This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Revitalised Barwon Heads Boat Shack

Architecture

From the street view, this holiday home has the familiar appearance of beachside weatherboard home. But, through a clever renovation by Irons McDuff Architecture, it’s been brought into the ‘now’ with the addition of a new pavilion.

Architect Kim Irons describes using the materials and architectural forms of the past to inform the present, in a light-filled home that is designed to age gracefully – and isn’t afraid of sandy floors!

26th November, 2018

In the garden of the ‘Barwon Heads House II’ by Irons McDuff. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

The living space. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

The dining area looking out to lush landscaping. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

Beach house details. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

The bright, open kitchen. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

The bathroom. Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

Photo – Nikole Ramsay.

Lucy Feagins
Monday 26th November 2018

When Kim Irons, of Irons McDuff Architecture, was first engaged to work on this Barwon Heads property, she was faced with converting a boat shack-turned-cottage into a light-filled and relaxed holiday home. The owners (who were also the builders!) wanted the space to feel cosy for two, yet spacious enough for 14, in a retreat that celebrated its surrounds and history.

Kim explains ‘the original cottage was retained, with a new pavilion connected to the rear via a glass link/study.’ The pre-existing dwelling has been converted to provide space for the bedrooms, amenities and a flexible multi-use space that can accommodate overnight guests, while the new addition offers dining and cooking area for dinner parties and summer barbeques.

Beachy white weatherboards and internal lining boards were retained in the cottage, in contrast to the new build, which introduces new and complementary materials to the site. Natural Shiplap timber was selected to silver over time and blend with the landscape. A glass corridor/study connects the old and new segments of the home and draws in the surrounding landscape.

While the transition between cottage and pavilion appears seamless, the renovation was not without difficulty. As if often the case with old houses, demolition works revealed a few unconventional techniques from the original builder, which made for a challenging renovation process. ‘In comparison to reworking the original cottage, the new extension was a walk in the park’ Kim recalls.

This sunlit property now performs all the functions you could hope for in a holiday home – with adequate space for quiet seclusion, yet a strong sense of connection for daily activities and shared meals. A summer breeze flows through the whole property, connecting the updated cottage with the new pavilion.

This Week

Gardens

A Slice Of Primeval Paradise In Bronte

Situated on a steep site in a sometimes blustery coastal location, the planting palette for this stunning garden in Sydney is both soft, and...

News

The Magic And Art Of Beekeeping With Honey Fingers

Mud Australia is hosting an exhibition and in conversation event with legendary urban beekeepers Honey Fingers, moderated by artist Stanisla...
Sally Tabart

Homes

A Heartwarming Home Of A Stylist (And Family!)

Justine and Bob Murphy's warm and welcoming family home is like a slice of the country... in Northcote!
Lucy Feagins
  5 hours ago

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

Stays

Northern NSW’s Newest Holiday House, Made From Recycled Materials

Book your stay at Rockhaven at Booyong – a new holiday house made from recycled materials located 40 minutes from Byron Bay.

Architecture

This Clever + Compact Bondi Home Feels Like A Never-Ending Holiday!

Fox Johnston architects managed to expand the footprint of this small and narrow Sydney site to create a generous, private haven!

Homes

A Magical Alistair Knox-Designed Rental In Eltham!

The seriously dreamy 1970s rental home of Pop and Scott trade manager Lucienne Van Sebille, and her partner Sebastian.

Studio Visit

Experimental Designer Jessie French Is Shaping A Seaweed-Centric Future

The Melbourne artist shares her process of creating seaweed-based bioplastics, the beautiful resin-like homewares she makes from it + what t...

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

News

Shop The Megan Park Archive Of More Than 10,000 Pieces!

Legendary fashion designer Megan Park has kept one of every piece she has designed over the last 22 years – and now, she’s opening h...

Architecture

A Surprise Garden Brings This 'Pop-Up' Home To Life

Figr creates a unique language between architectural and landscaped spaces to truly maximise this small footprint home for a family of three...

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal by adding earthy,
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

News

An Extensive Art And Design Festival Taking Over Brisbane!

Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a public art program bringing the Sunshine State’s exemplary creative scene to the fore throughout the month
Sponsored

Interiors

How To Nail The Bathroom Basics, According To Reece

A crash course in very excellent bathroom design, courtesy of bathrooms + kitchens merchandising leader at Reece Bathrooms, Daniella Santill...
Sasha Gattermayr
  21 hours ago

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

Jungle Treehouse Meets Urban Brisbane Home

Inside the Terrarium House, an incredible extension of a 100-year-old cottage, by owner-architect John Ellway.
Elle Murrell

Architecture

The Australian Beach House, Redux

This Mornington Peninsula retreat by Kerstin Thompson Architects deconstructs and reimagines the quintessential Aussie beach house.

Architecture

A 'Blank Canvas' House By The Beach

A stunning new home on the Mornington Peninsula, designed with the future in mind by Planned Living Architects.

This Week

News

An Extensive Art And Design Festival Taking Over Brisbane!

Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a public art program bringing the Sunshine State’s exemplary creative scene to the fore throughout the month
Sponsored

Homes

A Magical Alistair Knox-Designed Rental In Eltham!

The seriously dreamy 1970s rental home of Pop and Scott trade manager Lucienne Van Sebille, and her partner Sebastian.

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

Homes

A Heartwarming Home Of A Stylist (And Family!)

Justine and Bob Murphy's warm and welcoming family home is like a slice of the country... in Northcote!
Lucy Feagins
  5 hours ago

Architecture

This Clever + Compact Bondi Home Feels Like A Never-Ending Holiday!

Fox Johnston architects managed to expand the footprint of this small and narrow Sydney site to create a generous, private haven!

News

The Magic And Art Of Beekeeping With Honey Fingers

Mud Australia is hosting an exhibition and in conversation event with legendary urban beekeepers Honey Fingers, moderated by artist Stanisla...
Sally Tabart

Architecture

A Surprise Garden Brings This 'Pop-Up' Home To Life

Figr creates a unique language between architectural and landscaped spaces to truly maximise this small footprint home for a family of three...

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

Gardens

A Slice Of Primeval Paradise In Bronte

Situated on a steep site in a sometimes blustery coastal location, the planting palette for this stunning garden in Sydney is both soft, and...

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal by adding earthy,
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Interiors

How To Nail The Bathroom Basics, According To Reece

A crash course in very excellent bathroom design, courtesy of bathrooms + kitchens merchandising leader at Reece Bathrooms, Daniella Santill...
Sasha Gattermayr
  21 hours ago

News

Shop The Megan Park Archive Of More Than 10,000 Pieces!

Legendary fashion designer Megan Park has kept one of every piece she has designed over the last 22 years – and now, she’s opening h...

Stays

Northern NSW’s Newest Holiday House, Made From Recycled Materials

Book your stay at Rockhaven at Booyong – a new holiday house made from recycled materials located 40 minutes from Byron Bay.

Studio Visit

Experimental Designer Jessie French Is Shaping A Seaweed-Centric Future

The Melbourne artist shares her process of creating seaweed-based bioplastics, the beautiful resin-like homewares she makes from it + what t...

Similar Stories

Architecture

Jungle Treehouse Meets Urban Brisbane Home

Inside the Terrarium House, an incredible extension of a 100-year-old cottage by owner-architect John Ellway.
Elle Murrell

Architecture

The Australian Beach House, Redux

This Mornington Peninsula retreat by Kerstin Thompson Architects reimagines the Aussie beach house.

Architecture

A 'Blank Canvas' House By The Beach

A stunning new home on the Mornington Peninsula, designed with the future in mind by Planned Living Architects.

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.