By removing poorly constructed add-ons and creating an open-plan living area as the new heart, this quaint cottage in Fitzroy North is transformed...
As is common with the older housing stock in our inner-city areas, this home had been added to over the years, with a series of poorly constructed and planned additions blocking light and the home's access to the backyard.
"The high ceilings and timber construction gently creaked as you walked the hallway of the existing home. There was an obvious change in quality from the light and airy original home to the later cluttered renovations to the rear." - buck&simple
The architect, buck&simple designed an addition which retains the original parts of the home, while removing the add-ons to make way for a new open-plan living area which embraces the back yard.
"Our role in transforming this home was to reimagine the family areas and celebrate the connection between the house and the rear yard. Internally, we wanted to bring back a sense of calm, order and hierarchy within the home. We needed to create spaces that were delineated by their function and allowed for the practicalities of a busy family while allowing for a spacious, well-appointed home", explains the architect.
The owners love to cook and entertain, so the new home throws the focus on the kitchen with a large island with a cooktop creating the perfect place for family and guests to gather around, prepare meals and socialise. The kitchen is the new heart of this home.
A feature fireplace helps to separate the living area from the other spaces in the open-plan living area, giving the lounge a cosy, yet connected sense of space.
Black steel doors help to zone the home into living as sleeping, keeping the warm air in the living area while still letting light and views into the entrance hall.
A circular skylet lets light into the centre of the living area and creates fun shadows during the day.
Slding glass doors connect the home to the backyard with a new landscape designed by Inge Jabara Landscapes
"Combining a few standout textured materials with base neutrals throughout the interiors ensured a warm, soft palette. It was important to the owners that we accommodate their active lifestyle and so resilient surfaces and materials were integrated throughout to ensure comfort was not compromised. A terrazzo tile floor was integrated through the living areas, grounding the palette while adding thermal mass and insulation. To soften the noise and create warmth in the quieter areas such as bedrooms, we used a blonde timber engineered floorboard in a herringbone pattern."
Blackbutt veneer is used on the joinery throughout and was chosen to match the owners' custom-made bed which they love. Black and brass fixtures that match the detailing in the steel doors and lighting maintains a consistent palette through the whole house, bringing together old and new.
This new living area and updates throughout the home have transformed this cottage, retaining the beautiful original elements and doing away with the poor add-ons to create a home that works perfectly for this family.