INSIDE AN INDUSTRIAL TREEHOUSE

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The Concrete Nation team recently created some pieces for a young, design-savvy family in the Gold Coast hinterland. The property, named the Industrial Treehouse, has the charm of a Queenslander-style home on the outside and a bold, industrial designer haven inside. The owner Tarn Riddle takes Concrete Nation on a tour.

Who lives here: Tarn Riddle, wife Anna and sons Angus and Oscar.

You have recently renovated a Queenslander-style home in the Gold Coast hinterland. Can you tell us about the property?

Our house was built in 1998 and had two previous owners. It is a gorgeous Queensland replica with big verandas and a picket fence. We are lucky to live in the Gold Coast Hinterland on three quarters of an acre. The property looks onto a nature reserve and has always had glimpses of the gorgeous mountains that surround. 

Who was the architect?

We engaged BDA Architecture for our renovation plans. They brought some amazing ideas to the table and the house has a completely different feel than it did before. 

You project-managed this renovation. What were the challenges?

The sheer amount of personal time you have to commit is definitely the largest challenge we faced. I put my business on hold for six months to make sure that we ended up with everything we wanted - not what others thought we wanted. Designs and ideas shifted and grew as the build continued so as we found a great supplier, they’d suggest another supplier and so on. So the ideas we had when we started quickly changed as the build took shape.

The home still has the original façade and has a really contemporary industrial aesthetic inside. What was your brief?

Solid, natural, functional, big, brave and unbreakable. The facade is gorgeous so we didn’t want to tamper with the house we fell in love with however the interior needed an overhaul, as it just wasn’t ‘us.’ It started with needing a repaint and quickly got out of control from there. 

You have incorporated a lot of bespoke concrete pieces into your home including a Concrete Nation Oasis bath, vanities and basins. What appealed to you about architectural concrete?

My wife saw that bath and just wanted to jump in it. The concrete medium has a fantastic texture. They are perfect imperfect pieces and are solid, heavy and unique. We searched far and wide for individual pieces that can handle a family of boys. The pieces are classy, low-maintenance and custom-made to suit our needs. What more could you ask for?

 Your bathrooms are really dark, moody and luxurious, which is a huge trend in interiors right now. Was it important to shift away from the light and airy Queenslander-style of home and create something unique?

Yes! We weren’t intentionally following a trend, more of a feel. We wanted to walk into the bathrooms and instantly relax. Our bathrooms were full of clutter, nooks and crannies. Our new bathrooms are simple, bold and functional. 

What is your favourite part of the home?

I have three! The giant 5m Concrete Nation kitchen bench that could fit our extended family around it [everyone who walks in comments on it], the timber floor, and the Concrete Nation bathtub is pretty incredible. Oh, and our wine cellar and all of the new natural light... can it be five things? 

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