Open Living

Open Living


The project brief was to maximise the outdoor living area and make the house more open and contemporary

The house is a brick veneer unit built in the 1990s, one of two on a medium-sized block. Internally the house was tired looking and in need of modernisation. It was imperative to bring it into line with contemporary home living and the user’s lifestyle.
The house was compartmentalised into the usual living areas: a kitchen, dining space, lounge area, hallway and three bedrooms. The bedroom had a small awkward walk-in robe and ensuite, both of which provided inadequate storage and no level of comfort.

The client’s brief for the project was to maximise the outdoor living area and make the house more open plan. The v-shaped wall in the centre of the living area originally had a door for external use. However, it made the external space impractical and was never a comfortable area. By moving the door nearer to the kitchen, a more useable external space was created.

According to architect Rob Harris, principal architect for Elements of Home, another important consideration was the use of natural light. “The north-facing windows allowed us to maximise the light in the new open-plan area. The clients also wanted to create a larger walk-in robe and ensuite without losing any internal space. A new, more practical kitchen was also a high priority.

“The internal walls separating the hall, living and dining areas in the main body of the house were removed to create the open-plan feel. A small amount of space was reclaimed from the now larger living area to create a large walk-in robe. This allowed the existing walk-in robe and ensuite to be combined into one large ensuite. Because of the large open-plan living area, it is impossible to tell that we reclaimed some of this space for the walk-in robe.

“Initially we considered building the new ensuite and walk-in robe externally. I worked closely with the client through all the design options and ended up with the internal modifications. This kept the integrity of the building and saved the client thousands of dollars in external modifications. It is important for the clients to feel as though the renovations have always been a part of the house. Creating visual design and attention to detail, such as recessed storage in the ensuite and a functional kitchen design, shows that we consider the daily actions of the householder.

“Standing in the kitchen looking out into the open-plan living area is my favourite aspect of the renovation. I also like the window in the kitchen that was reduced in size to act as a servery between the kitchen and the barbecue area outside. The skylights provide a subtle luminescent light-blue glow in the evenings, which the clients are delighted with. In hindsight, next time I would ensure the clients were not living in the house while the construction work was underway!”

The project was designed/built by ELEMENTS OF HOME
ADDRESS: PO BOX 530, Elsternwick 3185
PHONE: 03 9528 5970
PHOTOGRAPHY: Jacki Starr from Shooting Stars

Kitchen: Tasmanian Oak — Astoria Floors
Dining: Tasmanian Oak — Astoria Floors
Living: Tasmanian Oak — Astoria Floors
Bedroom: Carpet — Alan Weizman Carpet

Kitchen/Casual Dining: Dulux Fair Bianca by Artic Painting
Kitchen: Dulux Fair Bianca by Artic Painting
Dining: Dulux Fair Bianca by Artic Painting
Living: Dulux Fair Bianca by Artic Painting
Bedroom: Dulux Fair Bianca by Artic Painting

Benchtop: CaesarStone — Nougat
Splashback: Glass splashback
Cabinetry: 2-pak cabinetry units with slow-close Blum runners by Jukes Cabinet Makers
Colours: Minnow and Aumbrey

Aluminium black powder-coated double-hung sashless windows by B&B Aluminium