After a decade of living in this Melbourne character home, its owners Maria and Troy McGlone decided it was time to renovate to suit the demands of their growing family. The ultimate aim was to make the home more suitable during their kids’ teenage years and beyond and the result is a stunning architectural space that is truly a forever home.
“We knew we needed a larger living room, a bedroom each for the kids, a pool and a basketball area. These were all on our ‘must-have’ list. Troy and I work from home, so the front living room needed to remain our office. And with our growing kids, better storage was a priority,” says Maria.
The original structure is a 100 year old Californian bungalow that already sported a less than perfect extension. “The original home has great bones but it also had a renovation added about 30 years ago that we wanted to change. We needed to completely remove this part of the house and begin again with the original house layout,” says Maria who engaged architect Lyndal Williams, of My Architect, for the project. “We knew we wanted to use an architect. We work in the design industry and understand the value a quality architect brings to a project. We liked the way My Architect’s structure works, allowing us to remain in control, rather than being locked into a contract with a large design/build company,” says Maria.
After the renovation, all that remains of the original building is the two front rooms that house the main bedroom and living room. “Everything behind that was gutted. We then rebuilt a new back half of the house, remodelling some of the original layout, enlarging the original front living room and keeping the main bedroom the same size. We then added a second storey, including three bedrooms, a living room and two bathrooms,” says Maria.
Standout features include the brick feature wall in the lounge room and outdoor area – it brings so much warmth to the space and was constructed from bricks from the old driveway and backyard paving. Another highlight is just how large the main living area now feels. “We kept the original ceiling height of the front of the house but since the block slopes down, Lyndal designed the new half of the house to step down by three steps, so our main living room and kitchen ceiling height is a generous 3.6 metres. This creates an amazing volume and sense of space in the back half of the house. We love it and everyone always comments on it,” says Maria.
And while the home sits on just 500 square metres, the design has maximised the space with a fabulously designed backyard too. “We have used every centimetre of the outside to fit in a pool and spa, whilst making sure we have a big enough decking area leading out from the main living area, as we eat outside and entertain a lot. We installed a small basketball court for our kids which is proving to be a very multi-functional play area too,” says Maria.
“We plan on being here for the next 20 years, so we put a lot of time and effort into the project. We splurged on a few things, like the green tiles for our bathroom, the amazingly soft carpet in our main bedroom and the marble benchtops in the kitchen, knowing we will enjoy them for many years to come.”
Photography: Thomas Dalhoff