‘A renovator’s dream’ was the best way to describe the Melbourne home pictured below, when it was purchased by Corinne and Ben Taylor in 2013 before undergoing an extensive renovation. Located in Melbourne’s Yarraville, this home was originally built in 1947 and now features a fabulous modern extension at the rear, much of which was completed by Ben who works in construction.
“When we first bought our house our design goal was to always maintain the original period of the front of the home and build a modern contemporary extension with an open plan layout. We wanted to create a direct contrast between the rear modern extension and the front period style of the home,” says Corinne.
“My husband and I bought this house just after we were married and began renovating it straight away. It was our little, but not so little, project we wanted to accomplish together as newlyweds before we began our biggest challenge of becoming parents,” says Corinne who now shares the home with the couple’s two sons.
“For the build, we engaged my father and brother to complete the main structural components of the front and rear as my father runs his own building company in Ballarat. My husband and I then engaged all of the trades directly and project managed the build and fit out components whilst both working full time jobs and living in the house the entire time. Let’s just say that this got quite testing at times living with a temporary kitchen and bathroom for over six months,” says Corinne.
With a career as a project manager in the construction industry, Ben tackled much of the renovation himself including the majority of the fit out. He worked on the plumbing (he’s a plumber by trade) and carpentry including the installation of windows, skirtings, architraves and the timber floor. “He even completed the massive task of measuring up and installing the glass balustrade to the stairs and second floor,” says Corinne.
With 6.5 metres ceilings above the kitchen and dining areas, and a large open plan area at the rear of the home (that spills out to the garden), the new home certainly feels much more expansive than the original. “By not having a large block we sought to maximise the flow of the house and ensure that every inch was used as efficiently as possible,” says Corinne.
“Natural light and high ceilings were very important as we wanted to create a bright home that provided abundant natural light and also natural ventilation. We originally intended to have a single story extension to the rear but then chose to increase this to double storey to allow us to draw as much natural light in with the north facing facade,” says Corinne who also wanted to be able to open the rear of the house up during the warmer months to extend the living area into the backyard and further maximise the use of the block.
“Our interior design brief was to utilise as many natural materials as possible to create an environment of warmth, texture and vibrancy. We chose to use materials such as Australian hardwoods, recycled brick and polished concrete to create this feel, along with light textured tiles to reflect the light throughout the bathrooms,” says Corinne.
Photography: Lecinda Ward