Share house with a difference
TWO generations under one roof works perfectly well for this family.
Instead of downsizing, body corporate manager Ann Knights invited her architect son, Peter Knights (of Taylor Knights), and his wife, Tiffany (both 34), into her home to live while they saved to get fully on the property ladder.
In return, Mr Knights designed a renovation that is both practical and beautiful, enabling them to live separate lives under the same roof, yet still come together as a family.
The front three rooms were retained and the back demolished and rebuilt in a modern style with nods to the heritage of the home, such as reinstalling high ceilings lowered during a 1970s renovation.
At the front, a large and modern window seat overlooks a Japanese-style garden.
“I’m not someone who loves a garden full of flowers,” Ms Knights said. “What’s more important to me is that the garden looks good all year round and it’s a serene place you want to be in.”
The front part of the house is home to the younger generation and can be closed off by a sliding door to the more modern extension.
Upstairs is Ms Knights’ wing, complete with a little attic room that’s used as an office, and also a music room by her partner when he stays. Ms Knights’ granddaughter from Peter’s older brother loves this “secret” room of the house best.
“Everyone has their own space in the house for private time,” Ms Knights said. “If we were all in the one room all the time, it might be difficult, but because we respect each other’s space, it works really well.”
Ms Knights said her son was “lovely, happy and cheeky” as a boy. And this playful side is obvious in the
home. Details include mesh flooring, to let light from the top floor into the kitchen, and large wooden round handles on doors, which draw the eye.
The home’s colour palette is neutral. Shades of white, black and grey mix with natural textures — such as oak flooring, painted concrete, and rustic metal detailing on a fireplace.
The home is flooded with natural light, including from skylights. Ms Knights said the skylight above the shower gave a glimpse of what kind of day it would be.
“It’s those things that make this house really special,” she said. “For me, it’s also about the connection of the outdoors and bringing that in. I love that I can look up and see the clouds moving from the skylight above me as I’m cooking. Peter put so much thought into it all.”
She said that their living arrangement might not be permanent, but was working very well for the three of them right now.
“There will be a time when they move on and I downsize,” Ms Knights said. “For now, though, it’s perfect and also a good stepping stone for Peter and Tiffany to get on to the Melbourne property market.”