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Magic makeovers: An empty loft transformed into a stylish studio

A once wasted space was given a new lease of life and turned into a guest suite
Gorta Yuuki

Lovingly referred to as the five-star chateau, this old junk room above the garage of a Melbourne home is now a chic pied-a-terre that is – as the guidebooks would say – luxuriously appointed with spaces to cook, eat, chill out and sleep.

The conversion had its challenges. For one thing, homeowners had to find space for a bathroom – not easy in a 6m x 7m room – so they enlisted interior designer Dominique Hunter of Hunter & Richards. She spotted the opportunity to replace the existing long staircase from the garage with a shorter, wider flight of stairs that steps around a landing, with the reclaimed corner utilised as the bathroom and everything else just slotted in around it.

Before (Credit: Gorta Yuuki)
After (Credit: Gorta Yuuki)

The room also needed insulation, an internet connection and hot running water. During the project, everything – even the appliances and benchtops – had to be carried up the stairs, around the landing and through a hole in the unfinished wall. Once the plasterboard went in and the walls were painted, that access point was closed off and only flat-packed furniture could fit. It took six months to complete the contemporary space; now, the couple’s guests aren’t the only ones who love to visit. Homeowners themselves, and their kids love to sneak in here.

Budget breakdown

Flooring: Spotted gum 85mm select-grade timber boards, $85/sqm, Tait, taitflooring.com.au.
Furniture: ‘Karlstad’ sofa with chaise, $1078, ‘Malm’
bed frame, $289/queen, ‘Besta’ storage
modules & entertainment unit, approx $1000, all
Ikea, ikea.com.au. Replica Eames ‘Eiffel’ wood leg
table, from $269, replica Eames ‘DAW’ armchairs,
$109 each, all Sokol, sokol.com.au.
Paint: Wash & Wear 101 Barrier Technology in Natural White, $41.45/1L, Dulux, dulux.com.au.
Windows: Retrofit double glazing, $1200,
Magnetite, magnetite.com.au.


This beautiful renovation story was featured in our Before & After book on sale now. There are over 50 amazing makeovers to kickstart your own room rescue.

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