A Run-Down Melbourne Bungalow's Makeover Embraces Light and Family Life

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By Melissa Dalton / Published by Dwell
Beyond its "stately facade," the interior of this California-style bungalow was forlorn and neglected when the new homeowners bought it around 2014.

Despite that, they envisioned a modern extension off the back that wouldn't disrupt the original roofline and could accommodate plenty of breathing room for their family of four. 

"We needed a contemporary addition to the house but something that connected well to the original rooms," the homeowner told Inside Out magazine. They collaborated with interior designer Felicity Watts of Watts Studio and building designer Andrew Brown of Sketch Building Design for an overhaul. The team delivered a modern addition—comprised of an open plan kitchen, pantry, laundry, and living area—that seamlessly connects with the yard and its new al fresco area, garden, and pool.

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Here, large glazed panels wrap a window seat and reveal an internal courtyard and the new Spotted Gum cladding on the rear of the house. "We always imagined a home that brought us together as a family, but also allowed for quiet moments," says the homeowner. To that end, Watts says, "the large, open plan areas have been softened by creating private sanctuaries," such as the window seat, a study alcove, and outdoor nooks. 

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Thoughtful repetition of natural materials foster consistency across spaces. For instance, the honed limestone on the fireplace ledge was repeated in the integrated outdoor table. Watts also used local and regional craftsmanship throughout the interiors, showcasing a multitude of Australian designers. 

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In the entrance hall, the Rough Diamond Chandelier from Ben-Tovim Design, a Melbourne-based industrial design studio, hovers over a bench from Kin Design and a handmade rug by Armadillo & Co. "The home encapsulates the effortless beauty of Australian design, highlighting quality workmanship and honesty of materials," says Watts. 

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