A newly renovated home in the leafy Melbourne suburb of Balwyn has proven that you can do less to achieve more when it comes to changing the tone and design of an existing home.
Corhampton Road Residence, a double storey multi-generational family home, has been transformed from a house that contained cavernous and make-shift spaces into a cosy, simple and tranquil retreat from the world. The shift however, did not happen because of big design changes and statements, but came from small gestures that cumulatively left a big impact.
The clients, a young couple with frequent visiting family from overseas, had a stringent budget and insisted on retaining the location of existing fixtures. This dictated the level of intervention the designers could carry out, and guaranteed that each design decision was both considered and effective.
“The existing house was akin to a loose soul in search of a perfect body,” Wilson Tang, lead architect of the project, says. “The home needed more than just a makeover of glossy finishes, fixtures and fitting.”
With no opportunity or need to take things apart, the design team went with a solution that combined the well-considered retention of existing fabric and its adaptation to suit new purposes, with the integration of new elements.
This looked like a revamped entry with a new pair of neat timber batten front doors that would greet dwellers and visitors, and lead into a double height entry lobby. An integrated new storage seat-cum-stair balustrade wall frames the hallway, while celebrating the owners’ ritual of removing, wearing and stowing away shoes upon entering or leaving the home.
The small gestures also looked like a new kitchen and bespoke dining table that extends into the double storey high living room, uniting the elements as one orchestrated flow. The open plan configuration creates an inclusive environment that is suitable for entertaining guests or family gathering.
Meanwhile the existing formal dining room, blessed with southerly soft natural light and a serene attribute, has been transformed into a family tea room – the perfect hide-away from the rest of the house.
Tang notes that sustainability initiatives came naturally for the project, demonstrated through the act of retention, adaption and improvement of existing fabrics. Furthermore, the home’s thermal efficiency and comfort has been helped by the initial decision to create visual and privacy separation, with the introduction of sliding doors allowing for smaller, separate spaces to be efficiently and locally heated and cooled.
KITCHEN BENCHTOP & DINING TABLE TOP
STONE ITALIANA, ENGINEERED QUARTZ IN JAIPUR ANIS IN GRAIN FINISH
BATHROOM/POWDER ROOM BENCHTOPS
STONE ITALIANA, ENGINEERED QUARTZ VIRGO IN GRAIN FINISH
DULUX, WHITE TWO PAC SPRAY PAINT, FINISH DULUX CASPER WHITE QUARTER
DULUX, GREY TWO PAC SPRAY PAINT, FINISH DULUX MALAY GREY
WHITE LAMINEX PARCHMENT WITH MATCHING ABS EDGING
INDEX+ CO., J PULL SQUARE
FEATURE WALL LINING
EASYCRAFT, VJ SPRAY PAINTED, MATT FINISH
ENGINEERED TIMBER FLOORBOARDS, WHITE SMOKED OAK
WALL TILES/KITCHEN SPLASHBACK
SIGNORINO TILE GALLERY, MATT WHITE CERAMIC TILES, 600X100 FORMAT
CLASSIC CERAMICS, CERAMIC TILES URBAN CENERE, 69 NATURAL, 600X300 FORMAT
FELTEX CARPETS, QUEENSBURY PARCHMENT
COPPER INDUSTRIAL, KITCHEN AND LIVING ROOM PENDANT LIGHTS, DROPLET PENDANT
HUB FURNITURE, ENTRY AND TEA ROOM PENDANT LIGHTS AND WALL LIGHTS, TOSSB DISK LIGHT
ECC FURNITURE+LIGHTING, BATHROOM MIRROR MOUNT LIGHT, ASTRO KOZA
EUROLUCE, BATH WALL MOUNT LIGHT, FLOS GLOBALL
ENTRY DOOR PULLS
DESIGNER DOORWARE, ROUND TIMBER VICTORIAN ASH PULL HANDLE