Expertly built by master builder Greg Bylund of Bylund Building Services, to the exacting design of local Architect Chris Jenkins, November FOCUS Home of the Month boasts breathtaking ocean views from most rooms via strategically placed vantage points.
The outside landscape is an interior decoration in this modern, architecturally designed residence. Chrissy Jones had the pleasure of viewing the home.
A showpiece of elegance, highlighting clean lines and an airy interior, the flexible floor plan has spaces that can serve dual purposes, is considerate of privacy and is one that has an appreciation for indoor-outdoor living.
From first look the home is impressive and definitely one at the forefront of modern design. A mix of exterior claddings brings together a variety of architectural styles through the use of colour, texture, shape and finish. Woodland Grey longline vertical steel cladding, travertine tile, a frameless glass balustrade from Pacific Balustrades, along with an Easy Lap James Hardie cladding that has a stipple coat paint finish, emphasises the offset angled lines and shape of the home’s unique exterior.
The Phoenix Crescent house features floor-to-ceiling windows from Mid Coast Windows that not only capitalise on the abundance of ocean views, but capture and allow for direction of sea breezes. The windows are furnished beautifully by Topstitch Curtains & Blinds, with a variety of block out and automatic blinds.
Taking full advantage of its sloping footprint in tranquil rainforest surrounds, the executive residence comprises three levels.
The front courtyard is framed with honed river stone block retaining walls and features a tiled reflection pool. Natural granite step treads lead you through the peaceful entrance way from street level to the Dulux Dandelion Yellow entrance door. A bright contrast to the industrial look of the exterior and expanse of glass windows, the impressive entry welcomes you and sets the colour scheme and style of the interior accents.
Includes the children’s bedrooms, guest suite, family bathroom and laundry. A wine cellar has been purposely relegated to its own basement level where natural light isn’t a priority, but relaxation of the older members of the family is.
A wide entry foyer, with Blackbutt timber flooring underfoot, gives direction to all levels, including the pool area at the rear of the home. To the right of entry is a wide hallway leading to two bedrooms and the guest suite. The carpeted children’s bedrooms are mirror image and very well laid out, having their own custom-built, timber-fronted cabinetry comprising book shelving, hanging space and desk. Sliding glass doors open from the bedrooms onto a rear deck, adding an extra play space for the children.
Further along the hall the guest suite has ingenious built-in bed configurations – a set of custom built pod style timber bunk beds and a fold down double bed that is neatly tucked away in its own timber cabinet.
The guest suite also doubles as a playroom for the younger members of the family when there are no guests and has custom built wall cabinetry. Having its own private glass balustraded balcony with views to the pool, the guest suite is unique in its own right.
An ensuite with a corner glass walled shower, wall mounted vanity, mirror fronted shaving cabinet and floor to ceiling tiles complete the amenities.
The laundry has easy access to the outside drying area, Caesar stone bench-tops, incorporating both under bench and overhead purpose built cabinetry, plus provides plenty of storage.
Alongside the laundry, the family bathroom is fitted out with a deep bath, glass fronted shower cubicle and wall mounted vanity with lighting. Bright yellow wall tiles from Color Tiles With Style are a fun feature on one wall and also encase the bath; they are a contrast to the white floor tiles.
A separate WC with its own hand basin is also tiled floor to ceiling with the bright, yellow tiling.
Down a flight of timber stairs is what some would say is the favourite room of the house – the underground cellar. Its main feature is the custom-built curved wine shelving with mood LED lighting. The cellar has a 200 mm thick concrete slab overhead which acts as an insulator for noise and along with the travertine tile underfoot, helps to keep the cellar at a comfortable temperature.
Engineered Blackbutt timber stairs, with a horizontal timber screen wall, take you to the top level comprising open plan kitchen, dining and living area together with a home office, library, the main bedroom, walk-in dressing area and expansive ensuite.
The living area is a beautiful space, highlights being spectacular views to the nearby lighthouse and window seating along the southern wall – a comfy spot to sit and relax whilst taking in snap shot ocean views through strategically placed windows. A gas fireplace throws a beautiful flame, adding to the ambience of the living area.
