Southern Highlands Country Home

This quintessentially Australian country home was designed with a flexible floorplan, passive solar design and a palette of natural materials as key elements. Inspired by Georgian and early Victorian architecture, this building has a similar character to the popular ‘Hamptons’ style, but maintains an Australian look. The Hamptons style is based on the architecture of upstate New York and New England where blocky two-storey construction with small windows and attic rooms are more common. Our goal instead, was to inhabit the landscape with more natural light and doors connecting to decks, terraces and the surrounding bushland. We also sought to keep a contemporary finish to the design, with large stone blade walls for compositional heft and thermal mass.

It was crucial to have this homestead function both as one residence, but also to break down into two ‘cottages’ to allow family to stay for extended visits or a live-in carer. This requirement meant that the layout had to be carefully considered. We utilised an entry space as the ‘heart’ of the house, connecting to both wings as well as the front and back of the house. Both main living areas have large windows to the north, allowing for plenty of sunlight during winter, but protected from the sun during summer. The double garage is oriented west, protecting the home from hot afternoon sun and westerly winds.

The overall ‘bulk’ of the house is dispersed between two pavilions. The articulation of the façade avoids long, featureless stretches of walls and allows almost every room to have a window on two sides. From the driveway, a formal tone is maintained with stone blade walls and smaller glazing elements. However, the north facades are much more ‘relaxed’ with comfortable outdoor terraces, decks and larger open plan rooms with plenty of natural light.

We chose natural materials for this design, enjoying the contrast of heavy stone with lightweight weatherboards and expansive double glazing. The simple colorbond gable-ended rooves complete the rural Australian palette.

Building Features:

  • Hawkesbury Sandstone blade walls
  • Spotted Gum hardwood flooring throughout
  • Hydronic floor heating throughout
  • Solar-passive with double glazed aluminium windows
  • Timber weatherboard cladding
  • Colorbond roofing
Australian Homestead Living Room by Architecture Republic

Open Plan Living

This open-plan indoor-outdoor living space features pitched ceilings, expansive northern glazing and classic features such as lining boards and barn doors blending the contemporary and traditional.


The entrance room ties together the two pavilions, one for living and one for family and guests. Here, the stone walls bridge exterior and interior. The articulated perimeter walls allow many of the rooms to have natural light and ventilation on two sides.
Floor Plan by Architecture Republic, Australia
Australian Homestead Rammed Earth Colorbond by Architecture Republic

Solar Passive

The northern facade provides generous glazing. The deck looks out over the view, connecting strongly to the landscape. The bedroom also benefits from this view and projects out into it with a bay window.

Formal Entrance

Smaller windows and a heavier facade provide privacy and a sense of arrival to the front of the property. This facade is a shield against the hot western sun, with the garage acting as an additional buffer.
Australian Homestead Garden by Architecture Republic

Like What You See?

Feel free to contact our offices in Canberra and Bowral. We also operate in Goulburn, the Southern Highlands, Sydney and throughout New South Wales.

Mobile: 0404 654 225
Post: PO Box 1572 Bowral, NSW 2576 and PO Box 3062 Belconnen, ACT 2617
Architect Registration Number: 9651 (NSW) 2525 (ACT)