When this couple retired the farm they wanted a more manageable and contemporary home that incorporated memories of their past life. While the move was a downsize and a sea-change, it also needed to be a place where the kids and grandkids could visit comfortably. Humble House designed by Coy Yiontis Architects is the perfect place to retire...
The farmhouse the owners of Humble House left to retire was a grand heritage home which contained many of their family memories. While it was time for a change and a down-size to something more manageable, it was important that their new, contemporary home still incorporated memories of their past life.
From the front, a steep skillion roof is the most striking feature. Apart from looking great, this dramatic gesture is designed as a buffer for the house, along the boundary where a large two-storey neighbour overlooks and overshadows the home. The steep roof is highlighted internally with raked ceilings, to give the home an added sense of volume and, thanks to a clerestory window, additional natural light.
The planning of the home is set out along this western boundary to free up space for a garden to the East. The master bedroom and living area all open onto this private outdoor space. The living area enjoys full-height glazing towards the North, bringing in plenty of natural light. To gain extra space, the living area can be opened on both the North and South sides. Opening to the North and South is a great idea, because it allows the owners to bask in the sun during Winter or enjoy the South shade during summer.
Humble House is a two-bedroom, two-study home. This allows it the flexibility to transform into a four bedroom home when children and grandchildren visit and also maximises its resale value for the future.
Being such a change for the heritage farmhouse the owners once called home, they were eager to incorporate elements from their past lives to make them feel at home. These elements have been planned into Humble House from the beginning, including a nook for the antique grandfather clock and space for the owners' pair of rowing oars - both important sentimental items. Most poetically, stone and crushed rock from their original property have been used in the garden.
Humble House is designed to suit the clients as they grow older. The house and garden is on one level, with no steps. Terraced garden beds at the rear allow for more accessible gardening. The study could become a bedroom for a live-in carer. Other elements of the home have been designed with ease of living and maintenance in mind, such as hydronic heating and electric blinds.
This contemporary home has been designed from scratch to ensure it grows and adapts as the owners age. More houses should be designed with ageing and accessibility in mind to allow us to stay in our homes for longer. Coy Yiontis Architects have done a tremendous job of making Humble House feel both modern and like a home for this retired couple.