Creative renovation

Issue 25 Words: Emma Scragg Photography: Emma Scragg
Inner Brisbane
  • The salvaged hardwood-framed kitchen with hoop pine ply drawers and stainless steel bench.
  • Creative collectables in the kitchen.
  • The link to the kitchen avoided any costly modifications to the original house.
  • The studio extension.

Extensions to this Queensland home create a family hub that hasn’t sacrificed on style or spatial quality, is durable and easy to maintain.

From the street, the Beatov home in inner Brisbane hints at the creativity beyond the stuccoed facade. The verdant front garden flows over a sculptural recycled hardwood fence to the kerbside. The narrow path beside the house leads to an oasis of garden nooks and crannies and sculptural built spaces.

Over 11 years, the pre-war Queenslander has gradually been extended in a renovation that meets the demands of the growing family and home practice of architects Rose Kubatov and Steven Beattie.

The angular forms and dynamic external spaces respond to climate, existing trees and small lot requirements. The kitchen’s southern wall is splayed east so that summer afternoon sun brushes the face of the large glazed doors but doesn’t enter the room.

Rose and Steven have cultivated a lifestyle that has allowed them time to design and create their home.

“The materials [have] influenced the brief, the design and the construction,” explains Steven. “There are substantial economies and reductions in wastage when the materials are allowed to influence the project from conception.”

Significant savings were made by using secondhand framing, doors and windows and by doing almost all the work themselves.

First (in 2002) was a modest garden pavilion, built from demolition timber and tin, to provide a shaded picnic area off the ground, away from green ants. It incorporated a bench for outdoor cooking and a bath.

Two years later they designed and built a kitchen pavilion, attached to, but not interfering with, the back of the existing house and shifting the heart of the house into the garden. At 15 square metres, it is a tight space but thanks to Brisbane’s mild climate, the kitchen expands easily out into the garden spaces for most of the year.

Other than using salvaged materials and their own muscle, Rose and Steven saved on building costs in other ways. Window sizes and placements were determined by sheet sizes to minimise waste.

Cabinetry in the kitchen and studio and the furniture outside were all made by Steven from salvaged hardwood and plywood.

The living spaces respond successfully to their microclimate without active heating or cooling.

Rose and Steven’s clever spatial designs are tightly efficient on the 405-square-metre block.



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Cover of Issue 25
You can read more about Creative renovation in Issue 25 of Sanctuary magazine.

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Rose Kubatov and Steven Beattie, Beatov


Owner builder


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