The kitchen, designed by Architect Chris Jenkins, is a showpiece. Tasmanian Oak timber veneer joinery adds warmth and blends well with the black fronts of the overhead cabinetry and the yellow of the splash-back and pear shaped pendant lighting over the island bench.
Reminiscent of a surf board, the polar white Caesar stone island bench-top has a waterfall edge, integrated dishwasher and shelving underneath for cook-books. Doubling as a breakfast bar, the island divides the kitchen space and melds with the dining and lounge areas.
All opens out onto an angled glass balustraded balcony through sliding glass doors which have automatic roller blinds from Topstitch Blinds & Awnings installed. Adjacent to the living area is the home library with custom-built book shelving in various configurations that also has its own balcony – indoor/outdoor living at its best.
Exquisitely completing the top level is the master bedroom suite. A luxurious parents’ retreat, its centrepiece being a handcrafted timber four post bed from Francis Furniture, the master has its own balcony, resort style ensuite and expansive walk-in robe.
Overall, the design maximises space efficiency, is a functional design for minimum work and maintenance, has an excellent response to climate, and has a strong inside-outside relationship that expands living spaces to the exterior.
The home makes one rethink the configuration and aesthetics of the conventional dwelling and is a credit to all involved.
From the Builder.
Greg Bylund of Bylund Building Services
Tell us about your business …
Bylund Building Services is family owned and operated. Althought Port Macquarie has been home for nearly eight years; Greg has been in the building industry for approx. 30 years.
What are the types of building that you specialise in?
We specialise in architectural or one off builds – including residential and commercial, and also carry out renovations and additions – from decks to complete house makeovers.
As Greg is a perfectionist, any job that requires attention to detail will be complemented with Greg as the builder.
Did the owners have any specific requirements when they approached you to build?
The owners wanted a builder who would be onsite, and not just a project manager. All one off builds have Greg from start to finish. Greg is onsite and available to his clients around the clock, any issues that arise on a building site are dealt with quickly and easily. This saves the owners money, time, and a lot of frustration.
A complex web of triangle cantilevered decks and multiple angular walls and roof lines. To accomplish such a difficult build, the owners knew the builder would have to be someone with an eye for immense detail. Throughout the entire house this perfectionism is visible. The combination of Chris’ intricate design and Greg’s meticulous nature have resulted in a united and harmonious masterpiece!
What are some of the featured design elements of this home?
Where do we start? From the curved cabinetry in the cellar, the Tasmanian Ash library, the multi angled ensuite, and the flow from room to room; add these to the beautiful views. This home is a true wonderment. The front elevation gives just a glimmer of what lies beyond! A couple of angles, a line of glass and burst of yellow! The journey begins … It is teeming with imagination and is full of life. All the design elements complement the lovely owners and their family life.
Although a challenge at times complete with sleepless nights – Greg is bursting with pride for this home. We hope you can see his pride in the photos.
How do we go about commissioning you to build for us?
You can contact us via phone, email, visit our website or find us on Facebook!
After initial contact, Greg will organise a sit down meeting with any prospective clients – either at the proposed job site, or at their home – wherever they feel comfortable.
We hope we can chat soon with the possibility of bringing your unique dream to a reality!
From the Architect.
Chris Jenkins Design Architects Pty Ltd
Did the owners have any specific requirements when they approached you to design their home? If so, how were these met?
At the outset the owners were looking for a Balinese resort style house which featured a lot of timber and stone; however, when we did our initial investigations we found out that because the site was surrounded by rainforest, almost all of it was bushfire affected, and in fact was in Flame Zone, which precluded the use of any timber externally.
Being in Flame Zone meant that the entire external envelope needed to be constructed from either masonry or insulated steel sheet. Because we were unable to use timber, we explored some other typologies which the owners liked.
