What is a Queenslander house?
Architecture in Queensland has a quintessential style that is easily distinguishable from other types of Australian design. “Queenslander” architecture is a term which identifies all residential homes of this style. The typical Queenslander home is made from timber with a corrugated iron roof, and takes the form of a detached house set on a separated block of land.
Another typical feature of these iconic Queenslander houses is a classic Australian veranda which wraps around the majority of the house (usually the back and side – a Queensland home is rarely enveloped totally by its veranda). These homes are almost always single-storey buildings, though it is also common to see a Queensland home that has undergone renovations to make the under-house area another living area. Large exterior staircases are also characteristic of these homes, usually a focal point of the front façade. Other common features include gabled roofs, and the stumps or stilts on which these houses are often built for flood safety.
Queenslander-style homes are not limited to Queensland alone. In fact, similar styles are very popular in Northern NSW and along the border areas of Queensland’s state boundaries. They were developed primarily in response to the sub-tropical climate of Queensland and as such have become an ideal choice to maximize design efficiency in humid areas. Queenslander homes also have a unique charm that many find appealing, and a large number of Queenslander homes are actually characterized as character houses because of their significance in architectural history. (This may mean that renovations will have to keep the original style intact, so if you intend to completely renovate a Queenslander home make sure that you are aware of the regulations).
Queenslander homes emerged as a distinct style of regional Australian architecture in the late 1800s. Since their development they have come to incorporate many more styles into the iconic design, including Victorian, Colonial, Federation, and Ashgrovian influences. They are less common today and popularity for the Queenslander home style began to peter out after World War II, which is why the majority of Queensland homes also hold deep historical value. The reason for their dip in popularity was due in large part to their newfound impracticality.
Part of the reason for the explosion of Queenslander home design in the 1800s was because of their efficiency and practicality. Timber was an affordable and readily available timber thanks to the rising popularity of sawmills, and the durability of metal roofs won out over tile as the humid climate put traditional European building materials to the test. However, this became less and less practical as time went on. By the end of World War II, the focus of home design became cost-efficiency above all else, leading to the decline of iconic Queenslander styles such as spacious verandas and real timber building materials.
Recently, however, Queenslander homes have seen something of a revival as people come to appreciate the immense history and Australian charm imbued within these designs. A staple of Queensland’s architectural heritage, there is now a widespread effort to conserve and renovate Queenslander homes across the nation. Here are some of the five most impressive Queenslander renovation examples, including a look at modern Queenslander styles.
Queenslander Architecture: Five new, old and renovated Queensland homes for sale
5. The Avalon
The Avalon is actually a home kit available all across Australia. Queenslander homes are a popular design for relocatable architecture because the style supports the simplicity of kit home construction. With a primarily open plan, the Avalon features a large kitchen, luxurious living and dining areas, and three spacious bedrooms. You can read more about the Avalon model and request a quote here, or peruse the rest of the Classic Kit Homes stunning Queenslander range here.
4. The Nassar Residence, Brisbane
This stunning home is a renovated 1920s Queenslander. With a fresh coat of paint and a revamped interior, the historic home was transformed into a classic modern paradise. Some of the tweaks included installing an extra wall, using brighter colors, switching to an open plan, and replacing the floorboards. These were just a few touches that brought the home into the 21st century without detracting from its old-fashioned charm.
3. The Granger Residence, Byron Bay
Relocated from Ballina in Northern NSW, this home has the classic charm of a traditional 1920s Queenslander. The rustic simplicity of the exterior is complimented by VJ paneling through the interior as well as the original floorboards, fretwork and ceiling roses. A three bedroom, two bathroom home with a wrap-around veranda featuring a plunge pool, this rural gem has a lot to offer – not in the least being the woodland views.
2. The Beck Property, Brisbane
This renovated Queenslander home is perhaps one of the best examples of the way that contemporary styles can breathe new life into traditional architecture. A sleek black color scheme offsets the simplicity of the classic Queenslander design. This is emphasized by the use of industrial materials like metal and concrete, which give the house a modern edge. Plants twine along the pillars and walls, softening what might otherwise appear a very contemporary design and ensuring that the influence of Queenslander style does not go overlooked.
1. The Spiro Home, Brisbane
Textile designer Anna Spiro undertook the redesign of her own home in Brisbane, QLD, making sure to bring the beauty of its Queenslander design to the forefront. Spiro kept the renovations fairly cosmetic, choosing instead to focus on selecting rustic furniture pieces of varying textures and colors to compliment the pre-existing charm of this old fashioned home.
A fresh coat of paint, some carefully selected furniture and a few subtle color accents later, this Queenslander home appeared brand new. This sort of renovation is inspiring in its achievability; you do not need to employ anyone other than yourself to give your Queenslander home a cosmetic makeover.