Thanks to a Double-Height Dining Room, a Melbourne Home Basks in Sunshine and Courtyard Views

Thanks to a Double-Height Dining Room, a Melbourne Home Basks in Sunshine and Courtyard Views

By cullen ormond
Andrew Child Architect raises the ceiling—and the bar—for a couple’s South Yarra residence and detached guesthouse.

Situated in South Yarra, a vibrant, artsy suburb in Melbourne, this single-story Victorian and backyard guesthouse were previously a student rental. Both the homes had solid bones, but the rear house had lackluster aesthetics, which prompted the homeowners to call on Andrew Child Architect. 

The couple wanted to update the rear house and create a more harmonious flow between the two spaces. Soon to be empty nesters, they wanted their adult children to feel close when they visited. To this end, a walled courtyard now connects the two structures.

The couple also wanted more light, higher ceilings, views of the backyard garden, and a designated office—all while keeping the costs low. Principal Andrew Child was able to deliver on all of those requests with one key decision.

"We wanted to break up these low ceiling heights in some way and better open the house to the rear garden," Child says. "By removing an upper-level bedroom and creating a void, or double-height space, above the dining area, we were able to achieve both of these things." 

A large window and sliding glass door on one side allow garden views and sunshine to permeate the open-plan dining and living areas. To contrast the starkness of the white brick exterior, black metal frames the glass.

Overlooking the double-height common areas is a new office nook. "I particularly like the neat little desk space above the kitchen," Child says. "It has a great outlook over the dining space and rear yard into the trees of the neighboring properties beyond." 

Being strategic with the budget, Child updated the most impactful items:  "The brass tapware, elegant bathroom fittings, and marble kitchen benchtop were selected to provide moments of delight throughout." The floors and joinery are crafted from wide planks of natural timber and provide warmth within the home. 


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