A Post-War Bungalow in Australia Gains an Indoor/Outdoor Entertainment Hub

By Alia Akkam / Published by Dwell

By extending the home’s lower level, Pleysier Perkins created a light-filled living area that’s perfect for dinner parties.

In Ivanhoe East, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, a sociable couple lamented that they didn’t have enough space to host their extended family and friends for home-cooked meals. To expand their two-story abode, they turned to Melbourne–based architecture and design firm Pleysier Perkins. 

A steel-finned facade of Triple Fronted Revival wraps the lower-level extension and provides separation from the driveway.

Photo: Michael Kai

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"Our design transformed the house into an ‘entertainer,’ with a generous kitchen/meals/living area, an outdoor kitchen under an operable roof, and a new lap pool," says studio director and project architect Berit Barton. 

Ornamental wrought-iron railings are among the architectural features salvaged from the original home.

Photo: Michael Kai

At the heart of the commodious, open-plan addition is the kitchen, where cooking takes place underneath an L-shaped skylight that brings in the sunshine and illuminates the island and surrounding finishes.

An L-shaped skylight is the highlight of the kitchen, from which views of the garden and pool are visible.

Photo: Michael Kai

The kitchen's central island is particularly luminous when sunlight pours down through the skylight.

Photo: Michael Kai

Curves, found throughout, echo the home's original joinery.

Photo: Michael Kai

Organically connecting to the terrace and garden, the versatile area was conjured by an 258-square-foot extension of the lower level. By maximizing the property’s sloping site, Pleysier Perkins didn't compromise any of the upper floor’s rooms.

Emphasizing the interior's verticality and curves are the timber walls and screens that enhance spatial flow and light.

Photo: Michael Kai

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Menu Snaregade Round Table

Thoroughly tested by founder and creative management. Originally Norm Architects designed a table especially for Bjarne Hansen – the creative director and founder at Menu. The table was meant for Bjarnes living room at home. While at it, Norm also manufactured some tables for their own studio. All three of them have used those tables ever since. After being tested and used for years by our founder and design managers – we think it’s safe to say that the design is approved. So, for our Fall 2015 collection we’ve decided to launch the Snaregade tables in three variants, rectangular, oval and round. Suitable as a dining table or work table. A round one for the meeting room or a rectangular in the kitchen. Everything goes. And as for the name? Snaregade is the name of the street in Copenhagen where Kasper Rønn and Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen have their studio. Now available with a laminated surface to better withstand heavy use. Photo Courtesy of Connox

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West Elm Leather Slope Dining Chair

Our Slope Dining Chair curves in both the seat and back for extra comfort. Engineered for use in high-traffic areas, it meets contract-grade performance and safety standards. 19.5"w x 23.5"d x 32.5"h. Photo courtesy of West Elm

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Demarcating this expanded entertaining zone is a custom steel facade, its contemporary black ribbing a textural juxtaposition to the house’s original brick exterior. This curved screen softens into a fence that hugs the new terrace and garden and shields them from the driveway, says Barton.

Across the lower level, which was expanded by 258 square feet, spaces within the living area flow into one another. An Art Deco-style fireplace provides a sense of retro glamour.

Photo: Michael Kai

"Curved elements repeat throughout the design as a nod to the old house’s craftsmanship," she adds, pointing to the fluted timber walls and screens that add warmth. "The original joinery had a few curves happening. We wanted to re-introduce some of these architectural features to keep within the character of the house."

Fluted timber screens add warmth and texture to the open-plan living area.

Photo: Michael Kai

A curvy, Art Deco-inspired chimney stack and fireplace as well as ornamental wrought-iron railings were salvaged, and although the bungalow "showed good bones, we were not able to preserve all of it, as it was just not practical," explains Barton. 

Curved nuances even extend to the shower in the sleek, black-tiled bathroom.

Photo: Michael Kai

"The tile selection was intentionally simple and cost effective, however executed in a modern way with sharp detailing that lifted the outcome," says Berit Barton, studio design director at Pleysier Perkins.

Photo: Michael Kai

Along with the expansion, the home also received a green upgrade. It now has insulation, double-glazed windows, and rooftop solar panels. Crowning the upper level is a garden and deck accessed via the new lounge or master bedroom suite. 

Treetop views from the rooftop deck, adjacent to the master bedroom suite, offer a nature-fueled respite.

Photo: Michael Kai

Says Barton of the roof: "This parent’s retreat was not a must, but a welcome bonus. It invites sitting down with a glass of wine and watching the sunset over the leafy hills."

Triple Fronted Revival Site Plan

Pleysier Perkins

Triple Fronted Revival ground floor plan

Pleysier Perkins

Triple Fronted Revival first floor plan

Pleysier Perkins

Related Reading: 

Soak In the Greatness of This Gorgeous Melbourne Addition

Vaulted Skylights and Concrete Columns Connect This Melbourne Home With the Sun

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Pleysier Perkins (Berit Barton, Nicholas Arthur)  / @pleysierperkins

Builder/General Contractor: TCON 

Structural Engineer: Vayco

Landscape Design: Andy Murray

Lighting Design: Lights & Tracks

Interior Design: Pleysir Perkins (Georgie Marks) 

Cabinetry Design: COS Interiors

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