the kinds of questions that push those around her to better outcomes.  

Fraser Gurdon

Architectural Student

Having finished his Bachelor of Architecture, Fraser is enjoying a taste of what it is like to work in a studio and building on his university learnings.  Lucky for us, he brings a passion for visual communication and an enjoyment of moving across multiple projects to bring your designs to life. 

Why the pitchfork? Before embarking on a career in Architecture, Fraser has worked as a gardener.  There is hope for our office plants after all!

 

We get it, we really do. Hiring an architect is a big step, and we want you to feel confident and supported every step of the way. That’s why we’re here. We’ve written our FAQs to help answer those initial curly questions and help make your decisions easier from the outset.

Most of our clients haven’t worked with an architect before, so we’ve got you. We make the process easy by letting you know what we need and when, and what to expect next. 

To get started, you don’t need to do anything other than call us. But it’s also a good idea to have an idea of how much you can spend, big picture of what you would like to achieve and any key timeframe constraints you have. 

We offer a free 20-minute phone call where we talk over your project goals and you can ask us questions to get feel for who we are. 

From there, if you are keen to move forward and we feel the project is a good fit for us, we will come to your home for a 90 minute discussion that looks at our process and fees in detail. 

To get in touch please fill out our contact form, and you will hear back from us shortly.

We charge as a percentage of your construction budget starting from 18% at the smaller end of project values to 10% at 1 million and above.  

We give all of our clients at 20% window for scope change which means as long as you stay within 20% of your original goals for project and budget size, our fees won’t change. 

The people who get the most out of the design process all share this perspective: design is an investment rather than a cost. The reality is that architectural fees, like all professional services, are not cheap (but neither is getting the design wrong; trust us on that one).   

Our process doesn’t include just design – it includes your approvals, three rounds of pricing and the project management of all of your consultants.  This process takes 1 year for simple projects under 1 million and 18 months or more for projects over this figure. 

There are lots of ways to go about getting a house designed.  When working with us, you’re paying at the front to reduce the unknowns and risks later on.  At the end of the day, you’ll probably spend the same amount – but with us you’ll be happier with the process and outcome! 

Our fees don’t only include design; they also give you access to our years of knowledge building and project management experience, our network of industry trades, and our team’s ability to navigate approvals and solve complex problems. This results in life-enriching design and a streamlined process with lower stress. 

Very! And we hope it is for you too.  We have a Sustainability Action Plan that you can read HERE. 

All of our projects work on the following fundamental principles: 

  • Only build what you need 
  • Build small, build well 
  • Re-use whatever we can and limit demolition where possible 
  • Passive design principles for natural daylighting, natural cooling and natural warming of the home 
  • Material selection – specifying sustainable, safe and durable materials 
  • A carbon offsetting program for all of our builds 

Yes! We have worked hard over the years to establish great working relationships with builders who have the right expertise to deliver your projectWe have a panel of builders we regularly work withOur process introduces them early to your project to get their invaluable input to assist with managing costs, risks during the build and getting a timeframe for commencement early so you can plan your life! 

Budget is a vital aspect of a project – you’ve chosen to make a significant investment into your lifestyle and happiness, and we respect that by: 

  • Making your budget the first agenda item at every meeting. 
  • Communicating upfront when you are making choices that are likely to push the budget up, and providing alternatives to these cost additions. 
  • Collating years of building prices to provide reliable opinions of probable cost. We break these prices down into separate trades and average them out to costs/m2 to give you as much detail as possible during the preliminary stages of the project. 
  • Having a vetted and robust team of high-quality builders who work with us across a range of project budgets to achieve buildable outcomes. 
  • Adopting a ‘price early’ approach. Read up on how we are getting good at (lovingly) disappointing our clients. 

Us architects think we know it all – but even that one is a bit beyond us! 

Best we can do is joy.  Joy of creating something that makes you feel relaxed and content and connected. 

To find out if we’re a good match and to get in touch, head to our

Contact

Find our Brisbane Architects
7 Fagan Road
Herston QLD 4006

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