Experiencing two renovations in its lifetime before Pierce Widera got their hands on it, the Fitzroy Residence was due for some tender loving care. With a focus on natural light, practicality and space, the design duo set about remodelling the floorplan, and opening the house up to ensure a more fluid, seamless abode for their clients.
The two previous renovations were an extension tacked to the rear of the house that comprised a kitchen and dining space, bathroom and a first-floor bedroom. The second included a second bedroom upstairs that ultimately took up much of the space on the first floor that created a cluttered, rigid feeling amongst a space that was originally intended to be a place of sanctuary.
Pierce Widera set about remedying the floor plan, acknowledging the domicile’s heritage while adding contemporary flourishes.
To increase light into the kitchen, the splashback window was extended and an additional vertical sliding window added to encourage the indoor-outdoor relationship. As a result, the kitchen is light and bright, seamlessly flowing into the dining area, providing ample storage and hiding a functional laundry behind a hidden door. The high ceiling adds a sense of grandeur to the space, accentuated further by the two new pendants above the kitchen island and dining table. The kitchen is clean and minimal in design, with handle-less doors a subtle yet distinguished feature of the facelift.
The existing secondary door between the living room and kitchen was removed, the new space was divided between the living room with a new inbuilt shelving unit next to the existing fireplace and to the kitchen, with additional and much needed storage space.
There is a nod to mid-century modern design with the materiality but also with the clients' furniture and artworks. Timber finishes seen on the floors, bench and laundry vanity are contrasted with deep khaki mosaic wall tiling in the kitchen and the white cabinetry, all coexisting and complementing one another, without overstepping the mark.
The main bedroom is minimal, focussing on the ritual of rest and sleep without distractions. Full height wardrobes wrap around the existing fireplace flue and eventually become the entrance into the ensuite bathroom.
The bathrooms feature a rich terrazzo floor, soft grey wall tiles and fresh white stone and timber for the vanity units. They are both luxurious and functional. The dark grout beneath the wall tiles add a sense of stern to the space, a contemporary design feature that seems anything but.
Pierce Widera has ultimately crafted a project that is both respectful to the heritage of the house and the needs of the inhabitants. The final result is a minimalist and well-rounded design that maintains the grace of the existing dwelling, ensuring that the life of the house will be prolonged far further than it may have initially anticipated.