New Ways To Gain Space & Value
The pod, the loft & the light well
There is nowhere Scott Druce, the director of stationery and homewares retailer Telegram Co, and his partner Dan Creasey would rather be than relaxing at their home in Melbourne’s inner north. It’s hardly surprising given their home is so spectacular: a 19th-century corner shop dramatically dovetailed with the sleekest of modular extensions.
When the couple bought the home two years ago, it was a far cry from the smart property it had been in its heyday. “It was completely rundown,” says Scott. “The character had been stripped out over the years and a 1950s lean-to at the rear was structurally unsound. We really wanted to reinstate the heritage aspects and to enhance them. Then we began thinking about a new addition.”
Scott and Dan’s first step was researching the history of the home. “It was fascinating,” says Scott. “It was built in 1883 as a bakery, then later used as a general store. There had once been stables out the
back where people left their horses while they shopped.”
They began by restoring the red-brick structure, which today contains a library, bathroom, guestroom and shared home office.
Next, Scott and Dan tackled the extension. Their vision was for a simple yet striking Colorbond-clad addition and tasked building company Modscape with its construction. In seemingly no time at all, their dreams became a reality. “The whole process was incredibly quick – just 12 weeks between the time we signed the contract and when we moved in,” says Scott. “The structure was built off-site and craned in place in two hours. Neighbours left for work in the morning to a halfempty block and returned to what was almost a completely finished home. It was jaw dropping.”
The extension is what really sets this home apart. There’s a light and airy glass-walled open-plan kitchen/dining/living zone on the ground floor, from which a sculptural spiral staircase leads to the couple’s bedroom suite. In the backyard, a shimmering new pool, sauna and lush garden beckon.
‘WE WANTED TO BE SURROUNDED BY PIECES WE USE ALL THE TIME, SOW EVERY DELIBERATELY KEPT ONLY THE ITEMS WE REALLY TREASURE .’ SCOTT
The addition is designed to make the most of the 500m2 corner site, connecting with the streetscape from several vantage points. And upstairs in their tranquil retreat, Scott and Dan look out over the treetops in the neighbouring streets.
Self-confessed minimalists, less is undeniably more as far as this duo is concerned. “We wanted to be surrounded by pieces that we use all the time, so we very deliberately kept only the items we really treasure,” says Scott. The furnishings – many of which are cherished vintage pieces, others picked up in Asia while Scott was on buying trips – are set against a neutral backdrop of predominantly white walls and joinery, tactile timber and stone floors, and large expanses of glass. The result is highly functional and incredibly calm.
This home may be a world away from its former life as a bustling shop, but its new incarnation feels equally thrilling. “Walking in the door is always a great feeling,” says Scott. Modscape, Brooklyn, Victoria; (03) 9314 7769 or www.modscape.com.au.
CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN IMAGE Built in 1883, the red-brick building has had a colourful life. Now restored and with a sleek Colorbond-clad extension, it’s set to be enjoyed for generations to come. The home office (top and right) is painted in Porter’s Paints Caper. “I stayed in a hotel in London with the most beautiful green walls. I took a photo and Porter’s matched it,” says Scott. Vintage desk and drawers bought in Korea. Karimoku60 armchairs sourced in Japan. Ceiling lights, Telegram Open House. Rug, Armadillo&Co. This remnant of old tiles was preserved as a nod to the home’s heritage. For Where to Buy, see page 187.
ABOVE Greenery planted along the boundary wall creates the feel of a private walled garden. Scott and Dan made the dining table themselves. “It was a fun project,” says Scott. “We had the steel frame made up then constructed the top out of reclaimed timber we found at a local timber yard.” House Doctor dining chairs, Telegram Open House. Plant stand and pot, Ivy Muse.
OPPOSITE The spiral staircase by Enzie Space Saving Staircases is as much a style choice as it is a practical one: its small footprint means it can be tucked into a corner of the room. Armchairs bought in Japan. Nkuku plant basket, Telegram Open House. For Where to Buy, see page 187.