An engineered timber flooring product from Havwoods was specified for the floor, walls and ceiling during the renovation of an existing Edwardian home in Melbourne’s Malvern East.

Designed by F3 Studio, the renovation of the Malvern East residence aimed to introduce elements of modernity and functionality into the Edwardian structure.

F3 Studio’s director and designer James Woodford worked closely with his clients to better understand their design vision. “[Our] brief was to partially renovate an existing Edwardian home, extending the footprint to improve [the] function of the kitchen while adding a new pantry, laundry and powder room – all concealed behind secret doors,” Woodford explained.

On the second level, the owners sought to redesign an underused bathroom and ensuite to create better functioning spaces as well as add a walk-in robe to the parents’ retreat.

"As a young practice I am always grateful for the opportunity to work with people and products. My focus is always on quality. It is my role as a designer to guide my clients and, in this instance, they accepted that advice and are incredibly happy with the result," says Woodford.

The kitchen was the main focus of the renovation project. Havwoods Medio, an engineered wood product from the Venture Plank Collection was installed on a section of the floor and also used as timber cladding for the ‘secret door’ and the ceiling, creating a warm timber cocoon.

“In approaching this design, I wanted to create a stage. To my mind cooking is theatre and by framing the kitchen in timber we created a space that allows for audience [family + friends] participation,” Woodford explained.

According to Woodford, the brief sought to create spaces full of character – spaces to be lived in. Timber with its unique character and imperfections met all the design objectives.

“Selecting the right timber for the project was a journey that the clients and I shared. Professionally I have always wanted to see Havwoods used on one of my projects as the quality of the engineered product, in my opinion, is second to none. Having visited numerous showrooms my clients were immediately taken by the Havwoods Venture Plank Medio product,” Woodford said.

"In my experience a person’s first instinct is generally right. You can explore material options but more often than not you come back to the one you saw first. The clients quickly realised nothing came close to achieving the warmth and texture of the Venture Plank Medio product. Aesthetics aside, the chosen boards also have an excellent wear layer and a stable cross laminated base. The quality is obvious," he added.

This collaboration is evident throughout the entire design journey, with the clients and architect eventually deciding on a single colour instead of two separate timber products. Though they were considering two separate Havwoods products, one for the floor and another for the kitchen walls and ceiling, they finally decided on Venture Plank Medio boards. 

It was on this collective journey that the clients quickly realised that “nothing came close to achieving the warmth and texture of the Venture Plank Medio product. Aesthetics aside, the chosen boards also have an excellent wear layer and a stable cross laminated base. The quality is obvious,” Woodford said.

The final design outcome met the clients’ brief, with the renovation retaining the traditional idiosyncrasies of an Edwardian era home while infusing notes of modernity and functionality. The use of Venture Plank Medio creates a sense of warmth and character, producing a lived-in vibe. The engineered timber boards complement both the existing Edwardian features as well as the diverse materials palette used throughout the renovation. The home is elegant, luxurious and perfectly fit for a bustling Melbourne family.

Photographer: Damien Kook