Dig­ging deep for the fu­ture

This tal­ented de­sign team dis­cov­ered how chal­leng­ing it is to be the client on your own home, writes

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FOCUS -

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.

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