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 Red-Brick Revamp In Brighton

Architecture

Today’s home renovation is a case of letting true colours shine through – and in this instance that colour is red brick! This family home in Brighton links old and new, through the robust, humble red brick.

We chat with Jane Merrylees of Merrylees Architecture about bringing light and contemporary design to the Unbricked House.

28th November, 2018

Front exterior of the ‘Unbricked House’ by Merrylees Architecture in Brighton, Melbourne. Photo – Tom Ross.

Photo – Tom Ross.

Photo – Tom Ross.

Photo – Tom Ross.

Photo – Tom Ross.

Photo – Tom Ross.

Photo – Tom Ross.

Photo – Tom Ross.

Photo – Tom Ross.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 28th November 2018

‘Clever buildings do not happen by accident.’ – Jane Merrylees.

Jane Merrylees succinctly explains that ‘clever buildings do not happen by accident’, and this statement is evident in the innovative and considered design strategies employed in this Brighton renovation. The client brief was to transform a Victorian-era home into a more spacious family residence, that could adapt to the needs of the residents as their lifestyles shifted over time.

Unlike many renovations which start from a deficit model, the bones of the original home were loved by the owners, and the layout was functional and well proportioned. This meant minimal intervention into the existing house – the architects retained the front rooms, bedroom, study and bathroom, bringing light into the home with carefully placed skylights, and adding a few modest upgrades, such as a small concealed ensuite.

Previous renovations at the rear of the home had left a series of ‘lean-to additions’ that created a ‘dark and disjointed layout’ Jane explains. ‘The brief was to open up the rear, creating a bright open plan living space, with ample storage and utility areas for day-to-day convenience’ she explains. The design response offers a ‘mud room’ with large storage lockers for each family member, laundry and wine store. All bases are covered in this space, with the flexibility to adapt toy storage into a study zone in the future.

The owners love the of the original property also informed the material selections for the renovation, as Jane describes ‘they wanted the new addition to have a strong connection to the home they fell in love with.’ The main-road facing Victorian brick façade had previously been concealed under a dull-cream render. The architects reversed this overlay, to reveal red bricks in excellent condition. In transforming the home to its ‘former glory’, the architects were also able to create a powerful material connection between old and new.

The internal spaces are equally considered. Internal steel framed doors and a shift from timber to concrete flooring offer a material threshold between the original home and new addition. The soft blue colour palette sits against light timber joinery to create a tranquil and peaceful interior.

The true success of the home is summed up by its occupants, who proclaimed to the architects ‘you’ll be wheeling me out on a stretcher’ soon after moving in. It is difficult to think of higher praise !

This Week

Art

How Darwin’s Coolest New Art Gallery Is Championing Indigenous Stories

Laundry Gallery is an exciting Aboriginal-owned creative hub, based inside a converted 70s laundromat!
Christina Karras
  5 hours ago

News

Terrazzo Queen Tantri Mustika's Closing Down Sale!

Pop down to Collingwood Yards Saturday 11 February, 12pm – 3pm, to support Tantri Mustika’s closing down sale.

Climate

Everything You Need To Know About GreenPower (+ Why You Should Make The Switch)

The easiest way to invest in in Australia's renewable future - and it's simpler (and cheaper) than you think!

Climate

Designer Style Meets GreenPower In The Sydney Apartment Of Jono Fleming

How interior designer Jono Fleming made his home more sustainable, in just three minutes.
Lucy Feagins
  13 hours ago

Art

A Look Inside Abbey Rich's Mesmerising New Exhibition

See the Melbourne artist's beautifully bold abstract pieces at MARS Gallery, filled with playful patterns and hidden meanings.
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Coastal Garden That Revives The Native Landscape

House Revisited brings the natural landscape of Macmasters Beach on the NSW Central Coast, into a stunning residential property.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Local Icons + TikTok Stars, Ginger And Carman

Get to know the fashionable, dynamic duo, whose fun-filled adventures (and inspiring approach to life) have made them Internet famous!
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

The Sydney Sculptor Creating Striking Pieces From Centuries-Old Sandstone

Sculptor Tom Butterworth creates striking tables, stools and vessels from recycled Australian sandstone, with beautiful results.
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Boundless Garden Immersed In Native Bushland

A new coastal home on the Mornington Peninsula buried deep within a native grassy woodland, with stunning gardens by Plume Studio.

Studio Visit

Local Artist Hannah Maskell Creates Mesmerising Grids Of Colour

The Melbourne-based artist's geometric drawings and wooden sculptures are a cross between 'colour theory and colour therapy'.
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Lush Secret Garden, Inside A Converted Melbourne Church!

