When the architect first suggested the idea of removing the outer walls of the home which had been in her family for decades, the owner said she needed to think about it overnight.

When she arrived back on site the next morning, the walls were gone and the living areas were exposed to meet with the wraparound veranda! It was quite a shock but she has grown to love how the area can be divided ‘Raffles hotel-style’ into discrete areas to suit the differing needs of the family members.

The perfect blend of classic Queenslander and modern design, 9 Mitchell Street is a family home full of surprises. With the pull of a curtain or the sliding of a wooden or glass screen, the large living areas are able to be adapted to catch summer breezes, screen western sun or hold in winter warmth. Designed by Architect James Russell in 2013, the home is a Rubik’s cube of flexible indoor and outdoor variations and rooms within rooms.


Entering the home through the original front door, with its polished floors, VJ walls and character details in the hallway one does not expect it to open up to such a surprising living area. Dramatic floor to ceiling light blue velvet curtains (chosen by the architect to match the colour of the owner’s eyes) can be pulled around the living area, where the walls would have been, to keep the area private and cosy at night time. Through swinging doors is the hub of the home, the kitchen and dining area, which can also be made cosy in winter or have the rear wall slide back to let in the northern sun, allowing adults to keep an eye on children and pets in the private back yard. The stainless steel kitchen has a commercial Electrolux oven with gas stovetop, Miele dishwasher, pull-out drawers for recycling bins, and a walk-in pantry with masses of overhead storage, while the dining area also has a study nook with fibre internet connection. Ducted air conditioning in the kitchen and bedrooms can be set at difference temperatures in each zone.

The three bedrooms are linked to each other through sliding doors in the walls, providing easy access for parents of young children who might wake in the night, and enabling the bedrooms to be can be kept private from the public entertaining areas. The built ins have been cleverly built around the window area, providing a desk for students. The bathroom, vanity sink and toilet are all separate, enabling simultaneous use.

This is a fabulous house for those who like to cook and entertain, with its flexible layout, outdoor fireplace, BBQ area with double sink, undercover poolside cabana area and herb garden and citrus trees out the front. The multi-purpose cabana can be used as another large dining area, a pool lounging area or, with the clever use of curtains, can even be transformed into guest accommodation. It has an outdoor shower and extra toilet adjacent to the lap pool.

By Angus Commins
Space Property South Brisbane

Via Space Property Blog