When an architect designs and builds his/her own home, you know it’s going to be good. The Paddington Residence, located in Paddington, Queensland, Australia, was designed by and for Ellivo Architects’ Principal Mason Cowle and his family and his goal was to create a contemporary home in an historic neighborhood.

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

The 400-square meter lot had a few of challenges. First there was a protected 100-year-old fig tree, a 3-meter-wide lane way, and a steep, 14-degree slope. That might be enough to make some people pass on the site but they took on the challenge and designed a flexible, layered home that had just enough square footage, but also natural light and privacy.

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

The front entry begins at the top of the slope and is sheltered by the canopy of the fig tree. The deck flows right into the kitchen area with only a separation of bi-fold doors that completely open the space up.

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

Massive, top-floor covered decks provide neighborhood views for the family, as well as overlooking the pool.

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

The kitchen flows right into the double-height dining room and the living room beyond.

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

Concrete floors, gray stone, and white walls set the neutral tone of the open living area, but tons of light and pops of color balance it out.

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

The living room is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows that open up to the second floor deck. That U-shaped sofa looks super comfortable and perfect for TV watching.

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

A library accessed by a ladder in the dining room covers a wall that could have been wasted space but it’s perfect for storing books.

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

The loft up there – it’s the owners’ suite.

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

They kept the stairs open, letting the light filter through.

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

Contemporary Home in Historical Australian Neighborhood in main architecture  Category

Photos by Scott Burrows.