From the outside of this Queenslander in Ashgrove, Brisbane, my clients' home presented as a quintessential Queenslander and walking inside, beautiful fretwork and VJ’s continued the story. Upon entering the living area, an invitation to change could be seen with curved stairs followed by a firm swing into a mid century style kitchen, via another set of curved stairs. A fantastic project run by Briswest Renovations, the invitation to assist Pete’s clients with a full Queenslander renovation was readily received.
Overall, our clients were keen to retain some of the clean lines and feel for both the kitchen and bathrooms whilst working in line with the VJ’s and trim. Together, it was agreed that colour would be the main connection to keep the home as one and work well together, particularly with their home decor. Our clients had played with many greys, from light to dark prior to our arrival. With a lot of natural light from various angles, there was a definite blue/ purple dominating most of their samples. Upon a colour consultation with our team, Dulux’s "Silver Teaset” showed the perfect colour. Whilst our clients loved the colour and agreed was perfect, they were uncertain as to whether the colour was as dark as they were looking for. When this occurs, rather than choosing another colour when the selection is working, we look to altering the strength instead. By going with one and a half strength, our clients immediately embraced the colour and felt confident in their choice.
Our clients were keen to retain some of this style and held a desire to stay with a clean finish to the kitchen and bathrooms. To marry the two concepts together, we designed a kitchen that squared off the island bench, selecting the sleek Polytec “Black Woodmatt" cabinetry with fingerless pulls. By finishing with the stunning Smartstone “Statuario Arabescato“, a perfect transition was made to modernise this beautiful Queenslander and remain sympathetic to its style. The blue/ grey tones in the veining of the stone and the matte black cabinetry make a formidable duo. The striking look of the stone made it a clear choice for continuing up the splash back, really bringing home the drama. The black double under mount sink allowed for it to recede and not impede on the clean lines of benchtop. With the curved stairs leading up to the kitchen, the size of the island perfectly suited the space and kept flush with the cabinetry given an overhang would have taken away from the lines. An entertainer’s treat, we designed a wine rack to be built into the island bench, an instant talking point to the space. The design process between Briswest Renovations, The Little Shop of Colours and our cIients was an exciting and we all held paramount the need to allow the kitchen to hold its own on stage, the stairs striking against the backdrop of the kitchen.
Whilst chrome is still a popular choice for tap ware and hardware in Queenslanders, there is also a strong move towards brushed nickel for many renovation styles due to its understated finish. A more modern approach, it works well with matte finishes and allows other elements, such as the stone benches and splash back to become more prominent. In balancing this home, brushed nickel became the obvious choice. A range of tap ware was chosen based on simple lines with slight curvature at main points to soften the look just slightly. This was carried throughout the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry. A pull down sink mixer for the kitchen became a feature in the centre of the benchtop and is a firm favourite for our clients.
The kitchen has truly been put on a pedestal upon completion of the renovation, sitting tall and beautifully overlooking the living area. Our clients are looking forward to styling their home further and incorporating a palette of blue, black and soft greys throughout. The timber floors were perfectly restored and the balance of colours in the kitchen is warm and inviting, sweeping out into the living areas and hall. These timbers were restored throughout the home and new timber floors incorporated and matched for the lower floor where tiles once sat.
For the bathrooms, our clients were keen to work with Beaumont Tiles' popular “Timeless Amani Grey” tiles. To keep with the simple lines with maximum impact, the tiles were used for both floors and walls, with a feature tiled wall to be included. The search was on for a long stretched hex tile. A 75mm x 300mm matte white textured stretched hex was sourced, the matte finish working perfectly with the modern main tiles. It was the perfect approach to a modern twist to the traditional subway tile. When choosing a wall for your feature tile, it’s hard to go past the vanity wall, with all the finishes set off against a dramatic backdrop. To revisit the approach of a Queenslander, solid timber vanities were selected in Blackbutt, displaying firm, dark veining in the wood, added drama against the veining in the main tiles. Elegant top mounted basins brought femininity to the spaces. In wall cisterns were opted for to allow the line of eye to be drawn without stopping to the end of each bathroom space.
The best way to gauge a client’s satisfaction with our services is when our clients call on us for further projects. In this instance, our clients were so incredibly happy with the interiors that they instantly wished to update the exterior with fresh paint. They understood the need to ensure cohesion between the exterior and interior and therefore asked for our assistance with colour selections. When taking into consideration the exterior of a home, particularly in the case of a street full of Queenslanders, the values of the surrounding homes are important so as to remain somewhat sympathetic to the surroundings whilst ensuring you are staying on top for selection of best house on the street. Our client wanted to make a statement with a darker exterior colour and make the trims beautifully frame the home. Dulux’s “Ito” was a standout in applying the perfect shade that dominated the exterior, yet gently receded with its darker colour to allow a perfect union with the white trim. Dulux’s “Monument” was used sparingly to marry the trim to main walls.