Californian Bungalow

Californian Bungalow – A Piece of Art


Fluid lines and eclectic style come together in a refined playfulness in this renovated Californian Bungalow on Howitt Street.

unique home design, wooden stairs, stair feature

A tired, old Californian bungalow and its artistic, middle-aged owners did not make a good match. Tim and Monica have backgrounds in graphic design, bespoke furniture making and commercial property management. They were after a specific design that they wanted their home to represent. Their dream was a two-storey, architecturally designed “piece of art”. After living in their existing bungalow for more than 20 years, their home was ready for a full renovation. Tim and Monica chose to extend their existing space and create their unique “ar(t)chitectural” home.

“There was a general feeling throughout the construction phase that we were building a ‘piece of art’,” says Pete Furlong, director of Elyte Focus. “As is evident in the outcome, the clients’ focus was very much on achieving a high-quality finish to this bespoke architectural project.”

The existing Californian bungalow received a new internal fitout, including two bedrooms and one rumpus room, as well as a new combined bathroom/laundry, new timber windows and Rylock windows. The two-storey extension has a large living area with brick fireplace, dining and curved kitchen on the ground floor, and a master suite on the first floor. It is in the transitional void or link between the old and new spaces where the homeowners and architectural builder, Pete Furlong, worked together to create a sculpturally artistic space.

“The curved steel floating stair, personally constructed by Pete, is a significant feature of the project … the floating stair in the double-height curved plaster turret with round skylight offers dramatic play of light and shadows achieved with reflections of the curved stair and wall forms and voids,” says Pete.

These fluid lines were continued throughout the home, including in the kitchen, where curved windows and Corian benchtop by Cook & Nation sit harmoniously below the master suite’s faceted Rylock window wall. Pete personally designed and fabricated operable, motorised screens for this window wall to provide the bedroom with complete shade without compromising on aesthetics. The entire first floor of the new extension is then wrapped in a curved steel cladding.

Adopting a museum-like feel to the interiors, the homeowners added their own artistic touch with an eclectic selection of colours and materials. The interior palette is a white canvas, adorned with natural stone benchtops and floors, green-glazed Euroa bricks, multi-coloured glazing inserts, and spotted gum timber floors and joinery. An illuminated surprise in the handrails of the curved staircase is yet another example of this home’s refined playfulness.

“The Howitt Street property is a unique design featuring a balance of symmetry and asymmetry. Intertwined with fluid curves, macro design elements are mirrored in micro features … these endless details, fully considered, aligned and resolved, have truly created the piece of ‘ar(t)chitecture’ the clients desired,” says Pete.

Feature ceiling, wooden stairs

Words by: Karsha Green

Photography by: Erhan Tirlo