Ask a designer what makes Australia the lucky country and it will most likely come down to space. This land of sweeping plains offers views and room aplenty – often the envy of those those accustomed to compact living. After years of searching for their rural reprieve, a Sydney couple found their happy place in the Southern Highlands. Architects by trade, they were particular about the home they wanted to create on the hill, entrusting the clever minds of Intermode in collaboration with Carr Design Group to bring their ideas to life.
In partnership with our friends at Rogerseller, we walk through a home stamped by minimal living and refined to a rural setting.
Developed by Nick Carr, Intermode has made a name for itself in modern, modular abodes as a welcome design alternative to the volume build. But when you leave the suburban set, there is often hesitation to choose a contemporary framework – for fear it may stick out like an eyesore. Working with Carr Design Group, Intermode brought their bag of tricks to the sloping site, designing a fluid and functional farmhouse built around sweeping paddocks and undulating mountain ranges. “This centrally sited home sits embedded in the landscape with a subtlety and restraint that belies its function as a family holiday home exposed to the elements,” says Intermode Director Nick Carr.
Departing from the rudimentary farm buildings and barns throughout the Southern Highlands wine region, an energy and dynamism reveals itself. The layout is a smart spin on Intermode’s stand 1.2 square metre modules, with two distinct bedroom wings separated by an open living and dining area. Decking flanks the home, as a veranda of new proportions. Resonating with the clients and designers alike, the abode has a pointed environmental focus on orientation, light and cross ventilation. From the outset this is clear, with cladding sourced from sustainable plantation forests, “announcing the modernist approach taken”, affirms Nick Carr.
The couple wanted to maximise the opportunity for a large open space that felt well-connected to the outdoors, creating a fluid relationship from the inside, out. Each floor-to-ceiling glass panel is north-facing and double glazed, protected from harsh summer sunlight by the overhanging roofline. The views flaunt the remoteness of the surrounds – a privacy embedded in the bathroom – as the perfect spot to slow down and enjoy a soak in the Bliss Bath.
If there’s ever a rule to borrow from a designer’s books, it’s simplicity. As the glass entry door pivots open, “the rhythm and flow of the interior is immediately revealed,” describes Nick, emphasising low maintenance and well-placed items. The client’s eye for design ensured a preference for the finer things, of materials and details “drawn from tradition and a sense of honesty”. In the restrained kitchen and bathroom spaces, Rogerseller was a match made in architectural heaven, providing fixtures synonymous with clean cut design and made to last. The locally designed products ground the home in providing an all-Australian sanctuary. And dare we say – we’ve found a rural weekender to top all weekenders in style and individuality. At the country’s cutting edge, a family has their sweet escape, crafted by the ingenuity of quality design.
‘Capturing sweeping views of the rural valley beyond and nestled amongst a dramatic bushland of century old trees and dense forest, the home is a celebration of the surrounding architectural and design vernacular but with a modern, contemporary interpretation. It exudes a rural character but with an appropriateness to function embedded deep in its design.’