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Shedding the predictable

With strong bold lines and dark tones, this modern take on the backyard shed makes for an impressive secondary dwelling on a rural property south of Perth.

Photo: Nick Thake Photography

Shedding the predictable

With strong bold lines and dark tones, this modern take on the backyard shed makes for an impressive secondary dwelling on a rural property south of Perth.

Photo: Nick Thake Photography
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Dubbed the Wandi Shed House, this sleek black retreat stands tall and proud against a green backdrop on its rural setting in Wandi, south of Perth in Western Australia.

While it mimics the style of a modern shed, the bold metal cladding and high-pitched roof are just a glimpse of what makes this structure more than your average farm building.

The self-contained two-bedroom and two-bathroom home built by Ironstone Homes won the 2019 Building Designers Association Best Rural Design award for its unique contemporary rustic aesthetic shortly after construction completion. With a total area of just 100-square metres, Daniel Thake from Darklight Design managed to combine open-living zones with high raked ceilings and large panelled sliding doors to create the feeling of a much larger space. 

Kate Veteri

Publications officer

The house layout divides the bedrooms by placing them at opposite corners of the Wandi Shed House. With these areas encapsulating the hub of the home, the design feels spacious while providing ample privacy for a building with a smaller square footage. Further space-saving techniques implemented into the home include the use of short hallways and a kitchen island bench that blends down into a dining/breakfast table with a lower stone benchtop to reduce furniture clutter.

Arguably one of the best aspects of this project is the location. When the client requested a shed-like home seated amongst the rural escape of the family property, one of the key components had to be windows – and lots of them.

The vast array of glass lining the walls and the raked ceiling ensures the different vistas can be enjoyed from anywhere in the home. But they do more than just take advantage of the magnificent views. The inclined ceiling’s extra height partnered with skylight windows – operated via a remote wall-mounted controller – also help to enhance the homes ventilation systems.

The minimal material and colour palette ensures the focus remains on the space. All internal spaces are interconnected with a burnished concrete floor used throughout and timber panelling as a detail element to add to the rustic feel. The dark features in the cabinetry and door runners unify the inside of the home with the exterior.  
For this build Alspec’s Carinya aluminium awning windows and sliding and hinged doors were installed with toughened glass, complemented by colour-matched hardware and aluminium mesh flyscreens. While Alspec is well-known for its commercial product ranges, the Carinya windows and doors were specifically developed for the residential market, building on the knowledge gained from commercial applications.

Alspec says the impressive list of efficient and protective features made Carinya windows and doors ideal to fulfil the glazing and framing needs for this project: ‘Not only are they fully energy rated and certified to WERS, the entire range is tested and certified to withstand bushfire conditions up to BAL40 (Bushfire Attack Level), vital in rural areas,’ Rob Edwards, Carinya product manager at Alspec says. 

‘The sliding doors also feature integrated endcaps and weather seals to provide protection against penetration by grit, water, air and insects, while enhancing the home’s energy efficiency.’

From the burnished concrete floors to the expansive windows and soaring ceilings, this award-winning design successfully achieved the project’s and client’s goals by delivering a private retreat built with safe, stylish and durable products, nestled unobtrusively into its peaceful rural setting.

Wandi Shed House at a glance


Ironstone Homes


Darklight Design


Western Australia


  • Windows: Carinya awning, fabricated by DGA Windows 
  • Doors: Carinya sliding door with altitude rails; Carinya hinged door; aluminium mesh flyscreen
  • External cladding: Fielders Steel metal cladding; James Hardie fibre cement
  • Flooring: burnished concrete
  • Kitchen benchtop: Q stone – Marmo Delicato
  • Kitchen joinery: solid spotted gum.