The gem-filled Madhouse

Like an eclectic jewellery box, the GT Madhouse is full of delightful surprises and is reminiscent of all that is precious to this family.

  • The gem-filled Madhouse

Text by Caelan Kaluder

Enlisted to capture the family’s bustling essence, Maytree Studios designed a home that is intertwined with the family’s interests for individual getaway and communal connectivity.

Set on sloping land within the suburb of Windsor in Brisbane, passers-by can see peeks of a hidden terrace, shrouded in greenery. Even from the outside, GT Madhouse wastes no space. Each corner is used with dynamic split levels reaching out from the original inner-city cottage.

GT Madhouse by Maytree Studios

Inside is no different, every nook is fit for every family member. From the original concept to the final brick, the success of the home lies in Maytree Studios’ underlying principle of designing smaller and using smart planning to achieve higher quality outcomes.

Maytree Studio’s director Rebecca Caldwell says on the home’s achievement, “Through the clever use of acoustic design we were able to lessen the impact of noise on the owner’s hearing impairment,” she says. “The homeowners came to us with the specific requirement of dampening echo and reverberation within the home and this became a key focus of our design.”

Coming to the heart of the house and family, is the kitchen. Sunlight shines across all levels in the kitchen, which is surrounded by smoothed varnished stairs, a double-height void and wide windows. Precast acoustic plasterboard shelters the kitchen with a softness that hums throughout the home.

colourful kitchen

Despite the use of concrete and glass, the acoustic plasterboard – a material more often used in commercial and workplace environments – lays the groundwork for an atmosphere of peace. The design has created harmony for the homeowner, who says it makes the space feel soft and allows her to switch off and have quiet at a moment’s notice.

The materials coalesce into a visually inspiring moment when a visitor comes into the house, guiding them to see and wonder where the halls and corridors lead. Yet it is not only the materiality that sets GT Madhouse apart but the use of a naturalistic palette where the grey beams blend to the cream of the walls, trickling into the wooden finishes and gold accents.

GT Madhouse by Maytree Studios

The vision of an eclectic jewellery box shines here, the gold ceiling light and inbuilt bookcases create a semblance to the baubles and heirlooms that one would find inside their own jewellery box: heightened further by the inspiration of clever compartments and hidden snugs.

Adjacent to the kitchen is the centrepiece – a sunken living room, padded in a deep blue denim sofa and rich red rugs. Overlooking the open garden, the living space creates an atmosphere of connection to the outdoors. It also forms an abundance of natural light and airflow that brings harmony to the whole home.

sunken living area

Being on a sloping block, levels trail away from the kitchen. A half flight of stairs here leads to the original cottage, used primarily as the children’s space, while the second level wraps back around above the double-height void over the kitchen to the parent’s sound-isolated suite.

GT Madhouse

GT Madhouse hums with a soft melody, thriving of its occupants, where it gives the family a home of solace and comfort like the jewel it is.

GT Madhouse

Maytree Studios

Photography by Toby Scott

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