This old Victorian house in Westgarth had wonderfully high ceilings, grand rooms and a wide hallway. But, unfortunately, an extension from the 1990s was letting things down.
So, the owners called in interior designer Megan Norgate, of Brave New Eco, to help with a revamp, including reworking the extension with its poky kitchen and laundry.
“(The extension) was just not in keeping with the original atmosphere of the home,” Ms Norgate recalled.
Working within the home’s existing footprint, she aimed to create a more comfortable residence while incorporating the charm of the home’s past.
“The focus was to produce a classic-designed interior scheme with a more mature feel that better suited the era of the house,” she explained.
A new kitchen, family bathroom and laundry were added, while the bedrooms and living spaces were creatively tweaked.
Below, Ms Norgate talks us through some of the renovation’s best ideas.
1. Window seat
The window seat in the dining room was custom-designed with storage underneath for the owners’ record collection. Made from spotted-gum hardwood and hoop-pine plywood, it provides a cosy spot to sit and listen to music and enjoy a peaceful view of the garden.
“The beautiful box window was already in place but it was a dead space that was not being used, so a window seat was the perfect solution,” Ms Norgate said. “It was just begging for a feature like this.”
2. Appliance cupboard
This cleverly designed space provides a handy spot to prepare snacks and drinks away from the kitchen’s main work area.
The timber benchtop extends into the appliance cupboard so it feels connected to the surrounding space when the roll-up door is open.
“You want to make sure it doesn’t look like you’re staring at the inside of a cupboard but looking at something beautiful and that’s where finishes such as the horizontal tiles and timber shelf come in,” Ms Norgate said.
3. Hanging shelf
Given the stove backs on to the open-plan living area, Ms Norgate decided to shroud the metal canopy rangehood with shelving to create a more attractive view from the lounge.
“By integrating the rangehood, it looks like a piece of joinery and that it is meant to be there. It doesn’t feel like it’s just hanging with no connection to the living area,” she said.
4. Coloured doors
Unlike walls, doors are a simple way to inject colour without a huge commitment.
Here, dark-blue doors provide a sophisticated look that ties in with some of the artwork and joinery. The doors also provide a pop of contrast against the white walls. “They add some drama as an entry point to each room,” Ms Norgate said.
5. Sleek storage
White built-in wardrobes seamlessly blend with the walls to stop the bedrooms feeling closed in, while the routed finish on the doors gives them a bit more character. “We also custom fabricated and hand-tarnished the brass handles to add some nice details without being too over-the-top,” Ms Norgate said.
6. Tile style
Geometric tiles in the family bathroom bring in some design wow and allow a very small and narrow room to appear a lot larger.
“The darker grouting defines the shape of the tiles and essentially plays tricks with the eye by making the space feel wider. (And) using the same tiles on the walls and the bath unifies the space so it’s calmer to look at rather than having different styles fighting for attention,” Ms Norgate said.
7. Terrazzo floor
Terrazzo was chosen for the bathroom floor as it provides a practical surface underfoot when stepping up into the shower and bath zone and it looks good.
“There was an exposed corner with the step into the wet zone, so terrazzo tiles were a good choice because they can be abutted and edge-honed to create a clean finish without any need for edge stripping,” Ms Norgate explained.
8. Floating vanity
The long, narrow floating vanity, custom made from spotted gum and hoop-pine plywood, gives a feeling of space as it doesn’t interrupt the floor line.
“This vanity is only 300mm deep and has a semi-inset sink with a curved edge that means you can move your body around it and retain (even) more floor space,” Ms Norgate said.
She added the light stain on the plywood provided a nearly white finish that was “light and fresh, while still having a soft grain coming through”.