When Cara Bodsworth and her husband Cliff first purchased their home, it was a mirror of the property next door. Both were built in the 1870s, in a combination of Victorian Italianate and Queen Victoria styles. However, over the years, a series of remodelings saw the loss of many original features. Cara enlisted the expertise of Charlie Ingles, of Inglis Architects, to restore the home to its former glory.
The first port of call was to knock the back off the home, which Cara describes as a ‘very tired 60s renovation’ and introduce a new kitchen, laundry, lounge, upstairs bathrooms, bedrooms and playrooms. Period features were reinstated and restored where possible. Our art director Annie, who styled this shoot, highlights that looking at the home next door, ‘it’s amazing to see the side-by-side comparison of what once was, and how Cara has managed to maintain the detail to-a-tee throughout the renovation.’ Even the woodwork detailing around the veranda has been re-made to replicate the original!
Cara’s list of her favourite treasures in the home is extensive, and shows her true love and dedication to both the restoration of the home’s past, and her family’s own story. The most precious piece on display is a panel from her wedding dress, handmade (including handpainted flowers in six different shades of pink) by her Mum and a family friend, which now sits as an exquisite installation in the dining room. Other special corners of the home include the terrazzo ensuite (Cara is a self-confessed terrazzo obsessive!), a unique antique coat rack and artworks by Pietro Caprogreco.
Natural light spills through the home, thanks to the architect’s renovations, and stainless steel benches have transformed the kitchen and laundry. Cara highlights that the ‘stove, sink and bench are one seamless piece of steel’ and the forgiving surface means the ‘kids can paint on the bench, roll pasta, and spill whatever without worrying.’ Meanwhile, thanks to Cara’s husband’s plumbing supply business, all of the kitchen and bathroom hardware is on point!
The Armadale location is one Cara and Cliff had been researching for a while, as they loved the ‘schools, parks, cafes and shops in the area.’ Initially unable to afford what they loved, Cara searched for the ‘worst house in the best street!’ With this loving transformation and restoration now complete, that description is no longer at ALL accurate!