When a young family of three set about revamping their bungalow in Melbourne, Australia, they sought to expand and modernize the layout without significantly increasing the overall footprint. They had already lovingly restored the front of the home, but they needed help for the spatial challenges ahead. Thus, they engaged Lisa Breeze Architects to help transform their compact heritage home into a practical and spacious dwelling for a growing family.
The home is situated in the northern suburb of Coburg, which is composed mostly of standalone heritage houses built within the last 100 years. Both the firm and the homeowners wanted to respect the neighborhood’s original character in the new design. As they set about repurposing the existing spaces and introducing a small backyard addition, the architects paid homage to home’s historic details by referencing these elements in the new design.
The project began by converting existing rooms into new areas to resolve the floor plan predicament. The original living room was transformed into a full bathroom, a powder room, and a walk-through laundry room.
Next, the design team expanded the living spaces to provide an open plan suitable for family living. To do so, they constructed a small addition—which echoes the form of the existing home—at the rear of the structure. What were once small spaces are now bright and voluminous, with a direct connection to the backyard.
The homeowners wanted to use recycled and natural materials wherever possible. The timber-clad addition joins the home at a recycled brick wall, which provides a backdrop to the main living space. Throughout the home, recycled timber flooring and custom timber details are balanced by tiles and wall finishes in natural hues.
"I appreciated the client’s desire to avoid excessive and unnecessary space. They invested in well-detailed and thoughtful smaller spaces and beautiful materials, preserving and respecting the heritage of the original home." —Lisa Breeze
Although the charming bungalow has been altered to suit a modern family, the true character of the heritage home still shines. According to the architect, this home was a true joy to work on—and she is now incorporating a similar design approach into her own home.
Builder/General Contractor: Neverstop Group
Structural Engineer/Civil Engineer: Structplan
Lighting Design: Lisa Breeze Architect
Interior Design: Lisa Breeze Architect
Cabinetry Design: Lisa Breeze Architect
Photographer: Caitlin Mills
Stylist: Natalie James