All photos by Jacqueline Bosscher

Malabar Studio

We converted this beachside garage and workshop space into a sunlit studio with open plan living/dining/kitchen, separate bedroom and bathroom.  A pair of large sliding glass doors in the kitchen and dining areas open up the whole space to the exterior, where adults dine alfresco and kids play. This simple little space now provides the owners with a private place to accomodate family and friends, and a space to escape for themselves to work and play, separate from their house but connected via the garden area. 

The existing steel and Oregon timber beams were left exposed, cleaned up and painted, as was the concrete floor, now coloured a seaside teal grey. V-joint panels were used to create sloping ceilings, making the most of building's height and reducing labour and materials compared to plasterboard. Blockwork walls - the stalwarts of Australian backyard outbuildings - were also simply, naturally sealed and painted. All paints are VOC free by Resene. Energy efficient fans and LED lighting used throughout.

The open plan kitchen, dining and living areas flow easily into one another with views and light provided by the glass doors. Simple, lightweight furniture in pale timber and painted metal finishes, comfortable sofa-bed and plenty of storage keep this space highly functional. Shades of blue, green and sand reflect the studio's coastal location and easy, holiday feel.

In the bedroom, we made a feature of the angled roof line by using V-joint panelling to create a sloping ceiling and recessing LED up-lighting, both of which amplify the height of what is a small space. We custom-designed a bedhead by upcycling an oak floorboard and piece of light green Echopanel from another project, providing a long, handy shelf for lamps and other bedside paraphernalia. A queen bed with additional padded bedhead and gas-lift base provides comfort and hidden storage.

The L-shaped, naturally lit bathroom comprises a shower room with WC plus separate sink area with mirror and storage. Tiling is a white brick pattern for walls, and small, timber-look tiles in a herringbone pattern for the floor. All tiles are LEED compliant. Shower, taps and WC are all low flow.

The kitchen was designed to be simple and minimal, with timber veneer cabinetry and real stone bench tops, compact but packed with lots of storage and energy saving appliances. 

With thanks to our wonderful clients and collaborators Life Structures, Electricus and Natural Colour Painting.

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