A 1968 mid-century house in Beaumaris was restored to its original character by Austin Design Associates using a well-considered materials palette that included Ash Grey brick tiles from Robertson's Building Products Pty Ltd.

Named Bellaire House, the old home had been renovated in true 1980s style (featuring bland apricot, pale grey and peach tones). The house has now been cleverly transformed to its former glory, with a subtle modern twist by the design team.

Fiona Austin, director, and her team have accentuated what was left of the original house, removed any trace of the 80s renovation, and added a creative modern twist.

“We’ve tried to be slightly mid-century with the house, and pushing its modernist sensibilities to be a little more modern than it was… The house had really good spaces and the living room was a great size, so we got rid of the formal dining room and rearranged the interior of the house within the existing footprint without having to add on,” says Fiona.

However, the transformation didn’t need a lot of structural changes. Today, Bellaire House is a thoughtfully designed, light and airy home that looks much more generous in size than its internal footprint would suggest. A new kitchen, a combined butler’s pantry and laundry (to replace the formal dining room), two living areas, a study nook and an entrance from the garage are some of the design highlights of the newly renovated home.

One major factor in the transformation was the carefully selected materials palette that made all the difference to the final design outcome. New oak flooring unifies all of the new spaces, while dark joinery and panelling in the living room, along with dark grey opening windows and white frames, as well as accentuated timber doors, add subtle modern hints to the interior design.

The living room stands out in the entire house for several reasons including natural north-facing light, and a joinery unit, complete with a new wood burner fireplace, enclosed by Ash Grey brick tiles in traditional stack bond.

“Bellaire House is a traditional pale beige 60s brick on the outside, so the Ash Grey brick tiles add to, or keep it in the spirit of, the original 1960s house, and they also give the fireplace and chimney breast a solid feel,” Fiona comments.

The transformation of this room is perhaps the most satisfying for Fiona and her team, because, “that room was always a nice space and having the fireplace was always a real feature of the room. But when the previous owner lived there, the fireplace was never used and now my clients use it all the time,” Fiona explains.

Having spent their first winter in the newly transformed house, Fiona’s clients are exceptionally happy, not only being able to use their gorgeous fireplace, but also to have so much more room for this family of four to relax in comfort.

Photography: Armelle Habib