Renovation raises the roof
A modern addition raises the roof on a classic suburban home
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.”