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A Refined and Relaxing Home Renovation

Heritage Listed Constraints

Period homes are well loved for the sense of history and character they bring to their neighbourhoods. The sense of value placed on a heritage-listed home often surpasses the day-to-day necessities of its use. In a time when large-scale development sees a multitude of uninspired “Lego land” style housing, it strikes a nostalgic cord for many when they see a well-kept street facade of a home that has its roots firmly placed in Australia’s past.

Sacrifices must be made when dealing with and living within older styled homes, especially when they’re under the unflinching regulation of the heritage list. However, renovation provides the perfect opportunity to create a modern, contemporary home that still holds the ideals and soulful character of a historic residence. This existing Victorian home was well loved by the family living within and its charm and character made it easy to overlook the fact it was rundown. The property’s location in the heart of Hawthorn, a leafy suburb of Melbourne, created a perfect backdrop for the renewal of this once elegant period home.

A Fresh and Contemporary Extension

Having last seen a renovation in the 1980s, the homeowners wished to have a fresh, contemporary extension that would contain all new, modern and exciting living and entertaining areas and that would connect with the ample rear garden and alfresco dining and living spaces. This new modern space would be twinned with the redressed and restored period section of the home. Canny Designs, a Hawthorn based studio, helmed the renovation project. The team’s attention to detail and experience made the process of communicating with their clients, who were overseas in the UK, quick and simple. The trust placed in them by the clients enabled them to streamline the concept and design process and get on with the task at hand.

Period Home Challenges

Dealing with the period section of the home was not without challenges. Structural elements, such as the chimneys, had to remain due to heritage requirements and special attention was taken to keep these areas intact. And while relatively straightforward, the rear addition posed another difficulty due to the orientation of the site, with the facade facing a main road. Thus all construction materials and personnel had to negotiate access to the site via a narrow laneway.

The original section of the home’s update revolved around the renewal of materials and joinery, rearrangement and modernisation of the internal layout, and a splash of fresh colour. The space serves as a personal section of the home, housing the family’s private living areas such as bedrooms and living room. The front facade has been meticulously restored and presents a sophisticated street frontage that displays character, while the restored period detailing presents a refined elegance upon first entry.

Creating Volume and Space

Minimal and gracious, the modern aesthetics of the addition creates volume and space within the home and is designed to be a perfect place for entertaining. Generous floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors allow visual and physical access to the rear gardens and swimming pool. The alfresco living and entertaining area becomes part of the home during warmer months and the flow between internal and external spaces is effortlessly achieved.

A favourite space of the design team is definitely the new kitchen. “With its modern materials and timeless marble island bench, the kitchen serves as a beautiful yet functional space and looks amazing against the glass window splashback with a lush garden backdrop,” says the homeowner. “My favourite part of the house is the back area, if I had to choose. I love the space, light and the feature and outlook of the pool. The kitchen is also brilliantly proportioned with beautifully detailed fittings, finishes and top quality appliances.”

An Elegant and Contemporary Result

Sophisticated period details complement modern design ideals. The interplay of light and visual access between internal and external spaces of the modern section creates a space that is effortlessly cool in its aesthetic. Attention to detail from the design team has created a home that is both elegant and contemporary, with a timeless appeal due to the combination of heritage architecture and modern design ideals.

Attention to detail from the design team has created a home that is both elegant and contemporary, with a timeless appeal due to the combination of heritage architecture and modern design ideals

Minimal and gracious, the modern aesthetics of the addition creates volume and space within the home and is designed to be a perfect place for entertaining

3 Furniture Upgrades for a Cosy Home

A Spring Clean in Winter – Why Not?

If you want to get the most out of your property this winter, you might cast an eye over some of the following ideas.

Sure, plenty of people talk about spring cleaning. But why not give your home an overhaul this winter? Even if you’re not looking to sell your property currently, incorporating a high-end aesthetic into your home now could make your property pop at open inspections five or ten years down the track.

When improving your property, it’s important to balance the following factors: your own comfort, and your home’s perceived value. Invest in furniture that highlights the natural beauty of your residential property so when the time does come to sell, your home stands out!

New Sofa Coverings

This isn’t strictly a furniture upgrade in itself, but new sofa coverings will take dull couches and recliners from drab to fab.

Of course, if your current couch is hard and lumpy, it might be preferable to ditch it for a cosier number altogether. Being able to curl up in the living room during winter is a big plus. Set the heat pump to a comfortable temperature, grab a hot chocolate and enjoy a night in with a movie!

Once you’ve settled on the right couch – whether you’ve let go of your old model or are sticking with the family’s favourite sofa – think about how to make it stand out in the space. Sofa coverings that have a soft, brushed texture add a sense of luxury, while linen coverings in navy blue or beige are a good option if you want a country-chic vibe.

Colorful breakfast bar stools

Many homeowners will find they have a gorgeous dining room, but it’s just not practical to use it during the weekday rush. Between getting the kids fed, preparing lunches, getting dressed and making sure the young ones have brushed their teeth, early mornings can be quite hectic.

If you’ve got a breakfast bar in your kitchen, you can make mornings run far more smoothly. Encourage children to use the breakfast bar for eating breakfast, so you can keep an eye on them. If family members are already using the kitchen, it’s more practical to heat this space, rather than warming up the dining room, too.

Add vibrancy to the space by painting your breakfast bar stools – think turquoise with white stripes or mint green with white polka dots.

Bright Bean Bags for Kids

This furniture option is incredibly practical – simply move beanbags around the house as you wish.

Bright colors such as red, purple and yellow or even white will add a splash of vibrancy to any space, despite the doom and gloom of winter!

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