Getting to design and build our very own family home from the ground up is turning out to be quite the adventure! With our old weatherboard house relocated to its new island home, our new build Bayview One – whose name was inspired by our beautiful seaside location in Wellington Point on the doorstep of Brisbane’s Moreton Bay – is well and truly under way.
Whilst Darren and I have both always been drawn to beautiful design, we have never been ones for impractical homes that can’t be lived in. I guess we have always taken a ‘less is more’ approach to our own personal design aesthetic and would much rather focus on the finer details and key elements in a home’s design.
When it came to the exterior, we brought all of our favourite design ideas together to create a home that truly feels like ‘us’.
Exterior inspiration for our new home
Our approach to the overall design of Bayview One was very much influenced by our love of modernism, simplicity and functionality. We’re all about sleek finishes, modern materials, clean lines and a neutral and light palette – all while remaining warm and inviting. With that in mind, here is the sketch render and inspiration board we put together.
The gable roof
We both love the organic minimalism of New Zealand architecture and we constantly find ourselves poring over the pared back, simple, geometric forms of Nordic style architecture. Our aim is to bring our favourite elements of these two styles together for Bayview One.
Needless to say, we pretty much knew straight away that we wanted a traditional gable roof. The symmetry of a gable roof creates a lovely sense of calm and peace – and who doesn’t want more of that in their lives?
We both adore this home in Auckland by Bindon Design Group (and how neat is that curve in the footpath offsetting the sharp roof lines?)
And it was this beautiful home by Cargo Architecture in Sweden that swayed us to use the standing seam on the front façade (in this case black, in our case white).
Clearly we’re not the only ones who love gables and they work well with different materials too. This barn-style residence by Chamberlain Architects uses brick to enhance the feeling of a traditional house.
We had a strong idea about the front elevation of the home from day one. Clean, flat, matt exterior with loads of texture. We really wanted to accentuate the gable roof (of course), hence the decision for vertical cladding.
It was important to strike a balance between the materials, as too many can look too busy and too little can look too plain. For the vertical cladding on the front, we chose panels that weren’t too wide as we wanted to ensure we didn’t have any rippling or ‘oil canning’ as some people refer to it as. Even though it’s an expensive product, when not installed correctly it can look wrong.
Like in any healthy marriage, Darren and I didn’t agree on EVERY decision about the exterior. I, more so than Darren, was always set on a light and bright colour scheme that would reflect the home’s bayside location. Darren, bless him, knew my heart was set on this, so we went with Surfmist for the Colorbond roof and standing seam. Outside it looks white, but because it has a hint of underlying grey you don’t need a pair of sunglasses to look at it.
This home by Claire Cousins Architects shows the Colorbond standing seam in Surfmist in action.
And here is what a darker roof would have looked similar to had Darren got his way!
To his credit, Darren’s main concern about the lighter colour choice was that it would feel too stark, but he knew we could fix this by layering the materials and textures with timber accents.
After rendering up several different combinations of exterior textures, in the end we went for a combination of Colorbond standing seam, Axon vertical cladding, white painted bricks and blackbutt timber highlights.
When we came across this house by Melbourne architect Tecture, we knew we could achieve the look we were going for – he absolutely nails the balance of textures.
The statement painted bricks
We absolutley love the timeless and tactile look of brick. From day one, we always wanted to carry the painted brick from the exterior into the interior, keeping the sense of architecute throughout the whole home.
While we did spend time researching and looking at white bricks vs painted white bricks, we kept coming back to the painted brick as it brings an element of texture that we couldn’t achieve with a pre-made white brick. The effect the paint creates on the masonry is quite unique – and it is also extremely difficult to find a brick that is pure white.
To take things up a notch at the entry of the home and really celebrate the bricks, we decided to create a 3D pattern by turning some of the bricks in the wall. We also love the interplay between light and shade this creates.
The blackbutt highlights
The timber windows and doors play a huge role in the balance of the design. The front main window/corner window was an architectural feature that was really important to us and we decided early on that we wanted it to be timber in order to complement the other blackbutt timber elements on the front facade.
We love the warmth the timber adds to this beach house by Pleyseir Perkins and InForm featured in Homes To Love.
We worked closely with Duce Timber Windows & Doors to design a custom silicone butt joint corner window which will be made in a blackbutt timber frame to complement the timber B&D garage door.
Apart from being a striking architectural feature in its own right, the corner window will allow natural light to pour in and maximise our views of the bay from our master bedroom. We can’t wait to be waking up to water views every morning!
In a new build, the windows are one of the first things you need to select and order so we had to make a decision on this straight away. We went back and forward a bit trying to decide between black or white and ended up landing on… black!
In the end it came down to adding some definition and contrast to the overall design.
We couldn’t be happier with the balance of materials and colours across the entire exterior!
Darren and Elissa xx