A Renovation Close to Home

FENCON Founder and Director Jack Fenton brought nine years of experience in the construction industry to a project that was very close to home; his mum, Ange Castran’s charming Victorian Terrace in Albert Park. His experience with high end architectural builds, immense attention to detail and a keen eye for design gave this home a beautiful update. We chatted with Jack on his tips for embarking on a renovation, the biggest challenges in the project and more.

What original features did you retain with the renovation?

With this, and most period homes, we wanted to retain as many original features as possible. The woodwork (skirts and arcs) was an important element to retain and restore where possible. Even if this meant trawling through second-hand timber yards for matching profiles and timbers. Further to this the cornices and Baltic pine flooring were restored and repaired to ensure we remained true to the existing finish of the house.

What were the biggest challenges in this project?

Renovating any period home is challenging, this was no exception. When you peel back the layers of home like this, you're always going to find surprises. Ensuring all the brickwork was structurally sound was something we spent a lot of time on. Also, working with my Mum as the client – it was definitely a new experience.

What inspired the aesthetic for this project?

We wanted to create a relaxed yet practical & stylish home. Ange had a clear idea of what she wanted, so I worked closely with her on the design. We reconfigured the layout to open it up and made sure the home had a contemporary feel with modern finishes throughout.

Can you share with us your top three tips for anyone embarking on a major renovation?

1. When dealing with homes of this vintage, always prepare for surprises - they are guaranteed. Although they can almost always be overcome with the right team around you. Often the big surprises end up creating a better overall outcome – so run with it and be prepared to make changes as you go along.

2. Everyone has an idea of what they want to achieve prior to embarking on a project but allow the vision to shift and change throughout the process. When adapting a period home into today’s modern world, allow the space to help dictate what it wants for the future.

3. I always recommend, if the house condition and your circumstances allow, spend some time in the home prior to commencing or committing to the design. Most of my clients have grand ideas upon purchase, but after living in in the space they're far more in tune with the way the house functions and want from the renovation.

What’s your favourite feature of the house?

I love the open fire in the kitchen. It’s an incredible original feature of the house and after all these years it’s still integral to the ambience.

Ange's beautiful Victorian Terrace is currently on the market - view the listing here.

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