Being parents to small children adds another layer of problem-solving to renovations.
WHO Lauren and Matt Wilson, their four children, aged from six weeks to five, and Elvis the kelpie WHERE Newtown, Vic WHAT A 1930s bungalow that has had an extra level and an extension added
Being parents to small children adds an additional layer of problem-solving to a renovation. For builders and designers Lauren and Matt Wilson, it was a case of knowing what was in store when they started working on their Californian bungalow in Newtown, Victoria.
“Our last house had lots of white, then we had two boys and decided that might not be a great palette,” explains Lauren. “We wanted this one to be warmer.”
The solid American oak flooring was an easy choice. “We used it so we could sand it back if we ever need to,” she says. “It’s been hard-wearing, which is perfect for a house full of kids.”
The pair kept the original front rooms and outdoor eaves, but have added plenty of child-friendly choices, such as a huge timber-framed glass door that separates the playroom from the living area. “The kids can be in that room making a lot of noise and we can just close them off, but you can still see them,” says Matt, of Built by Wilson.
They also built a second storey, adding the master bedroom, ensuite, study and a retreat on the upper level.
All up, the renovation took seven months at a price of $450,000. “The big costs were the flooring, cabinetry and kitchen appliances,” says Lauren, who recommends working from the outside in. “We put the lawn down before we started. In our last house, we ended up with a mud pit in the backyard, and you don’t need that with little kids.”