Homeowners spotted their exterior paint colours – Dulux Weathershield in Mud Pack with trims in Natural White – in an issue of Home Beautiful. They laid the driveway and painted the old verandah themselves. Plans were drawn up in early 2011 and the build was completed by November the same year.
Before: Home exterior
A mix of old and new is on show in the living room, part of the extension, with on-trend accessories such as a Bayliss rug from Home Concepts and chevron cushions mixed with retro-style designs. There’s no television in the open-plan space; the couple prefers to listen to records. Like the home, they believe the crackles and imperfections in the analogue sounds give it a special quality.
Original details and salvaged style fill the front sitting room. The ornate mantel came from the old dining room, the mirror was rescued from the old bathroom and the armchair belonged to family. This tendency to re-use what they had afforded the couple the luxury of splashing out on structural statements. “It’s important to know where the value is – glass and concrete are an investment, a new sofa can wait,” advises homeowners.
The dining room may be part of the new extension, but its starring piece is a handmade red gum dining table, given to the couple as a wedding present many years ago. The well-loved table triggered the use of red gum in other parts of the home, such as the media unit. A recessed wall niche dressed in ‘Branch’ wallpaper by Ferm Living gives the area definition – another idea gleaned from the couple’s book of clippings. Floating wall shelves (find similar at Ikea) provide a light and airy alternative to bulky shelving.
Creative design defines the kitchen, with its two-tone island bench in reconstituted stone and timber. The tradespeople hadn’t done anything like it before, but luckily, the homeowners had a tearsheet from Home Beautiful which had inspired the concept. The timber in the bench also brings a slice of family history – a family member, who decommissioned the old Victoria Brewery, pulled the kauri pine from the beer vats and it had been sitting with the family for 50 years until it was put to use. A friend built the joinery using a mix of 2-pac in Dulux Natural White and Laminex veneer in Ashen Oak, with soft-close drawers from Blum.
The bathroom before
The bathroom after
The couple saved money by working the layout and plumbing around the existing bathroom, with the low ceiling lifted and a skylight installed. Dated checkerboard tiles and tired fittings were ripped out and replaced. A friend built the vanity using 2-pac in Dulux Natural White topped with a slab of red gum.
Once the old kitchen, the ensuite is now a blissful reminder of how far the house has come. “I get ready where I used to wash the dishes,” says the couple. “Having that relationship with the space gives you an appreciation of what you have.” Tiles, from decorative damask designs in the shower to mirrored mosaics and charcoal floor and wall tiles, add instant glamour.
Originally the dining room, the master bedroom blends masculine and feminine forces. Sheer curtains by Decor8 Curtains & Blinds and Dulux Tranquil Retreat on the walls introduce softness, while a limited-edition print by Vexta, from Signed & Numbered, brings an urban edge. Homeowners made the brass pendant light from salvaged parts.