Nestled into farmland in the northern Noosa hinterland is the most unusual find.
Like a diamond against the rough, sits an expansive glass-fronted property. Sleek in design and featuring matte black framework, it is nothing short of uber-chic.
As builder Grace Staal says, this property lends itself to a more traditional farmhouse style, and yet the owners followed their vision to create a sustainable luxe home.
“It was always planned to be designed as chic and glamorous,” she tells salt. “The owners lived on the Gold Coast for quite a long time and you can feel that influence coming through.”
The 630-square metre home is set back into the block of land and provides views across rugged terrain towards the highest volcanic peak on the northern end of the Sunshine Coast, Mount Cooroora.
The home itself fits the traditional four-bedroom, two-bathroom brief, but that is where the tradition stops. This home breaks down barriers by combining green principles with elegant design.
Built by the team at Green Earth Designs, the show stopper works with the coastal environment, rather than against it.
The floor plan factored in the green design principles of passive cooling with cross ventilation as a substantial focus. In addition, shading, increased insulation and ventilation, as well as the window design, glazing and placement, played a significant role in achieving the owners’ goals.
The home is encircled by a wide veranda, which is 1.8 metres wide at its narrowest point. This element ensures the interior of the property is well protected from the sun and it provides additional shade to help with cooling.
High-set louvres allow for cross ventilation and the central hallway that runs east to west maximises flow through well-positioned louvres. In addition, the expansive front door allows breezes to flow from the south, across the living and dining spaces and out over the back veranda, which faces east. The swimming pool is set intentionally close to the back veranda.
“The pool aids the passive cooling techniques. Air passes over a cool body of water before entering the home,” Grace explains. “From a cross ventilation point of view, the home has great principles. You can flick open the windows and get a beautiful breeze right through. Hot air rises to the ceiling and through the open louvres, it flows out.
“The design acts like a turret – hot air is taken out.”
The four-metre high ceilings and black-framed windows are a beautiful focal point but play more than just an aesthetic role. Together they allow natural light to flow through, bringing the outside in.
Grace says more Australians are seeking out sustainable design and a greener lifestyle.
“Most clients dabble and want to know more and then we get the odd client where is it highly important and it’s the reason they came to us. Those people have sound knowledge. They usually have come from down south where more of those principles are underlying in the building industry. There is a lot of knowledge coming out of America and Europe too as they have quite advanced sustainable principles to adhere to.”
In this particular home, the top-notch environmental concepts are equally matched in style.
High-gloss, honey-coloured tiles span from the front door through the home and work perfectly with the vibe and look of the space.
Four wide steps take guests from the foyer into the main living quarters where a stylish bar area, complete with a fireplace, takes centre stage. Mirrored open shelves span the walls and granite-topped matte black cabinetry completes the bar area. The handleless cabinetry continues through the house into the kitchen, through the bathrooms and into the substantial walk-in robe.
The Hollywood glam vibe continues into both the ensuite and powder room where gold-veined tiles climb the walls, and LED mirrors are not only visually appealing, but functional. For an added touch of style, a gold-coloured basin and tapware completes the powder room.
Grace says it’s a growing trend.
“The powder room is quite often designed as a feature,” she says. “It’s a space all guests use. It’s a small space that you can make feel special. People have fun, using different wallpapers, lights, tapware. Because it’s a small space, you can change it and update it later.”
The subtlety of the matte-toned cabinetry counteracts the more glamorous elements of the home such as the glossy tiles and unique lighting, including the two chandeliers hanging in the central living spaces. The first overlooks the foyer, and the second, and the grander of the two, hangs above the kitchen bench.
The mid-century modern rectangular Timothy Oulton-designed piece is reminiscent of the Venetian glass chandeliers that were popularised in the 1960s.
The only other element that competes for attention is the sweeping vista beyond the kitchen windows, edged only by a light sheer curtain.
Unsurprisingly, the home will be entered into the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Housing Institute of Australia Awards later this year.