The plan was always to have a double-sided fireplace which would act as a divider in the open plan living/dining area. Originally we were thinking of having a double sided GAS fireplace for ease and warmth that would be built into a central unit. After going back and forward and doing plenty of research on all the various types of fireplaces, we came to the conclusion that you really need the ambience of an open fire and we settled on a double sided open wood fireplace. We were just about to order it when the installer confirmed our fears of heating and draft issues. This took us full circle back to a French model, Chazelles Chiminee, which offers both slow combustion & an open fire through the use of a glass counterweight door on one side. Usually they are built into a wall or central unit, but we loved the strong lines and industrial feel of the fireplace so much, we thought it should be as much of a feature as the fire itself. Our architect designed a long steel stand for the fireplace to sit on – as well as the wood and other items. Looking forward to Winter!
The kitchen for The Shed was to be part of the open plan living/dining space, so we wanted it to feel light and adaptable, but also work in with the industrial aesthetic. As with everything on this build we wanted something striking but budget considerations meant nothing too pricey. Our architect proposed the idea of using mechanic/tool cabinets for the kitchen storage (instead of joinery), something he had seen at a friends place in up state New York. We were excited, and a little nervous, about this idea right up until we rolled the units into position against the oversized white sub way tile wall. We loved it! Cost effective, flexible, plenty of storage and the look worked perfectly with the industrial style of the house. If we ever want to update or change, we just simply roll them away… or as Dean our builder suggested, “like the Italians do, just take the kitchen with you when you leave’
Black is bold!
So it was a bold decision to decide on black for THE SHED.
We had decided on a Colorbond finish for the entire exterior of THE SHED, we then just had to narrow down our colour palette. We knew we wanted a dark tone, but when originally looking the only colours available where Ironstone, Deep Ocean or Monument, as their black colour ‘NightSky’ had been discontinued. While we liked Monument we were never 100% sold. Fortunately by the time it came to order we were informed by Colorbond, by popular demand, ‘Nightsky’ was once again available. The decision was made, it was bold and beautiful.
Here’s THE SHED getting wrapped in black…
The last few months have been an amazing experience as we witnessed the early stages of construction of THE SHED. From watching the pouring of our giant slab and the meticulous work of our concreters, to the touch and go placement of the enormous steel ‘A’ frames that would form the ‘backbone’ of THE SHED and the galvanised steel purlins that would form the ‘skeleton’. There was a lot at stake as all these elements would ultimately be exposed and a main feature of THE SHED, true to industrial architecture.
I never forgot a house I saw featured in Vogue Living Australia about 8 years ago … it was a weekender perched on the very picturesque escarpment in Kangaroo Valley, NSW. Of course, I didn’t still have the original issue but scanned my memory for enough info to feed into Google and lucky for me I found the details of architect Alexander Michael. Looking at his magnificent past work and knowing my house building budget (meagre!!) it was with trepidation I called Alexander for a chat about the possibilities of working together….
After a 30 minute chat I knew we had found our guy … the Kangaroo Valley house was designed by Alexander for himself and his partner as a weekend escape and completed in 2005. Alexander’s extensive use of concrete, steel, glass and wood plus his obsession with adapting commercial and industrial items for use in a domestic setting meant a result would never be “suburban” (Alex’s favoured term). A weekender with a difference …simple, light and robust!
These were our first thoughts about the kind of weekender we wanted to build.
Simple – a fuss free space, large open living spaces, focus on the outdoors and view
Light – in terms of the houses footprint and the fantastic North aspect
Robust – nothing too precious and everything hard wearing. It’s all about the great escape, walk in RELAX, invite friend and family RELAX, leave feeling RELAXED!
Oh yes and affordable!