Making the Most of a Slope: Nevair Court, Highton, by JAM Architects

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When you picture a perfect indoor/outdoor house in your dreams, it might well look like this Nevair Court family home in Highton, by JAM Architects. Overlooking Australia’s Barrabool Hills, the house is set on a steep incline overlooking the Moorabool River valley, terrain that presents its own challenges even without trying to accommodate north-facing views, outdoor living space, and a need for privacy! Nevertheless, this contemporary space has it all, from smooth modern lines to casual, neutral décor and no-nonsense comfort, an uncluttered style that encourages barefoot relaxation from the moment you step inside. Expansive glass is a focal point, allowing great vistas and floods of natural light; even a corner of the living room is virtually an unbroken panorama to enjoy by day or night.

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Both house and landscape are structured in a series of levels, with slatted screens to provide privacy over bedrooms and baths and a façade of steel-gray that seems to grow naturally out of the rough, boulder-filled terrain beneath it. In fact, rock and stone here form an elegant décor element all their own: witness the terraced retaining walls next to the driveway and the clever stone mailbox! Hardy, drought-resistant plants dot the hillsides and the rough surface with welcome green; more green borders the elegant pool and provides a nice edging for concrete paving stones that lead around toward an outdoor barbecue and dining area. Understated and unfussy in its approach, this home makes the most of a limited lot, tames the slope, and gives owners a terrific entertaining space with multiple options…from JAM.

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