BHV048_Knock Down and Rebuild_American Homes_9387

American dream: home design


This stunning home takes inspiration from the ‘New American’ style, with a recessed front porch, arched colonial windows and more

It was an “American dream” come true for professional couple Heidi and Alan when their knock-down-rebuild delivered their ideal home. Working closely alongside Farm Houses of Australia during the nine-month project, the pair transformed their run-down Blackburn property into the home they had always longed for.

“It was a dream of ours for seven years to have a home like the one chosen for our wedding venue,” says Heidi. “We interviewed a shortlist of builders who were building homes like these and found Farm Houses to be the best match for us.”

Situated on a 895m2 sloped rectangle block, the property features a garage, porch and verandah. Both Heidi and Alan had a clear vision of the elements they wanted to include in the design. The home has a ‘New American’ style with a recessed front porch, arched colonial windows on the top floor, two bay windows at the front, and a mixture of materials in the facade.

“I still pinch myself (figuratively) six months later in our new home and marvel at the fact we get to live here, that this is our home,” reveals Heidi. “I feel so grateful that we found Farm Houses to help us translate our dreams of what constitutes our perfect home, and brought it to life.”
Traditional internal features such as dado wall lining, plaster arches and ceiling roses, Victorian ash timber flooring and bespoke fittings and cabinetry were critical elements in the design, bringing a taste of the American countryside to Melbourne.

Internal flexibility was a high priority for Heidi and Alan, with many rooms in the home easily transitioned for multi-purpose living. For example, the third bedroom — which is used as a home gym — has been designed so that it converts into two bedrooms by simply adding an internal wall.

Similarly, a raised seating platform in the home theatre room is freestanding and covered in carpet to match the floor, therefore re-purposing the room can be achieved by simply removing the platform.

It was a love of location that prompted Heidi and Alan to choose to rebuild on their existing block. The pair recognised the benefits of a knock-down-rebuild as they say it allows you to continue to reside in an area where you have established networks — friends, schools, doctors, workplace and family.

The “Lakeburn” property was listed as a finalist in the 2015 HIA CSR Victorian Housing and Kitchen & Bathroom Awards: Custom Built Home — $500,001–$700,000 division, achieving third in Victoria.

For more information

Farm Houses of Australia

Originally in BuildHome Victoria, Volume 48