After a decade of building homes for other people, Andrew Gray of Graya Construction built his own forever home high on a hill in the inner Brisbane suburb of Paddington recently and it’s a beauty. While resale was considered, the tri-level home is anything but ordinary with neutral feature brick, timber, concrete and natural stone combining for a relaxed, urban vacation vibe.
The home features a three-story chimney. Photo: Cathy Shusler
“We wanted our home to feel like a haven. We went with a light colour palette, something that was neutral and more coastal, so we could get a holiday feel. The light tones of the brick and how we’ve used it throughout the house has brought that sense of lightness, airiness and relaxation,” says Andrew.
Kitchen and living. Photo: Cathy Shusler
Originally a run-down Queenslander, the front of the home was restored as part of the renovation process and the new extension at the back seamlessly blends the old with the new. Interestingly, exposed brick plays an important part in the renovation and it was a choice driven by the Queensland climate more than aesthetics.
The restored Queenslander from the front. Photo: Mindi CookThe home boasts Brisbane city views. Photo: Cathy Shusler
“We decided to use brick pretty early on in the piece as a core part of our home’s design because of the climate in Queensland. What we didn’t realise is that it also opens up opportunities design-wise, because there are so many varieties of brick that you can use in different ways. I think when a lot of people think about brick, they imagine the traditional red, old style, but with so many design options available now for brick we really felt that if we could use it in the right way, it could be completely timeless,” says Andrew.
A wine rack makes a statement in the living room. Photo: Cathy ShuslerThe master bathroom features emerald green marble. Photo: Mindi Cook
Sourced from PGH Bricks, the same style of brick is used throughout the home including the inside walls and floors – an emerging design trend. The technique helps to create the illusion of endless space where the boundaries between the indoors and outdoors are blurred.
Larissa Gray in the master bedroom. Photo: Mindi CookMaster bathroom. Photo: Cathy Shusler
Brick also stars in one of the home’s most notable features – a three-storey, minimalist brick chimney that stretches from the bottom to the top of one side of the house. “One of my favourite features in our home is our three-storey brick chimney. Combining the intrinsically traditional nature of brick with such a cool modern feature meant that we could create a really unique and trendy feature for our home that will never aesthetically date. I believe that’s what made brick the perfect material for our forever home,” says Andrew.
Pool and alfresco fireplace. Photo: Mindi Cook
Bricks were used in a relatively unusual, bespoke way too after Andrew gave them to his tiler to cut up and turn into tiles for the entry pathway and walkway. “We carried these same bricks into our feature walls to create cohesion, which turned out great. If you think outside the box, there’s some really cool design elements that you can create with such a simple and reliable material. It’s the best of both worlds for us,” says Andrew.
Larissa and Andrew Gray at the entry to their home. Note the unusual brick work on the ground. Photo: Mindi Cook
And while the home is fairly neutral, there are some statement areas of colour including the master ensuite with is emerald green marble and the powder room and its red marble. “It’s in the smaller rooms where those elements have a bigger impact, and it means the whole house isn’t screaming at us. Our design choices were guided by the fact that we’re looking at being here for at least ten years, so we restricted ourselves from anything too bold structurally, keeping it more neutral, and instead got creative with the more decorative elements.”
Powder room. Photo: Cathy Shusler
For more | New Art Series hotel in Brisbane