Queen Street, Kew Queen Street, Kew Queen Street, Kew Queen Street, Kew Queen Street, Kew Queen Street, Kew

Queen Street, Kew

Without a front fence, and with only a strip of lawn separating it from the footpath, the simple Edwardian facade of this house has been pared back to its basics. The turned timber verandah posts, distinctive geometric frieze and shingled boards - all painted a crisp white - give the house a fresh and uncluttered exterior, and provide a hint to the spaces within.

The interior of the house is the epitome of an ultra-cool, inner-urban design aesthetic. With its minimalist colour palette of black and white, one could be in an apartment in the inner-city, not a wooden cottage a stone's throw from Kew Junction. This is not surprising considering the owners run an interior design business and specialise in internal and external window furnishings.

When they bought the house in 2007, squatters had been in residence, and it was in a dilapidated state. All original period design features, such as cornicing and skirting boards were removed giving the house sharp, clean lines throughout. The monochromatic colour scheme works exceptionally well as the owners have been judicious in their use of texture to soften the contrast and provide interest.

The original floorboards were replaced with American Oak, stained a dark charcoal. This colour is repeated in the cabinetry throughout the house, the tiles in the bathrooms and the carpets in the bedrooms. It is also used in the wooden capping on the stair banister. The skirting boards have been replaced with a P50 shadowline, which runs down the hallway and up the stairs, providing an interesting textural feature.

The front sitting room totally embraces the dark side! All four walls have been painted charcoal, with only the white ceiling offering some light relief. It is in sharp contrast to the dressing room directly across the corridor, which gleams with floor-to-ceiling robes in brilliant white two-pack. A 5-metre long bank of drawers in dark-stained American Oak runs down the internal wall of the dressing room, the timber softening the starkness of the robes. An oversized, studded leather ottoman and fabric-covered pendant light-shade provide more textural relief to what is otherwise an intentionally austere room.

The family room and kitchen at the end of the central hallway continue the black and white theme. Here the floor is concrete, with a wall of floor-to-ceiling cabinetry - again in dark-stained American Oak - hiding appliances, a computer desk, pantry and fridge. A rout line has been added to the doors, to mirror the floorboards and moderate the expanse of timber. The kitchen bench is poured white concrete. Cleverly, it extends out through the external glass walls and forms a base for the barbeque. At the other end of the room, white brick walls gleam. These walls are an illusion - not solid brick at all, but a 5-cm thick veneer of brick, laid with some rough edges protruding, and again, softening the "whiteness" through texture.

Looking back on the house from the rear garden, the second floor cantilevers over the floor- to-ceiling glass. External black venetian blinds cover the upper windows. Resembling a fixed steel grill set within the external white window surrounds, it starkly juxtaposes black and white. Again, the effect is softened by the texture provided by the horizontal lines of the blinds.

While the house is minimalist in style, it was designed to accommodate a young family, and despite its clean lines and black and white colour scheme, the accoutrements of family life ensure it is anything but austere!