‘High House’ is an apt description for this surprising North Fitzroy home, whose modest 5 metre wide Edwardian facade gives away very little about the impressive scale of the extension beyond.
The renovation was designed by homeowner Dan Gayfer, including all building, interior and exterior design elements. Only the front two rooms of the original brick residence remain – everything else was demolished to make way for a bold, contemporary rear extension and second level, incorporating new kitchen, living and dining room, bathroom, upstairs master bedroom, study/adult’s retreat and adjoining roof deck (!) as well as a new internal courtyard on the ground floor to provide natural light to the downstairs rooms.
This home is remarkable for it’s ‘tardis-like’ qualities – and by that I mean, having an interior that is more spacious than could ever be imagined from the outside! A staircase from the kitchen takes you to a retreat/study on the first floor, providing direct access to a small roof terrace to the north, and the first floor master bedroom and study/retreat. Under the stair, the inclusion of a laundry, storage cupboards and wine cellar ensure no space is wasted.
Dan and Leah are especially fond of the first-floor retreat and adjoining rooftop terrace. This versatile space is drowned in natural light most days, and acts as a sort of secluded second living space. ‘We couldn’t be happier with this area, especially the fact that it literally doubles in size when you include the rooftop terrace’ explains Leah. During the warmer months, she and Dan spend a lot of time lounging here with a wine or beer. ‘It is actually quite surreal, as you are literally surrounded by adjacent rooftops and tree canopies which surprisingly provide complete privacy,’ Leah continues. A bar fridge integrated into the terrace is the icing on the cake!
Above all else, this is a purposeful, deliberate house. Every element has been thoughtfully designed specifically for the family who live here – evident in the various bespoke storage solutions and in-built furniture throughout the house. Probably most importantly – the aesthetic is interactive, aiming to encourage movement, conversation and everyday interaction throughout all spaces.