…More beautiful, more lived in, more loved.

RenovatingKiora House: A Dream Duplex On A Budget

If there is anything more exciting than building your own home exactly the way you dreamed, it’s building a stunning duplex to share with your sister.

That’s just what Alexandra and Gemma decided to do when confronted with the rapidly rising costs of Sydney living. They threw away their original plans to buy their own separate homes and instead combined their purchasing power (and creative prowess) to build Kiora House: a family duplex for the modern ages on a small suburban block.

Old Sydney weatherboard house on a small block surrounded by plants.
Source: James Hardie

But while the finished product is an Insta-worthy marvel, the build didn’t come without its challenges. Thankfully the Sydney sisters had reputable, award-winning builders on hand to guide them through every twist and turn.

The Vision For Kiora House

Exterior of Kiora House Duplex
Source: James Hardie

When their first design was flatly refused by the local council, Alexandra and Gemma approached bespoke builder Futureflip to bring their contemporary vision to life. The brief included four bedrooms per home, high ceilings, oversized windows and space for outdoor entertaining and play. And of course, it had to meet their modest budget.

Enter James Hardie Cladding

Kiora House featuring James Hardie Cladding
Source: James Hardie

The answer to creating an architectural box-modern duplex on a tight budget was James Hardie’s concrete cladding products. And not just one product, but three, for a cohesive look that blended with the property’s surroundings.

The girls selected Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding for the top storey of the duplex, its smooth, crisp finish absolutely perfect for highlighting the clean lines of the box-shaped build.  To complement this and add some texture and coastal personality to the home, Linea™ Weatherboards were used on the facade. And finally, Axon™ Cladding was chosen for the back of the house as the perfect partner with the outdoor decking and pool area.

There is an art to finding balance when using a mix of materials to build layers of texture and design features for a façade. We intentionally married the different exterior profiles using the same paint colour to create cohesion across the build,” says Neil of Futureflip.

And An Interior That Shines

Kiora House Kitchen
Source: James Hardie
Kiora House Living Room
Source: James Hardie
Kiora House bathroom
Source: James Hardie

The girls went with a fresh minimalist interior in a neutral palette. The carefully chosen natural wood elements achieve a premium coastal feel despite its compact size.

In the kitchen, the sisters chose to pair crisp white cabinetry with white finger tiles for a lovely clean foundation, while shiny gold tapware and suspended strip pendant lighting add just the right amount of glamour.

The white and gold theme continued in the bathrooms for cohesion throughout the homes.

The Perfect Outcome

Kiora House; Alexandra and Gemma
Source: James Hardie

In Kiora House, FutureFlip delivered everything Alexandra and Gemma asked for and more. The result was a box-modern duplex with swimming pools for each home and loads of coastal vibes. Sympathetic to the environment and surroundings, it provided the lifestyle the girls wanted for their families, and best of all, a forever home for both of them.

Kiora House is a fantastic example of the importance of thinking outside the box when it comes to new builds. Thanks to professional building and premium materials like James Hardie cladding products, architectural magic can be achieved on a budget.

Kiora House backyard with in-ground swimming pool.
Source: James Hardie

At Futureflip, we’re passionate about creating beautiful homes and making an architectural finish that is affordable and achievable for our clients. Hardie™ exterior cladding products give us the creative scope and freedom to deliver this within our designs,” concludes Neil.

James Hardie is a proud partner of the upcoming Making HOME renovation series.

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