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Renovations and extensions over time create a unique family home.

Renovations and extensions over time create a unique family home.

The owners bought the property over 20 years ago as the family home for themselves and their three children. The house was in a good area, close to amenities, and with a decent-sized garden with some established trees. It’s a well-built house, of brick under tile, originally constructed in the early ‘70s. As with most houses of the time the windows were of the older Crittall Hope style with small cottage panes which made parts of the house a little dark. The house was fairly modest with three bedrooms and a family bathroom. The original design of the house is roughly L-shaped, with the kitchen, dining room, and lounge on the shorter leg of the L and the bedroom wing running along the longer leg. One of the owners’ first extensions was to add a master bathroom, a dressing room, and an en suite bathroom to the bedroom wing. The L-shape encloses the pool, part of the garden, and a recently added outside deck and entertainment area.

From the front door, a passageway divided the lounge on one side and the dining room and kitchen on the other side. The owners have done a series of renovations and extensions over the years to bring the home up to date and make it uniquely suited to their lifestyle and their taste while keeping the exterior footprint of the house largely unchanged. The kitchen, dining room, and lounge spaces have been opened up so that the spaces work together and flow better. The kitchen was fitted out by Easy Life Kitchens about seven years ago and an extension was added for a scullery and utility space. The design of the kitchen, like the rest of the house, is simple, elegant, and functional with top-end finishes. This type of design doesn’t go out of style in just a few years and will continue to be attractive, functional, and appealing for many years to come. They also made the lounge slightly larger by closing in and incorporating a small verandah.

Two or three years ago the owners engaged Liz Howes from Howes and Homes to extend and update their verandahs. There was a fairly narrow verandah between the lounge and the garden and a longer verandah running along the passageway of the bedroom wing. The narrow verandah outside the lounge meant that the sun shone into the lounge making it quite hot in summer and also damaging some of the furniture. It was also an awkward space, being too narrow to comfortably accommodate an outdoor dining table for entertaining family and friends. Along with the bedroom wing, small steel windows made the passageway inside quite dark. Liz Howes replaced the windows with larger wooden frames (stained to match the other existing teak frames from the lounge) and built up architraves around the openings. The narrow part of the verandah was made considerably wider and the small verandah was extended to wrap around the corner creating a much larger, more cohesive outside space. It’s now like an additional dining room and lounge (and built-in bar) which augments the interior living areas.

Liz Howes extended and raised the verandah roofs and created a single more integrated structure with chain downpipes from the gutters. New tongue and groove ceilings were installed, some of the existing pillars were moved around, or added to, in order to accommodate the new design, and the quarry tile floors were patched and extended where needed to seamlessly match the
existing tiles. The homeowners now have a generous dining area and a large and comfortable outdoor lounge – perfect for evening cocktails overlooking the pool and garden.

The owners have carefully selected comfortable, country chic furniture for the seating area with soft, overstuffed sofas, Malawi cane chairs, and a rustic wooden coffee table. You get the feeling that every piece of furniture has a unique family history and a special place in their hearts. A few years ago Liz Howes renovated the shared bathroom, installing a new modern tub, a new shower screen, Metro-style wall tiles, and a custom-made vanity – altogether bringing the bathroom right up to date. In one of the bedrooms, Liz Howes installed French doors, so the bedroom now
opens up to a private, delightful French Provencal style garden courtyard, complete with a small tiled deck, rosemary bushes, a lemon tree, and a small, tinkling water feature. It’s now a tranquil and charming outdoor space.

However, the most impressive renovation by far has to be the new en suite master bathroom. The owners have created an elegant and supremely stylish bathroom with the feeling of a Balinese holiday spa, complete with a luxurious outdoor shower within a private courtyard. The whole bathroom was gutted and all the wall and floor tiles were removed or replaced. The existing Crittall Hope window behind the toilet was moved and replaced with a new aluminium framed window and the window at the bottom of the bath was replaced with an aluminium sliding door.

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There’s now a free-standing tub set in front of a dramatic black painted wall, a glass-enclosed shower, and a custom double vanity – all completed with matt black faucets and fittings. The double vanity was made to order by Pharaoh Tsaga from Pharaoh’s Trading. Pharaoh also supplied the matching timber towel rail and stool. The owners have selected slatted roll-down bamboo blinds over the doors and windows which add to the tropical Balinese flavour. They are delighted that the blinds look particularly romantic in the evening with shards of moonlight shining through.
A woven reed lampshade completes the exotic, tropical look.

Big aluminium and glass doors now open to a small courtyard with a deluxe outdoor shower. Howes and Homes built an outdoor courtyard of approximately 2m x 1.6m which encloses the shower area and an outdoor, matt black, hand basin. Following through with the beachy, Bali theme the pipework for the shower is concealed behind a slatted CCA treated timber screen and there’s a matching slatted floor in the shower area which is a comfortable, non-slip surface to stand on and conceals the drainage. The renovations are a testament to the owners’ good taste and design aesthetic – skilfully realised by Howes and Homes’ dedicated and experienced team of artisans. From a fairly modest house, they have created a delightful – slightly quirky – a family home that perfectly expresses their lifestyle and unique personalities.

text by Michael Nott
photos by Structure and Design

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