This surprising garden in East Melbourne has its own lagoon pool, a natural fish pond and 10m-tall walls covered in ivy.
Christina Karras

Creative People

The New Small Business Making Mid-Century-Inspired Furniture In Australia

Culture Cush are making velvet-covered modular lounges inspired by retro designs, with the best materials of today!
Christina Karras

Homes

A Vintage Farmhouse On Sydney’s Upper North Shore

It looks like an authentic country farmhouse, but Alexandra Nea Graham’s family home is an almost entirely new-build!

On The Market

An Idyllic Homestead With Country Views For Sale In Gippsland!

This 1890s homestead is the ultimate treechange opportunity, with a rambling garden, sprawling views, and it's already been renovated!
Christina Karras

Homes

A Quirky Redfern Terrace With A Hidden Green Roof

The unconventional family home of designer Sacha Coles, split over 4 levels!

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Revitalised Barwon Heads Boat Shack

A clever renovation by Irons McDuff Architecture brings this beachside weatherboard home into the ‘now’.

Architecture

The Modern Australian Homestead

Explore the equine elegance of the Ceres Gable House, by Tecture Architecture.

Architecture

Going Up In Albert Park

Dan Webster Architecture gives us the architectural answer to business at the front, party at the back!

This Week

News

Terrazzo Queen Tantri Mustika's Closing Down Sale!

Pop down to Collingwood Yards Saturday 11 February, 12pm – 3pm, to support Tantri Mustika’s closing down sale.

Art

How Darwin’s Coolest New Art Gallery Is Championing Indigenous Stories

Laundry Gallery is an exciting Aboriginal-owned creative hub, based inside a converted 70s laundromat!
Christina Karras
  5 hours ago

Gardens

A Coastal Garden That Revives The Native Landscape

House Revisited brings the natural landscape of Macmasters Beach on the NSW Central Coast, into a stunning residential property.

Art

A Look Inside Abbey Rich's Mesmerising New Exhibition

See the Melbourne artist's beautifully bold abstract pieces at MARS Gallery, filled with playful patterns and hidden meanings.
Christina Karras

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Local Icons + TikTok Stars, Ginger And Carman

Get to know the fashionable, dynamic duo, whose fun-filled adventures (and inspiring approach to life) have made them Internet famous!
Christina Karras

Creative People

The New Small Business Making Mid-Century-Inspired Furniture In Australia

Culture Cush are making velvet-covered modular lounges inspired by retro designs, with the best materials of today!
Christina Karras

On The Market

An Idyllic Homestead With Country Views For Sale In Gippsland!

This 1890s homestead is the ultimate treechange opportunity, with a rambling garden, sprawling views, and it's already been renovated!
Christina Karras

Homes

A Quirky Redfern Terrace With A Hidden Green Roof

The unconventional family home of designer Sacha Coles, split over 4 levels!

Climate

Everything You Need To Know About GreenPower (+ Why You Should Make The Switch)

The easiest way to invest in in Australia's renewable future - and it's simpler (and cheaper) than you think!

Studio Visit

The Sydney Sculptor Creating Striking Pieces From Centuries-Old Sandstone

Sculptor Tom Butterworth creates striking tables, stools and vessels from recycled Australian sandstone, with beautiful results.
Christina Karras

Climate

Designer Style Meets GreenPower In The Sydney Apartment Of Jono Fleming

How interior designer Jono Fleming made his home more sustainable, in just three minutes.
Lucy Feagins
  13 hours ago

Gardens

A Lush Secret Garden, Inside A Converted Melbourne Church!

This surprising garden in East Melbourne has its own lagoon pool, a natural fish pond and 10m-tall walls covered in ivy.
Christina Karras

Homes

A Vintage Farmhouse On Sydney’s Upper North Shore

It looks like an authentic country farmhouse, but Alexandra Nea Graham’s family home is an almost entirely new-build!

Gardens

A Boundless Garden Immersed In Native Bushland

A new coastal home on the Mornington Peninsula buried deep within a native grassy woodland, with stunning gardens by Plume Studio.

Studio Visit

Local Artist Hannah Maskell Creates Mesmerising Grids Of Colour

The Melbourne-based artist's geometric drawings and wooden sculptures are a cross between 'colour theory and colour therapy'.
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Revitalised Barwon Heads Boat Shack

Irons McDuff Architecture old and new in this light-filled holiday home.

Architecture

The Modern Australian Homestead

Explore the equine elegance of the Ceres Gable House.

Architecture

Going Up In Albert Park

Dan Webster Architecture gives us the architectural answer to business at the front, party at the back!

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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net