Over many decades the renovation and reproduction of the traditional Queenslander house has come into its own and it continues to be a sought-after style of home for modern Australian lifestyle, even more recently going to far as to somewhat mesh with the increasingly popular Hamptons style of architecture, which share some design and architectural details with Queenslander style. White-painted timber work, an abundance of natural light, breezy, open plan layout and that beautiful indoor-outdoor flow of living and entertaining spaces are just some of the features that have transcended time from houses of old to remain desirable in our current way of life.
What is a Queenslander house?
Examples of a classic Queenslander home exist right across the state of Queensland, even in inner city Brisbane. The style was born in the early 1800s out of necessity to address weather conditions unique to the Queensland climate. Built high above street level to allow air circulation underneath and throughout the home and harness airflow to aid in cooling, as well as providing insurance against tropical weather patterns that include flooding, the style continued to be constructed through the 1920s and still in demand today.
The Queenslander architectural style also incorporates vast, steep corrugated metal roofing and wrap-around, covered verandahs with ornate balustrading to fully surround the home, often meeting symmetrically at the front and centre of the home to join an external staircase leading down to ground level. These signature features take advantage of breezes, whilst providing shelter from tropical rains, making the style eco-friendly even in the current day as it negates the modern tendency towards installing air conditioning. In the case of a farmhouse, raising it high above ground also often affords a birds-eye view of the entire property.
What makes Queenslanders so special?
More than purely functional, the style paid particular attention to detail in its all-timber construction and unique elevated designs, which also makes a Queenslander relocatable - able to be lifted from its original site and transported elsewhere, either in sections or a whole piece, depending on its size. Other signature features include timber-lined internal walls and ceilings, intricate timber fretwork both inside and on the external structure of the building and a tendency to paint timbers in lighter-to all white colours. Originally designed to reflect heat, visually this results in a charming freshness and lightness to both the external and interior decorating palettes.
The appreciation of modern Queenslander style of architecture has seen many of these original homes snapped up as soon as they are listed for sale and painstakingly restored to their former glory, inside and out. Housing companies who specialise in kit homes can also be found to include classic Queenslander style architecture in their offering.
Let’s take a look at some beautiful examples of Queenslander architecture and why is works so beautifully.
10. Crisp and classic
This home ticks all the boxes for classic Queenslander style, wrap-around verandahs, a central staircase and pitched iron roof over timber cladded walls.
9. High and mighty
Seen from the rear, this Queenslander exhibits batten-and-board cladding above timber weatherboards in the porch-and-gable style of the inter-war period of the 1920s - 1930s.
8. All the right light
High ceilings inside a Queenslander draw the eye upwards and allow in loads of natural light, tempered here by plantation shutters.
7. Internal fretwork
Classic interior detailing in high hallway ceilings featuring intricate fretwork above vast expanses of tongue and groove wall.
6. Bay window seat
A cosy bay window off the main living area is typical of the architectural style and provides a spot to relax in this classic Queenslander bungalow.
5. Modern dream
The sweeping verandahs of this renovated Queenslander remain as relevant as in original build and provide ample under-cover entertaining areas below.
4. Curved lines
The curved roof over the verandah of this Queenslander home would likely be sitting beneath a seperate short-ridged roof. Fretwork is seen in verandah posts.
3. The perfect Queenslander lifestyle
Being used exactly as intended, French doors open directly on to this wide verandah beneath timber-lined eaves.
2. Stunning symmetry
Wrap-around verandahs meet at the staircase in the centre of this Queenslander under a pyramid roof and fine fretwork detail. Shaped sub-floor batten screens extend down decoratively at the base.
1. An ode to the original
In this sympathetic renovation, original dividing walls are retained above a new opening and a heritage fireplace makes a statement in the new kitchen.