Rymill Road

Efficient and comfortable family living at its best.

locationSomerton Park
floor area341 m2
completion2021

This high-end project, nestled on a block less than 400m2 and 9m wide, exemplifies architectural efficiency and complexity.

Designed for a family of six where some kids share bedrooms meant that space and storage had to be maximised in this large 340m2 home. The home reflects the clients’ love of mid-century and Palm Springs design aesthetic, with simple bagged washed brick and weatherboard textures consistently used throughout the design.

The construction process presented significant challenges, with six other nearby projects all underway at the same time. Meticulous planning by the Finesse Built team was essential to minimize the impact on neighbours and working around the other builders.

The low-maintenance front garden is both stylish and functional, and complements the client’s chosen aesthetic.

A freestanding cantilevered pergola, and a progressively heightened bagged brick entry wall give enhanced privacy, while a concealed downpipe and concealed bin storage ensure practicality without compromising aesthetics.

Texture forms an important part of the front garden and entry way with an exposed aggregate driveway, rough-sawn timber battens and washed gravel garden beds. Breeze blocks are an almost obligatory and appropriately nostalgic nod to the coastal setting.

The entrance with its solid Tasmanian Oak door and tasteful furniture sets a tone of elegance and warmth for the home. Under stair wine storage and a powder room add functional elements, while the show-stopper pendant lights illuminate the double height area for the stair.

The stair designed in-house by Finesse Built is central to the home’s circulation and has created an informal meeting place for the whole family as they move throughout their day-to-day lives.

Concealed steel plate stair stringers and a fully welded custom balustrade and rail mean that the stairs are solid and quiet as boisterous kids fly up and down, while also accentuating the height and flow of the central void space.

The simple ‘L-shaped’ kitchen squared-off by its gigantic island bench is more complicated than it seems. A hidden walk-through pantry and utility area behind the kitchen is accessed through a cabinet concealed doorway, tucking away some of the practical aspects of a kitchen in a busy family home.

Spotted Gum timber veneer cabinets keep their clean uncluttered aesthetic through a combination of incorporated finger-grip pull and timber matched pull handles, and conceal a range of appliances including a large French Door fridge.

The stone topped island, open on one end means that meal preparation, informal dining, laptop time, or any number of other day-in-the-life-of activities can happen together at once. The stone top features a weighty 100mm edge, balancing well with the heavy timber legs on the open end, before waterfalling down the back and far end for an elegant view from the wider open plan living and dining area.

The living and dining area seamlessly connects the rest of the home with the outdoor living spaces. Large timber sliding doors and the hard-wearing natural stone floor that continues from inside to outside helps to blur that line in all the best ways.

The 3m square set ceilings of the ground floor combined with a strategic kick-up at the back of the home mean the large open plan living area feels bright and airy, and minimises the impact of on-ceiling AC vents. A skylight placed over the reading nook means this narrow block home has all the natural light it could need.

Clever linear detailing of the reading nook, to fireplace, to TV area means that a relatively small area has an oversized impact on the luxury and liveability of the home without feeling cramped.

Situated just a short walk from the beach, the family was aware of having a large public space close by. They chose to extend the open-plan internal living space further back on the block, prioritising indoor over outdoor space.

The outdoor living area packs a lot into a little space, with a plunge pool measuring 2.3m in diameter and 1.7m in depth, alfresco dining area with large outdoor kitchen, and just enough lawn to get some grass between the toes after a swim.

An open-topped cantilevered rod pool fence with frameless glass gates means that the pool fence is as much a design feature as a practical necessity.

The well-appointed outdoor kitchen and alfresco dining area with its operable louvre roof means the weather can be easily managed as needed across the seasons.

Continuing the home’s theme of white and warm tones, the master suite offers an uncluttered retreat.

Floor-to-ceiling curtains and a generously sized walk-through robe lead to the ensuite bathroom.

The ensuite with its simple plan, frameless walk-in shower, white tapware, and custom-built Oregon timber vanity is an elegant place to start or finish any day.

The upstairs area is marked by simplicity and efficiency, and features significant built-in storage.

The second living space with its expansive views over the street is at the opposite end of the home to the ground floor living space ensuring privacy and good separation of sound.

Not to be outdone by the ensuite bathroom, the main bathroom includes a back-to-wall freestanding bath, white tapware and a shampoo shelf fit for a large family. While the powder room offers convenience with its strategic placement.

Tucked under the stairs, the powder room also maintains the luxury of the ensuite bathroom with its own recycled Oregon solid timber vanity and textured tiles.

Environmental Sustainability

The home’s double-brick central party wall provides excellent thermal mass to help maintain comfortable living temperatures.

Double stud walls, aerated concrete flooring between the ground and first floor, and double glazed windows mean that heat transfer is well managed whether between inside and outside, ground floor to first floor, or through the shared party-wall.

High-level windows and opening skylights on the upper-level help achieve the maximum cross-flow ventilation that the clients asked for.

With a north facing backyard and living area, solar heat gains are effectively managed across the seasons with high-level windows, eaves and the operable louver shade cover allowing the sun in during winter and keeping it out during summer.

Although the home uses air-conditioning, the heat-pump unit is located on the roof to maximise efficiency by accessing clean air.

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