Ren­o­va­tion raises the roof

A mod­ern ad­di­tion raises the roof on a clas­sic sub­ur­ban home

Herald Sun - Property - - FRONT PAGE - fread­man­white.com WORDS: KAREN SHAW PHOTOS: JEREMY WRIGHT POR­TRAIT: CHRIS GROENHOUT

IT was love at first sight when Toby and Nicky Mac walked into Hod­dle House, a 1930s dou­ble-brick home on a large block in El­stern­wick. It ticked all the boxes, in­clud­ing lo­ca­tion and size, but what ap­pealed most was the lay­out. “We could imag­ine what we would change and how it would work,” Ms Mac said. Fast for­ward two years and the cou­ple couldn’t be hap­pier. A ma­jor ren­o­va­tion has re­sulted in a fam­ily home that re­tains its 1930s char­ac­ter at the front and, at the back, has a mod­ern light-filled ex­ten­sion with a bold cathe­dral ceil­ing that ac­cen­tu­ates space.

When Fread­man White ar­chi­tects Ilana Fread­man and Michael White (who are friends of the Macs) first saw the prop­erty, they were also smit­ten with its po­ten­tial. And the Macs were happy to give them free rein, but with a clear brief.

“We wanted sep­a­rate bed­room and en­ter­tain­ing ar­eas, as well as open plan at the rear, with a play room that would open to the back­yard,” Mr Mac said.

They also wanted a house that would grow with their young chil­dren, Gabe and Jesse, as they got older.

The re­sult­ing ren­o­va­tion and ex­ten­sion not only works for the fam­ily, but won the pres­ti­gious Kevin Bor­land Ma­sonry Award at the 2016 Think Brick Awards.

The en­trance hall re­tains some orig­i­nal fea­tures, such as an or­nate ceil­ing rose and a glass light, as well as rip­pled glass on the front door that harks back to the Art Deco era.

Chang­ing the orig­i­nal floor­plan has trans­formed what were once liv­ing and din­ing ar­eas into large bed­rooms.

A glimpse of the back­yard from the wide pas­sage leads to the ex­ten­sion and what’s truly the hub of the home: the open-plan kitchen/din­ing room and ad­join­ing rum­pus room un­der the vaulted ceil­ing.

Ms Mac, a keen cook, loves the kitchen, with its two ovens, gas cook­top, pullout pantry and grey stone splash­back. But it’s the walk-in pantry, mea­sur­ing nearly 2m wide, that is her pride and joy.

“I love the fact that it is large enough to keep all of our cook­ing sup­plies, serv­ing dishes and ap­pli­ances in a neat and or­gan­ised fash­ion while still al­low­ing us to buy in bulk,” she said.

Glass is a real fea­ture of the ex­ten­sion. There is a quirk­ily placed win­dow at floor level that lets in light and hides the less ap­peal­ing vista of the cars in the car­port. But the real he­roes of this area are the slid­ing doors that open out onto the deck.

“They make the room so light,” Ms Mac said. “They also bring the gar­den into the house. We can open up three walls of the house and make it one large space where the kids can freely run in and out.”

Fac­ing the deck is a clever de­sign fea­ture: a wall niche for the built-in gas bar­be­cue. “I love that the bar­be­cue slides out, and you can tuck it away when not in use and the kids want to play,” Mr Mac said.

Adding to the bold look at the home’s rear are Ad­bri Ma­sonry con­crete Ar­chi­tec­tural bricks in Ebony on the ex­te­rior. Com­bined with an­gu­lar ar­chi­tec­tural lines and boxed win­dows, the ef­fect is pure drama.

“We wanted some­thing dif­fer­ent,” Mr Mac said.

The cou­ple plan to stay put for some time to come and say they ab­so­lutely love their home. “It’s live­able and com­fort­able,” Ms Mac said. “It doesn’t feel too big. It’s easy to live in. There’s noth­ing we would change.”

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