Digging deep for the future
This talented design team discovered how challenging it is to be the client on your own home, writes
It’s not like Melissa Bonney and Brendon Bott didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. As the director of design firm The Designory, Melissa has made it her business reimagining other people’s homes while her husband Brendon Bott runs building firm B2 Construction.
They have bought, lived in and refurbished houses before with the view to selling them on at a profit.
But this one was their “forever” house.
At first glance
Not far from Bronte Beach, the two-storey house was on a sloping site with the kitchen and main living rooms at street level upstairs, along with three bedrooms.
Downstairs, there was a basement-style rumpus room with ceilings too low to qualify as a comfortable living space and a poor connection to the backyard.
Melissa’s impressions of the upper storey were that it was in reasonably good condition with some pretty period features such as patterned ceilings.
“It had beautiful ornate ceilings and everything was tidy upstairs, but it was quite old and dated,” she says. “There were walls separating the kitchen and dining areas but that upstairs area was easy to look at.”
Downstairs, some serious excavation work was on the cards to increase the ceiling height by lowering the room — and the backyard.
Although she and Brendon were casting a professional eye over the site, Melissa says it was different to other projects they had worked on together
“When you are doing something for yourself, you are looking to add those personal touches,” she says.
Wide oak floorboards, high ceilings and a soft palette create a sense of openness in the stylish dining area.