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Project update: Swedish Summer House

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

We are reaching the end of construction on our Elsternwick project and are feeling the envisioned simpatico with the Yakisugi charred cladding on the Swedish summer house style addition and garden studio.

Working closely with our good friend Rebecca Parker on this project reminds us what a source of inspiration collaborating with other designers on private residential projects can be. Rebecca’s sister and her partner had renovated the kitchen in this Victorian weatherboard four years ago but reserved bigger plans for the rest of the home.

By increasing the footprint at the rear of the house and pushing out the living and dining spaces in line with a new terrace, we’ve also been able to create a roomy new main bedroom to better serve the couple’s needs. A walk-in-robe will add much-needed storage, and a new ensuite will take the pressure off the family bathroom. Two new desk nooks will offer the couple long-desired space for quiet study.

All-day light now floods into the living and dining areas through a striking steel, cantilevered, box window seat, and through the tall, pitched gable opening on the terrace. Slightly offset, this mimics the roofline above, and echoes the crisp lines of the gabled studio form across the garden.

With three children now in their teens, and family visiting for extended periods from Sweden, the need for a garden studio as both occasional guest quarters and everyday retreat had become increasingly important. For this satellite space the team designed a mezzanine loft, and the addition should accommodate four for sleepovers once complete. Outside, separate storage caters for bikes and a 5000L water tank will service a Japanese-inspired kitchen garden and the family’s brood of fancy chickens.

We’re thrilled with Ecotimber’s Yakisugi treatment of the cladding. Best known as a technique for preserving and waterproofing timber for the extreme weather conditions of rural Japan, this blackening method protects external hardwood cladding by lightly charring and oiling the surface, which creates a UV resistant coating that improves durability, minimises maintenance and prevents silvering.

With construction on track, we’ll be handing over the keys in time for Christmas festivities.


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