Clayfield Queenslander Home Balances Historic Quirks with Modern Flow |
Clayfield Queenslander Home Balances Historic Quirks with Modern Flow

Clayfield Queenslander Home Balances Historic Quirks with Modern Flow

Written by – Team
on March 26th 2019
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Toby Scott

Set in the backdrop of a darling Brisbane suburb, the Clayfield House sits among a number of homes built in the early 20th century. This renovation and extension by Alexandra Buchanan Architecture saw the home fitted with a new garden outlook and sleek contemporary kitchen while still holding onto its historic quirks that made it unique. The spaces are well ordered and it feels like the perfect space to relax at the end of the day.

Brisbane home renovation carried out by Alexandra Buchanan Architecture |

It’s a family home to six, with most of the private areas and bedrooms at street level, the upper story is given improved connections between spaces.

Living room in Brisbane home, featuring white walls and dark furniture |

Toward the front entrance is the more formal living room featuring a simple white and wooden canvas typical of Scandinavian-inspired interiors. Dark furniture packs a punch with a sumptuous collection of colors and rich textures.

Hallway and living room space in Brisbane family home, Alexandra Buchanan Architecture |
Living room fireplace perfect for cozy nights in, Brisbane family home, Alexandra Buchanan Architecture |

The existing bones of the home were in good shape, with some of the beautiful elements of a Queenslander home, like this fireplace. The personality of the home owners shines through with paintings, making a museum of contemporary art.

Artwork in the living room, next to vintage style fireplace | Brisbane home designed by Alexandra Buchanan Architecture |
Minimal home office space inBrisbane home |

“Passive design solutions were employed that enhance the methods of the existing house. Breezeways and cross ventilation are incorporated, orientation and shading of glazed panels and a key design driver of the garden room was its ability to provide flexibility to manage heat gain & sun angles with simple operable screens and extruded eaves.” — Alexandra Buchanan Architecture

Bedroom with white wood walls in Brisbane, featuring soft pink and plants |

“The construction references the historic methods of the Queenslander with use of timber frame and expressed structure,” describe the team behind the project. The historic character of the house is celebrated wherever it fits well, seeing the delicate woodwork in the window frames while maintaining a sleek contemporary look with the choice of furniture in this bedroom.

Eames chair in master bedroom in Brisbane home | Cool and relaxed vibes with plenty of artwork in project by Alexandra Buchanan Architecture |
Bedside chest of drawers with minimal fixtures in bedroom |
Sink with marble back splash |
Shower and bathroom in Brisbane bathroom, with minimalist style and a small niche for Aesop shampoo |
Kitchen featuring gray backsplash and barstools for dining together |
Pull out fridge drawer |
Long black kitchen island with bar stools and gray backsplash |
Suntrap spot with built in bench looking out over back yard |

The creation of this window box shared living room space makes perfect sense. A built in sofa bench is perfect for sharing family time, while being able to sweep open the windows for indoor-outdoor living.


As the doors open out onto an outdoor room, elevated decking is created with dark steel and white painted timber. The renovation provides new areas for the family, and particular attention was paid to maintaining spatial diversity. Both small and large groups can find the right spot.

Built in sofa bench for observing the back yard |
Suntrap built in sofa bench for viewing over the back yard |
Steps made from decking leading to back yard in Clayfield House by Alexandra Buchanan Architecture |
Stepped decking from entertaining area down to grass |

There were some challenges with the project; “negotiating level changes between inside and out, proximity and overlooking of neighboring dwellings and catering to the needs of all of the family members” proved creative thinking.


The use of gentle sloping steps provides a suitable movement of space between each story. You could consider some of the garden zones to feel like an outdoor room.

Back yard dining spot |
Clayfield House renovation by Alexandra Buchanan Architecture |
Swimming pool and tree in Clayfield House project by Alexandra Buchanan Architecture |
Beer, figs, cheese and sliced pears out on the deck | Back yard relaxing for summer in Brisbane |

One of the things that’s gorgeous about the house is that it’s full of character. Simple nods to architectural detailing, a solid choice of materials and the balance with contemporary furniture makes this a beautiful space for all of the family.

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