This Australian Home Is a Study in Simplicity and Style

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By Melissa Dalton
Careful detailing and attention to scale ensure that this dwelling in Ballarat, Victoria, is elegant and fuss-free.

Led by Australian firm Eldridge Anderson, this project was commissioned during the early planning stages of the subdivision in which it sits. "At that time, the site was essentially a vast field," said the architects. "It was free from the surrounding developments and provided little contextual information by way of significant features, vegetation, or buildings." How to design for such a blank slate? The firm started with the gutter, which defines the front elevation of the home and draws the eye to the entry.

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"One first encounters the refined, folded, steel gutter, and transitions along the entry deck as the project unfolds toward the rear," say the architects. "Offset against the heavy blade walls, the roof canopy is simple and refined as it tapers to a point and allows the folded steel gutter to cut a sharp silhouette against the undulating roof forms of the adjoining buildings."

"One first encounters the refined, folded, steel gutter, and transitions along the entry deck as the project unfolds toward the rear," say the architects. "Offset against the heavy blade walls, the roof canopy is simple and refined as it tapers to a point and allows the folded steel gutter to cut a sharp silhouette against the undulating roof forms of the adjoining buildings."

The design brief from the clients was straightforward: "A low-maintenance house with a generous garden space, achieved within quite a modest budget," say the architects. To that end, thoughtful gestures were used to striking effect. A wide entry hall progresses down the center of the house, with the roof height gradually increasing as inhabitants move towards the north-facing rear. There, an open-plan kitchen, dining room, and living room overlook an outdoor deck via generous glass doors. Carefully considered sightlines into the backyard let the house feel larger than its 2,152-square-foot layout.

Keep scrolling for a tour of the exemplary home.

The rear elevation of the home faces north, taking advantage of natural light via extensive doors and clerestory windows tucked under the eaves.

The rear elevation of the home faces north, taking advantage of natural light via extensive doors and clerestory windows tucked under the eaves.

In the open-plan kitchen, dining room, and living room, the materials palette was kept very simple and restrained with a burnished concrete floor, a kitchen island composed of unfinished concrete block, and plywood cabinets. A pantry sheathed in vertical planks of contrasting wood anchors the open space.

In the open-plan kitchen, dining room, and living room, the materials palette was kept very simple and restrained with a burnished concrete floor, a kitchen island composed of unfinished concrete block, and plywood cabinets. A pantry sheathed in vertical planks of contrasting wood anchors the open space.

A closer view of the kitchen reveals that the marble counters and backsplash are combined with a Smeg oven, cooktop, and hood vent, and a Franke Ariane sink.

A closer view of the kitchen reveals that the marble counters and backsplash are combined with a Smeg oven, cooktop, and hood vent, and a Franke Ariane sink.

In the living room, the horizontal lines of the timber beams at the ceiling echo the bespoke cabinetry that surrounds the gas fireplace. The dining room pendant is the Gubi Semi Pendant.

In the living room, the horizontal lines of the timber beams at the ceiling echo the bespoke cabinetry that surrounds the gas fireplace. The dining room pendant is the Gubi Semi Pendant.

The northern sunlight warms the concrete slab floor in winter to help maintain a consistent internal temperature, "regularly achieving 25 degrees Celsius without heating in winter," according to the architects. "It was important to create a space where the occupants could enjoy the summer warmth, as well as remaining at ease during the cold Ballarat winters."

The northern sunlight warms the concrete slab floor in winter to help maintain a consistent internal temperature, "regularly achieving 25 degrees Celsius without heating in winter," according to the architects. "It was important to create a space where the occupants could enjoy the summer warmth, as well as remaining at ease during the cold Ballarat winters."

A multipurpose room off the main area has the same plywood cabinetry for a consistent look. The room has sliding doors that can be closed for its use as a fourth bedroom or study, or left open to enlarge the main living area.

A multipurpose room off the main area has the same plywood cabinetry for a consistent look. The room has sliding doors that can be closed for its use as a fourth bedroom or study, or left open to enlarge the main living area.

The 2,152-square-foot house has a master suite, and an additional two bedrooms and one bath for visiting adult children of the homeowners. Bedrooms were deliberately kept smaller and pared back to encourage socializing in the main spaces.

The 2,152-square-foot house has a master suite, and an additional two bedrooms and one bath for visiting adult children of the homeowners. Bedrooms were deliberately kept smaller and pared back to encourage socializing in the main spaces.

In a bathroom, a bluestone floor balances walls covered in a grid of white tiles, and a floating sink basin lends an airy feel.

In a bathroom, a bluestone floor balances walls covered in a grid of white tiles, and a floating sink basin lends an airy feel.