The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Contents -

A child-friendly bun­ga­low.

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.”

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

´´it's per­fect for a house full of kids´´

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