Expert Architect Allison Smith’s Top 5 Tips on Renovating a Queenslander or Post-War Home
Allison Smith, the Director and Founder of Studio 15b is no stranger to the Queenslander, having grown up in the inner city suburbs of Brisbane and gained world-class experience throughout a number of world-class Architectural practices in Brisbane and London. In 2013, Allison decided it was time to take a fresh approach to Architecture and founded Studio 15b, an architecture and interior design practice named after Allison’s residential address and paying homage to the company’s humble origins and love for beautiful Queensland design. The companies’ logo is an abstract of the stained glass windows in her 100-year-old New Farm home.
In today’s article, Allison shows all 20 years of her industry experience and love for Queensland architecture in giving us her top 5 tips and trends in renovating homes in Queensland.
With the rise of high-density living in Brisbane, existing inner city homes in locations such as New Farm are becoming more and more valuable. Owners are realising this value and are choosing to retain, renovate, alter or extend their existing homes to suit their modern needs rather than relocate to new homes in the outer suburbs. This gives them the best of both worlds – a modern home and the convenience of inner city living.
It’s always a good idea to do some research before embarking on a building project. A great way to start is to use online tools like ‘Houzz’ & ‘Pinterest’ to collect images of what you like. This helps explain your brief to your architect. An Architect can assist to help your brief become a reality and guide you through the process from beginning to end. Starting with a Concept Design, it will allow you to imagine the proposal and then to have some initial budget discussions with a builder or cost consultant.
Allison’s Top 5 tips and trends in renovating homes in Queensland
If your existing home is of predominantly timber construction you can raise and build in underneath. This simply doubles the size of your home and gives the opportunity to add modern conveniences such as a double garage, a new entry, additional bathrooms, bedrooms and living spaces. An architect can help you re-purpose spaces to house different functions that are better orientated to views or northern sun. It’s also important that building form and proportion is well considered when raising.
Construct a statement entry with WOW factor. This might mean removing walls to create transparency through your home. Line your entry up with an end focal point such as a garden or pool. Adding interest to your entry could be something as simple as a timber batten soffit.[Photo: The Golf House, Christopher Frederick Jones Photography, Photo 3: Simple Entry, Angus Martin Photography]
3. Window boxes
Install window boxes into existing external walls to help make a room feel bigger without the need to build a full room extension. They also add light and a snug place to read a book.
4. Raked Ceilings
There is sometimes the opportunity to remove an existing flat ceiling in an area to create a raked ceiling with exposed roof structure. This can be used to create more light, volume and interest in a specific area such as the living room or bedroom.
5. Spend your money wisely
Concentrate on creating wow factor in a few select areas, such as your entry, kitchen, ensuite or staircase, and keep the rest simple and inexpensive. This ensures you make the most of your budget.
Allison Smith is the Director of Studio 15b, a small architectural & interior design practice based in New Farm, Brisbane. Studio 15b provides a practical approach with a very personalised service and individual attention to each project. With a wide variety of experience, they understand the different needs of their private residential clients as well as business and developer clients. For further information about Allison and Studio 15b have a look at their website, recent projects on Houzz or contact her directly on 0438 134 875.