Sloping site project review – Wheelers Hill

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Wheelers Hill house is a new single-storey split-level dwelling nestling comfortably between the vegetation on its large sunny block.

Having purchased a site specifically to build their new home, our Wheelers Hill clients approached Destination Living to design them a family home with a timeless aesthetic. Working with a large and irregular shaped site with several metres of fall over the building envelope and a restrictive single storey covenant the challenge was accepted to create a beautiful family home responding to the site and taking advantage of the aspect.

By capturing the views of the picturesque Dandenong Ranges to the east and opening up the house to swathes of natural light on the north we were able to fulfill the brief of creating a warm and open family home with flowing indoor & outdoor connections.
The inviting covered entry to this home really subtly sets the tone of what is yet to be revealed as you transition through the spaces. The carefully considered materiality frames the generously proportioned timber door, complete with sidelight that allows visitors to glimpse the beauty inside.

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Upon entry the solid recycled Tasmanian Oak floorboards create warmth and character and a lovely rich tone from which the interior palette was driven. The floorboards, continuing through the home to all of the open spaces, are a rich base from which to anchor the generously proportioned living area. A warm toned neutral paint, chosen for its ability to match with any colour, creates a creamy canvas for the home and allows the clients vibrant artwork to really “pop”.

Each of the children’s generously proportioned bedrooms were designed with a good sized robe, queen sized bed and more than ample provision for a large study desk and seating area. They share a large bathroom, cleverly situated between their bedrooms, featuring the families much loved claw foot bath from their previous home, which is situated under a large window that floods the bathroom with natural light. The vanity, designed in hardwearing materials, includes separate storage space for each child. With a boy and girl in the house a neutral, non-gender specific, palate was used that will not date as the children grow up through their teens. As is the nature of young adults, tastes tend to change frequently, teenage tastes and self-expression is best displayed with impermanent items such as the colours of the towels, ornaments and artwork.

In contrast, though still complimentary, the palette used in the luxurious master ensuite was darker. Deeper warm grey tones were used to create a serene haven in which to retreat and escape the stresses of everyday life. A designer chrome waterfall bath spout reflects the luxury of the ensuite and the sumptuous sunken bath encourages further unwinding. Large format tiles with a meandering pattern embedded in the surface creates a stunning and visually tactile feature wall at one end of the bath to gaze upon while soaking, and drifting away, in the sunken tub. A large walk-in shower and custom designed vanity, resplendent in its finishes of malt vinyl wrap & opulent new Ceasarstone, completes the bathing experience.

The generous master bedroom cleverly conceals the walk in robe with a special Porters Paints lime-washed bedhead wall. This creates a beautiful focal point in the room and ties in tonally with the gull grey carpet. Again, the colour palette was selected to maintain its longevity and work in harmony with existing timber furniture pieces.

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The open plan living areas were designed to maximize interaction and foster communication between all the family members and their friends.

The kitchen is laid out with the sink situated on the island bench, allowing the person working there to look out towards the dining and living areas, or chat with people sitting at the breakfast bar. The whole kitchen layout is very ergonomic in its usability and functionality. While our clients confessed that they were not budding gourmet chefs and never would be, the kitchen certainly boasts features that will certainly inspire their culinary skills. The glass splashback was selected for its subtle sparkle and the fact that the honey colour complemented the timber floorboards beautifully, and a light vinyl wrap was chosen to match the walls.

Adjacent to the large open kitchen, sits a large butler’s pantry which is virtually undetectable save for the entry door. Cleverly concealed, this walk in pantry holds generous amounts of storage, for a vast quantity of appliances, and of course an extra sink!

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The integrated dining and living rooms boast impressive views, with large timber framed doors inviting you onto the large entertaining deck that overlooks the gardens below. The success of this house is largely defined by the free flowing elegant transitions between internal and external spaces and the interactions they encourage.

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Carefully composed timber uprights, doubling as a handrail and decorative screen, create a lyrical transition between levels. These vertical timber elements, stained to match the recycled timber floor, create a sense of movement and a visual interest.
Nestled in the stair wall, facing the dining room, is a timber lined bookshelf designed to infuse some warmth and personality into the space. Being avid readers, this is a charming way for the owners to display their favorite books and treasured artifacts.

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The lower ground unfolds into an entertainers delight encompassing a large rumpus, bar, TV room, wine cellar, powder room and ample storage space. This purpose build entertaining zone, again with a focus on the internal/external flow, flows onto the sun-drenched poolside courtyard.

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The bar has been designed with entertaining in mind! Chosen for their durability, a hard wearing finish was selected for the joinery with a perfectly matched Ceasarstone top highlighted with flecks of silver, caramels and coffees to pick up and complement the room’s palette.

The rumpus is a large space just perfect for pool parties and entertaining, while the TV room next door is a great spot for the family to unwind with some popcorn and movies. It is also an ideal space for the two kids to enjoy spending time with their friends now, and for the foreseeable future.

This warm, light-filled, open plan home was designed with an acute understanding of our client’s needs. It was created as a family haven to be filled with love and laughter for many, many years to come. ‘

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