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A Queenslander home is a type of house that originated in Queensland, Australia. Influenced by the tropical and humid climate, Queenslander homes reflect an interesting mix of practical elements and popular style. A Queenslander home can provide sensible solutions to the climatic nature of the wet tropics, while proving easily customizable to the home owner's style.
As far away from native England as can be, the first non-indigenous Queenslanders had to rely on the region's available materials to build their first homes. Queenslander houses are most often built of timber and some iron, with many featuring metal roofs. Yet the climate and large termite population made wood a controversial, if necessary, building material, leading to one of the great design concepts found in Queensland homes: an elevated base. Using stumps for support, the main body of a Queenslander home is raised off the ground both to prevent attack from termites and to increase ventilation and heat control inside the structure.
Protection and respite from the heat and humidity is a major concern in Queenslander homes. In addition to the raised living platform, houses have many windows with awnings or overhangs to take advantage of breezes while protecting from direct sunlight. Most homes have at least one balcony or verandah, which provides shaded outdoor seating and entertaining areas.
Most Queenslander-type houses are one or two stories and feature a pitched or steeply sloped roof. Beyond that, the homes are often endlessly customizable. Colonial, Georgian, Victorian, antebellum, federal, and purely whimsical styles can easily be combined with the basic practical elements of the house.
The interior of a Queenslander home may vary widely, but often some consideration is given to making furnishings and room division appropriate to the climate. Heavy fabrics and tight rooms tend to increase the heat indoors, leading many homes to reject formal spaces in favor of open floor plans and informal common rooms. Of course, with the arrival of modern air conditioning technology, outdoor climate is often less of a factor, but many traditional or historic Queensland homes display an informal and practical interior style.
The Queenslander home is notable for adapting to time and technology. Since the basic structure is simplistic and constructed with readily available materials, new fashions of design and unusual circumstances can often easily be accommodated. During World War II, for instance, a shortage of building materials and labor lead to the adoption of simplistic yet practical bungalow style Queenslander homes, many of which still exist today.
I don't think I have ever seen a Queenslander Home. I don't think it would be very beneficial for my location, but there is something about them that sounds so appealing. I love the idea of open floor plans and a tropical climate.
I can picture them as great vacation spots with the overhangs, warm, tropical breezes and inviting outdoor spaces.