Over the years, designer Rus Collins of Zebra Design and builder Rob Mickelberry of Prodigy Developments have teamed up to design over forty homes. For this contemporary house in Fairfield, which appears subtle from the street despite being considerably larger than its neighbours, Collins and Mickelberry partnered to make the best use of a deep, narrow lot that runs between several neighbouring backyards.
Designed as a two-storey structure, the house contains a partial walkout at the back with 12-foot ceilings that create volume for the spacious kitchen, dining and living areas. Main design elements of concrete and wood paired with white walls provide a contemporary backdrop for the homeowners’ collection of mid-century teak furniture. White brushed oak floors throughout the entry, stairs and upper floor add a warm contrast to the polished concrete underfoot in the walkout living area. This contrast repeats throughout the house, from the fireplace surround and kitchen millwork to the exterior finishes.
The floor plan includes a music and entertainment room situated just off the front entry, with three bedrooms on the upper floor, including the master bedroom with a private deck. To maximize the home’s open feel, Collins arranged the upper floor around bridges that allow the family to look down into the hallway and living room below. Walls of windows overlook the garden and fill the home with natural light.
“Privacy was an issue with this southwest, gently sloped backyard,” says Collins, who bordered the walkout and patio with a water feature and plantings that provide some separation from the deep yard beyond. Two berms hide a play area for the children, along with a detached home office that Mickelberry built at the back of the property.
As a family home, this design achieves maximum living space inside a building envelope that does not impose from the outside. Combined with a clever backyard design, the home maintains privacy for the family with plenty of room to grow.