Boswell Boathouse - interior

Scandi summerhouse

This boathouse beauty in black and white shows you don’t need all the bells and whistles for great design.

Photo courtesy Cathy Schusler


Laura Valic & Cass Proudfoot

Nestled in the eastern bayside suburb of Manly, Brisbane, the ‘Boswell Boathouse’ draws the eye with its crisp and striking exterior: a Queenslander take on the classic Scandinavian summerhouse.

The typical elements of Scandi architecture served as inspiration for the design by HIA member, Kalka, and are cleverly interwoven inside and out.

‘The goal was to create a home that delivers modern style by way of good design, quality materials, features and fixtures,’ says Kim Bridle, Kalka’s interior design manager.

The Brisbane-based building company offers this restrained display home with modest upgrades to demonstrate that you don’t have to upgrade everything to create a beautiful home.

The surrounding neighbourhood and its close proximity to the nearby bay all played a part in the design team’s approach, from concept through to the polished end product.

‘We spent a lot of time driving the streets of Manly before we looked at the interior colour scheme and design, and even the furniture. Considering the surroundings of a home is important and we do this for all of our standalone displays in the suburbs; drawing from the area and designing for the area,’ Kim says.

Careful consideration was given to the Queensland climate and way of living, with the house being designed to optimise the Brisbane weather. A sharply slanted roof connects with white horizontal weatherboards across the upper storey, accented by a timber balcony and double garage door in charcoal. The lightweight James Hardie Scyon cladding responds well to the subtropical climate by quickly releasing heat built up during the day to the cooler night air.

Boswell Boathouse - exterior
Lightweight cladding responds well to the subtropical climate
Photo courtesy Cathy Schusler
Boswell Boathouse - interior
Open-plan space combining the kitchen, dining & living areas
Photo courtesy Cathy Schusler

You don’t have to upgrade everything to create a beautiful home

Stroll around to the rear and you’re met with a reversal of the front design. Dark grey panelling – typical of the Scandi summerhouse – contrasted with white-framed glass sliding doors that spill out onto the entertaining area and backyard. This means outdoor living in the Brisbane weather can be enjoyed year-round.

‘We placed emphasis on a flexible and versatile layout so the home can be a backdrop to create your own personal style. Our homes are designed to separate the two main functions of a home – rest and play’, Kim says.

The lower level of the home features an open- plan space combining the kitchen, dining and living areas, which connect to the outdoor patio—and the upper level consists of the bedrooms and main bathroom.

Heightened ceilings throughout help to create a sense of openness and space and the windows have been positioned to ensure light and airflow floods the home.

‘There are a number of multi-purpose rooms that we hope will work in with whatever stage of life the owners are at,’ Kim says. ‘Our homes are designed to age with their owners so the multi-purpose rooms could be used as a playroom or study or secondary multi-media room, depending on what the owner’s needs are.’

‘The black and white accents were inspired by the Scandinavian summerhouse, which typically combines dark exteriors with strong white interiors, so we incorporated the black/white theme throughout the entire home.’

The pale oak timber floors from Queensland Timber Flooring tie the rooms together and add a natural element to soften the black and white contrast. Other natural elements include wooden furniture, textured rugs and cushions.

Boswell Boathouse - interior
Simple scandi design with timber floors that tie the rooms together
Photo courtesy Cathy Schusler
Boswell Boathouse - interior
The black & white accents were inspired by the Scandinavian summerhouse
Photo courtesy Cathy Schusler

Natural elements include wooden furniture, textured rugs and cushions

Often accent pieces come last, but for Kalka, they are an integral part of the design process.

‘We put a lot of time and emphasis into the artwork selection of every home and often source original pieces from local artists, be that Brisbane-based, Queensland or Australian. For this home we purchased a limited edition photographic print of a boathouse on the water, captured by a very talented Brisbane-based photographer, Cara Rosenlund,’ Kim says.

‘It’s one of our entry level homes in terms of size, finishes and fixtures. That was quite intentional as we wanted to showcase a well-executed, pared-back home. We tend to build homes that incorporate architectural features but this display demonstrates how good design and the right accent pieces can deliver something special.’

The home uses Miele appliances and Grohe tapware throughout. ‘We tried to keep all of the finishes quite restrained,’ Kim says. Some feature tiling did sneak in, with a strip of black and white feature tiles from Ace Stone and Tile which were used to accentuate the kitchen splashback.

‘In keeping with the simple colour palette we were just trying to just add some texture to break up a flat wall.’

Kalka is experienced in working with small lots to create well-designed homes that not only optimise space and functionality but enhance the lives of those within. This stylish Scandi-inspired house, with its clean design and restrained colour palette, is destined to work for relaxed Queensland living.

Boswell Boathouse - interior
Heightened ceilings throughout help to create a sense of openness and space
Photo courtesy Cathy Schusler
Boswell Boathouse - exterior
Stroll around to the rear and you’re met with a reversal of the front design
Photo courtesy Cathy Schusler

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