One of the images which they put forward was the 1950s West Coast Case Study Houses. This image became the catalyst for our design. The crisp lines, monochrome colour scheme, which includes splashes of primary colour, steel structure, expansive use of glass and rational planning are all rooted in the Case Study Houses.
The design was developed over many late night discussions with the owners when they were still living in Sydney, to ensure that it incorporated everything wanted. I believe that we have achieved that goal.
What are some of the featured elements of the design?
The building needed to be sited as high up on the site as possible, to take in expansive views of the ocean and Tacking Point Lighthouse in particular, but remain below Council’s building height controls.
By siting the building up high it was more exposed to the bushfire threat. In order to mitigate this, we worked with our bushfire consultant, David Pensini, to design the house so that the north wall (which was closest to the forest) is constructed as a windowless insulated steel skin which wraps around the rest of the house to shield it from a fire.
This strategy allowed us to reduce the bushfire threat level for the rest of the house and incorporate the expansive glass to make the most of the available views.
The modernist exterior material palette is restricted to Woodland Grey steel cladding, honed stone face concrete blocks and black aluminium framing to windows and doors. This unique facade can be confronting for some people, but what might be considered by some as an austere colour scheme is offset by striking angular geometry and breathtaking cantilevers!
While we were unable to use timber externally, we have compensated by using it extensively in the interiors of the house. The horizontal timber screen across the entry stair is probably the most arresting feature of the interior, although the funky kitchen is probably the owners’ favourite area, as they are both avid foodies. The wine cellar incorporates an industrial aesthetic which is a direct reference to the Case Study houses, and the owners’ furnishings turn it into a very special room. All of the timber built in furniture was designed by the architects, including the owners’ four poster bed, which was master built by Francis Furniture.
From the Owner – Sarah.
You chose Greg Bylund of Bylund Building Services as the builder of your new home.How has it been working with Greg?
It was such an asset to have Greg building our new home. He dealt with any problems calmly and constructively and was careful to involve us in the process. His eye for detail meant that we ended up with an excellent finish. His team of tradesmen were excellent, and his commitment to the project meant that he was closely supervising the build as it progressed. He always encouraged me to visit the site and took the time to answer any queries I had. Even after completion he has remained involved with the house, as his perfectionist nature means he will always see the house as his project.
Did you have any specific requirements when you first decided to build?
We were after a design that was a little different, but also one that blended into the environment and the surrounding rainforest. The Colorbond cladded design is very industrial, but also sits wonderfully in the rainforest. Obviously we wanted to maximise the view, but wanted to do so in a manner that would minimise the impact on the streetscape, which Chris has managed to do very well.
We were keen to maximise natural ventilation and light, which Chris achieved with the use of windows positioned to cross ventilate and the huge timber screen to allow natural light and warmth through the house. In terms of the interior, we wanted a warmth to contrast with the industrial exterior, which was achieved through the use of timber flooring and timber cabinetry, the use of yellow in the kitchen and the beautiful travertine used in the bathrooms. The project had its challenges from a design perspective as we are on bushfire zoned land, but Chris was able to design us a beautiful house within those constraints. Many passersby have commented on how much they like the design, so hopefully it has passed the Port Macquarie public test as well!
How does your new home suit your lifestyle?
The house is designed to make the most of the beautiful environment we have in Port Macquarie – outdoor living areas off many of the rooms, large level backyard for the kids, a swimming pool and an outdoor shower to wash off the sand from Lighthouse Beach, which is a short walk away. It will be difficult to ever go away again for a beach holiday, as we feel living in our house is a holiday every day!
Which is your favourite room?
I love the library room with its beautiful peaceful outlook over the rainforest and the custom shelving for my many books. My husband’s favourite room is the wonderfully cavernous and cool cellar.
Would you recommend Bylund Building Services to other prospective home builders?
I would not hesitate to recommend Greg and his team to build a house, and I have already sung his praises to prospective home builders. Greg is truly a craftsman who sees building homes for clients as a very personal project that he is part of. He gets a joy from creating beautiful homes for his clients, and this is reflected in the level of finish he achieves.
Thank you Sarah.