Inspired by the happy collision of old and new, the transformation of this Victorian heritage listed cottage was a labour of love for owners Larisa & Matt, with alterations to the footing and original structure to create completely new elements and make the home more liveable. Stunning 6-metre windows flood the home with natural light and original features like the fireplaces and signage dating back to 1890 ensure the fresh take on this cottage doesn’t impose on its original charm.
We chatted with the family to learn more about this beautiful renovation.
When did you first purchase the house?
We purchased the house in June 2013. It is our first home and we won it with our very last bidding point at what was a very competitive auction!
What original features did you retain with the renovation?
We retained the front cottage and kept the original layout, fireplaces, and windows. We were also able to save some original plasterboard that was signed and dated by either the builder or owner - 'A. Newman 1890' – it’s now framed where it was found in the front bedroom.
What were the biggest challenges in this project?
We had to increase the footings because soil quality on the property is poor – and that’s common in Richmond. The original cottage needed re-stumping and straightening – the front door, central fireplaces and the back of the cottage were three different heights!
If you could just pick one favourite element of your home what would it be?
The 5-metre void in the new living room has 6-meter windows – floor to ceiling. It creates a huge sense of space which deceptively makes the house feel larger and floods the room with natural light.
What inspired the aesthetic for this project?
Our architect wanted to create a strong and modern contrast to the charm and heritage of the Victorian cottage. Simply, its old meets new while keeping the design simple and contemporary. Importantly we stuck to budget!
Can you share with us your top three tips for anyone embarking on a major renovation?
• Make the effort to study the plans in detail before any building commences so that changes throughout the project are minimised. Things like electrical layout, door heights, fittings; all the finessing of little details will help avoid variations, which often add to the duration of the project and overall cost.
• Be aware of choosing aesthetics over practicality. Something may look slightly better but if its impractical you’ll be reminded of it every time you use it.
• It happens, build often go overtime – think about this when weighing up whether to move in with the in-laws during the reno!
Can you give us a brief overview of the timeline of the whole project?
From start to finish it took three years. That sounds like an especially long time, and sure, it is but that includes our time researching architects and selecting one to help us realise our dream home. It also includes council planning and documentation, permits, and the construction works.
Once complete our team of interior stylists worked with
Larisa & Matt to carry their architectural aesthetic throughout the home with a considered colour palette and balance of eclectic and classic pieces.
Book a virtual interior styling appointment and let us show you how you can create a space that is uniquely yours.