Our house is in Tropical North Queensland in Palm Cove, Cairns. It was built around 1988 or 1989 and except for a new kitchen 10 years ago, hasn’t really been touched. It has lots of arches and thick swirly render. It’s built over a sloping double block with the house on the upper part of the block and the pool on the lower block. As it is now, it only has 3 bedrooms, a small combined main bathroom and laundry and a very large ensuite off the main bedroom. We have a large open plan living, dining and kitchen area leading on to a deck that overlooks the pool. The only part of the house that you see from the street is a 3 car garage and and wall and fence. As the block is on the corner, we have dual street frontage and a third side running the length of a park and just one neighbour on the courtyard side of the house.
1. more bedrooms and bathrooms / ensuites and an office
2. modernise the look and feel
3. enclose the walkway around the courtyard to abate noise and rain coming in the bedrooms & update / modernize the courtyard.
4. move the kitchen to the opposite end of the living area and on to what is currently the under utilised corner of the deck and build in an outdoor BBQ / pizza oven that can be accessed from the kitchen.
1. Lots of light and air - the climate we have means the house can be left open for 8-10 months of the year and is only closed up and air con’d for the rainy season.
2. Modern look and feel
3. Somehow tie in the house and deck area to the pool area.
4. We have lots of guest staying during the year ie families-2 adults and 2 children so somehow accommodate them and still have privacy for us and them would be good - e.g. the new bedrooms and bathroom/s could have a small self contained area/kitchenette.
Dislikes: The security doors we have everywhere. The red bricks and tiles on the courtyard roof. The arches we don't like but know we may have to have some.
We would like to convert the current 3 car garage in to another 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom wing with an office opening on to the courtyard like the bedroom wing on the opposite side does. We then want to build another 3 car garage on the front of the property attached to the current one. This would be the only extension to the house (and possibly the pantry in the new kitchen that may need to be built outside the current roofline). We would like 3 separate garage doors but we don’t want it to look like there are 3. I’ve attached some examples of what I mean.
We live in a tropical area with heavy rainfall in the rainy season so we need to have a slightly sloping roof on the new garage but preferably one that looks modern. It can be hidden behind a facade.
We'd also like to move the kitchen to the end of the deck with and sliding / stacking or bi-fold doors to an outside BBQ area so it looks like the bench continues from the kitchen to the outside kitchen / BBQ. We need a walk in party with space for appliances, a sink and possibly the fridge. We could extend the house to incorporate this. It could go along the outside wall of the main bedroom.
Where the current kitchen is we’d like to make that a media room / area as it has a really high sloping roof ideal for a big screen and built in book cases and concealed audio / visual gear.
We have a C-bus wiring system to the main area of the house. The controllers for that could be housed in the same area. There’s is a small sliding window in that area. The side of the house has garden bed built up against it and as a result the damp course has failed and the wood paneling inside at floor level is rotting. We’d like to make that sliding window a full length door (sliding or bi-fold or french) opening on the a patio area. We will need to get rid of the garden bed against the house.
The entire living area needs new tiles or floorboards and we’d like the doors to all open up on to the deck with a seamless look from inside to out.The deck will have to be replaced as the supports are rotting and many of the boards need to be replaced. It could be replaced with tiles or more floor boards matching the inside or decking. It’s important that it’s at the same level as the inside. (Currently it drops down as you step outside) - unless you come up with a design that drops part of the deck down to pool level?
Australia has very strict pool fence laws. We need the balustrading/railing to be 1.2 mtr high and we would prefer glass as the arches blockout a lot of light and views already - but we're open to any other suggestions..
The original bedroom / bathroom wing needs to be updated. The area under the eaves on the northern side of the property can be built in and used to extend the bedrooms and used for an indoor / outdoor bathrooms for the bedrooms. It's currently just paving and an under cover clothes line. We have come up with a concept for the main bathroom and laundry which I’ve attached but again we are open to any suggestions.
We want to make the walkway around the courtyard internal by creating a breezeway with sliding or bi-fold and / or glass louvres so it can be completely closed at night and opened during the day.
We would like the look of the house to be contemporary with straight lines, tall glass windows/doors etc. The arches on the deck are weight bearing and will probably have to stay unless another design can be achieved at not too great an expense.
All the other arches can go (or stay) as they are just decorative.
The courtyard needs to be updated. It has a large water feature that takes up too much space. We'd like to be able to use the area as an outdoor lounge area - with a portion (nearest to the neighbours) covered with a some sort of roof or louvres in case of rain. It could even have trees or grass planted in the courtyard? And we like the idea of some sort of water feature there just not the one we've got.
And lastly we would love an impressive gate house or entry with a walkway to the front door. Amazing lighting, plants? decking? Pavers? Water? We want a WOW effect. The garage and front entrance are all that you see of the house from the street so we want it to look amazing. Modern tropical.
* the angle of the driveway will need to be taken in to consideration as the garage sits higher than the road now