Elm St House side entry mural

Elm Street House is the renovation and extension of an existing California Bungalow to open it up to the outdoors and create a connection with the local community.

As the clients are friends with their neighbours, they wanted a home design that would encourage and grow this connection.

This was addressed through the creation of an additional side entry to the home, marked by a bold, colourful mural. This informal entry, to be used by friends and family, goes straight into the home’s living space.

Elm St House natural light

As for the layout, the home is zoned into three clear zones: the children’s bedrooms upstairs, the adult bedroom downstairs towards the front of the house and the living spaces towards the rear.

For the clients and their three children, life tends to revolve around the kitchen. Therefore, the kitchen was designed as a large, open space that connects to the dining and living spaces as well as the backyard. The design also includes a walk-in pantry, plenty of bench space and storage.

Elm St house outdoor deck

The family also values the outdoors, and this has been reflected in the renovation. For example, there is now a kitchen window that opens up to become a servery, and large glazed doors that allow dining to flow out onto the deck. There are also fold-back windows in the living room that allow indoor activities to spill outside and vice versa.

Elm St House exterior

An accessible green roof was also incorporated into the design, which is being used for beekeeping. Adding to the green space, hidden courtyard gardens were included outside the downstairs study and ensuite. Expanses of glass allow these small rooms to connect with the outside and feel more open, while a small triangular window at the top of the stairs provides a snippet of the outside that would be otherwise missed.

Externally, one of the key features of the existing California Bungalow is its gable roof. Staying true to the original, the architects have included a gable roof on the extension, bringing the old and new together.

Elm St House gable roof

Sustainability features

With the home’s two storeys spaced around the stairwell, a thermal chimney effect is created where cool air is drawn from below and exhausted at the top. The thermal mass of the brick wall and concrete floor also contribute to thermal regulation.

The building fabric is highly insulated and shading has been provided to minimise northern sunlight. Water tanks and photovoltaic panels have also been included in the design.

Key products/suppliers

Exterior cladding 

  • Timber lining boards – Radial Timber ‘Shiplap’ cladding boards 
  • Sheet metal cladding – Lysaght ‘Custom Orb’ in Zincalume finish

Timber windows 

Kitchen joinery and benchtops 

  • Benchtop – Caesarstone in London Grey 
  • Pantry internals – Maxi Film Birch Plywood (black) 
  • Drawer/cupboard faces – Veneer by Ventech ‘Blackbutt Natural Feature Grade’ Crown cut, matt finish.

Living room pendant 

Blue bathroom tiles