Bright An­gles

A boldly mod­ern house takes shape in the ren­o­va­tion of this in­ner Mel­bourne prop­erty.

Australian House & Garden - - CONTENTS - STORY Stephen Crafti | STYLING Beck Si­mon PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Derek Swal­well

The res­i­dents of this home in Mel­bourne’s in­ner north-east were well ac­quainted with their ar­chi­tect long be­fore their ren­o­va­tion was dis­cussed. Fiona Dunin, di­rec­tor of FMD Ar­chi­tects, ini­tially de­vised a scheme for owner Arthur, who shared the sin­gle-fronted Vic­to­rian-era ter­race with his son Lind­say. Fiona had pre­vi­ously trans­formed an Ed­war­dian home nearby for Arthur’s part­ner, Pam Mitchell.

“Then Pam and I de­cided to get mar­ried and live un­der one roof,” says Arthur. That meant choos­ing be­tween two abodes. While Pam’s home (known as the Cross Stitch House and fea­tured in the April 2015 is­sue of H&G) ticked nu­mer­ous boxes, this prop­erty of­fered greater out­door space and po­ten­tial for all the ameni­ties three adults and two gen­er­a­tions would re­quire in a shared home. “Lind­say is 24, so he needs his own space, as do we,” says Pam.

When coun­cil ap­proved the orig­i­nal plans for Arthur’s ren­o­va­tion and ex­ten­sion, the house was de­signed for a fa­ther and son. The new liv­ing ar­range­ments, how­ever, re­quired some fine-tun­ing. In ad­di­tion, Pam and Arthur were keen to trans­late favourite fea­tures of the Cross Stitch House to this home.

Among the most dis­tinc­tive el­e­ments of both projects are the dra­matic use of an­gles, raked ceil­ings and join­ery fea­tur­ing mir­rored sur­faces. The first can be seen to great ef­fect in the win­dow frames, cab­i­netry and bath­room van­i­ties. Some an­gled fea­tures take on the ab­stracted shape of a pitched-roof house, in var­i­ous ori­en­ta­tions.

“We call this one the His & Her House,” the proud ar­chi­tect says of the 158m2 project. “It’s a merg­ing of de­sign ref­er­ences

HALL­WAY A ramp from the kitchen leads to Pam and Arthur’s bed­room, which has a slightly lower floor height. The built-in stor­age and dis­play space along the cor­ri­dor in­cludes much of Arthur’s vinyl record col­lec­tion. Green glass ves­sels, Mark Dou­glass De­sign. Tas­ma­nian oak floor­ing with Bona ‘Traf­fic’ fin­ish. KITCHEN/LIV­ING Pam at ease in this airy space, where an­gled sky­light shafts cast in­trigu­ing pat­terns of light. She brought the ot­toman, sofa and arm­chair (all by Jar­dan) from the Cross Stitch House. Kitchen stools, Great Dane. Cop­per planter, The Green­ery Gar­den Cen­tre. Art­work by Wendy Ford. from the orig­i­nal de­sign for Arthur and the best el­e­ments of the Cross Stitch House.”

The two front rooms have been left in their orig­i­nal form, with mi­nor changes. The first now func­tions as a study/ gue­stroom. Next is Lind­say’s bed­room with french doors open­ing to a side court­yard and ad­ja­cent bath­room, which has a door to the liv­ing area so it cleverly dou­bles as a pow­der room when re­quired.

Cen­tral to Fiona’s de­sign is the new open-plan kitchen, din­ing and liv­ing area. The kitchen is piv­otal to the de­sign, with its 3.2m-long island bench form­ing an ar­rest­ing fo­cal point. Mir­rored on three sides, the unit ap­pears to ‘float’ off the floor. Its geo­met­ric qual­ity is com­ple­mented by tri­an­gu­lar splash­back tiles. Soar­ing above are sky­lights, and LED light­ing set into the walls and con­cealed in sky­light shafts. “The LEDs ac­cen­tu­ate the an­gles of the walls and the ceil­ing,” says Fiona. At night, they cre­ate a glow against the moon­light.”

A gar­den court­yard be­hind the kitchen and pas­sage­way along the side sep­a­rate the open-plan area from the main bed­room. The side cor­ri­dor is lined with cab­i­nets and shelv­ing and its gen­er­ous win­dows strengthen the out­door con­nec­tion. That same bright, wel­com­ing qual­ity is ev­i­dent in the land­scaped court­yard fea­tur­ing an in­te­grated bar­be­cue and din­ing set­ting (de­signed by Fiona and built by joiner Spence Con­struc­tion).

“We’re very happy,” says Pam. “Fiona has cre­ated a won­der­ful place for us to live. This house feels like a real home.” >

FMD Ar­chi­tects, Mel­bourne, Vic­to­ria; (03) 9670 9671 or fm­dar­chi­ Ba­sis Builders, Prahran, Vic­to­ria; 0412 821 720 or ba­sis­

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