How often do you drive around the suburbs and see one boring brick or rendered house after another? I know this is probably a bit of a blanket observation and some areas avoid this uninspiring view. Those that do are often the older suburbs with a range of building styles and rooflines. There is also a new area near us that has been dedicated to Queenslander style homes, the homes display a lot of variety and of course the Queenslander decorative finishes. We have reached that part of the renovation where we get to add in some of the decorative features that will define the style of the home and personalise it. So what have we done?
Single skin effect: We decided early on in the planning process that we wanted to maintain the single skin effect of the original home. The single skin wall construction seems to have arisen out of the desire to allow cool air to enter the home easier, great in summer but means it’s a little chilly in winter. Of course with planning rules around energy efficiency we needed to construct normal double skin walls, cladding on the outside and plaster inside with an insulation barrier between. To bring back the effect we had the builder replicate a framed effect on the exterior of the entrance area and upstairs balcony. Now we have the best of both worlds.
Window Hoods: Of course a Queenslander home wouldn’t be complete without window hoods. These were traditionally used to shade the windows from the hot summer sun. They also add that bit of style to a home and finish it. It’s like adding mascara to the eyes, not essential but enhances the look.
Verandahs and Screens: We are a verandah loving country. These lovely wide shady areas for family gatherings, and just relaxing, have become an extension to the interior of the home. We see the downstairs verandah as our outdoor dining area and the upstairs is our outdoor lounge room. To give ourselves some privacy from neighbours (remember this house sits on 405sq m) we have installed screens upstairs and down.
The upstairs screening has been created by recycling some existing lattice. The builders cut the old screens down and re-installed, the painter having sprayed it prior to it going back up.
The downstairs screen is a laser cut, powder coated aluminium design. We had considered installing louvered shutters until I saw these decorative screens at a home show. We did the sums and found it considerably cheaper to install this screen over the louvers, plus it’s a little bit ‘designer’.
Door breezeway fretwork: These are the decorative screens over the top of internal doorways. The old timers of Queensland wanted to ensure good airflow in the house so added ventilation screens over the top of the door. Over time these became more decorative. We liked the effect of this but not the noise transference, plus we no longer needed the ventilation as we have better window sizes and ceiling fans to move the air.
We spoke to the people at Decopanel who created the rear aluminium screen and asked them to recreate the look of the decorative fretwork. We sent in a picture of a design we liked and they were able to laser cut the design and have it powder coated in colour to match the paintwork of the doorframe. They then backed it with a clear acrylic panel; voila we have the look of the Queenslander breezeway with more privacy and hopefully less maintenance.