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

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By Alia Akkam
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.

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

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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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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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.

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.

"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.

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

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.

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

"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.

"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.

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.

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

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

Triple Fronted Revival Site Plan

Triple Fronted Revival ground floor plan

Triple Fronted Revival ground floor plan

Triple Fronted Revival first floor plan

Triple Fronted Revival first floor plan

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