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 Low-Tech, Handmade House Clad In Shingles

Architecture

Handing over the drawings to a first time owner-builder isn’t always an architect’s dream prospect for a project. But when it’s a labour of love, and the client’s attention to detail is so precise, a great outcome is possible!

This was the case with this family home in Northcote, designed by Melanie Beynon Architects, who were delighted (and relieved!) at the perfect end result.

20th February, 2020

A warm but elegant kitchen. Custom cabinetry by West Wood. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

Reclaimed bricks dominate the kitchen interior. Custom cabinetry by West Wood. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

Custom, acoustic-designed walls are just one invisible feature that enhances the family’s privacy. Custom shelving and sliding door by West Wood. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

Splashback tiles from Anchor Ceramics and Brodware taps add handmade touches throughout the house. Custom cabinetry by West Wood. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

‘We were determined to keep it on a single level, we would have created a lot of shadow had we gone up,’ says Melanie. Pivot door in hallway, cedar unit and hall cupboard joinery and doors all custom by West Wood. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

A very good-looking bookshelf. Halcyon Lake rug. Faye Toogood chair. Custom door (far right) by West Wood. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

Large sliding doors lead to the outdoor entertainment area. Tripod table by Mark Tuckey. Vase by Bridget Bodenham. Pivot door by West Wood. Painting by Emily Ferretti. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

Floor to ceiling wood panelling. Pivot door by West Wood.Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

‘We really wanted to learn how to achieve building a home, that in the attention to detail, was modest, simple, visually beautiful and tactile,’ says the client. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

Tasmanian oak panelling was left unfinished to showcase the rawness of the material. Art work by Doris Bush Nungarrayi. Flos lamp. Custom cedar unit by West Wood. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

The master bedroom. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

The children’s bedrooms take up the pre-existing building, the whole front half of the house. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

Brodware taps. Alain Monnens light. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

Terrazzo floors in the bathroom provided a light, clean contrast in materials. Bathroom cabinetry featuring locally made hand-forged rowsaan handles by West Wood. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

Shingles wrapping the exterior reference the original Edwardian facade. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Jarvis Barker.

Sasha Gattermayr
Thursday 20th February 2020

‘We wanted the human hand on our house.’

With the goal of retaining the Edwardian facade and neighbourhood character, this single-storey house renovation project for a family of six was a collaboration from the start. ‘We wanted to achieve a building that was an emotional experience,’ the client explained of their decision to contract separate and specific trades and craftspeople for each part of the build.

Bringing together environmental principles and a desire to learn and understand the building process, Architect Melanie Beynon’s task for this project was to ‘create a visually beautiful house, that was very tactile’. This is achieved inside and out, with raw cedar shingle and shiplap cladding wrapped around the home, and a saw-tooth roofline extending tactility beyond the eyeline.

‘The timber elements will silver in time, allowing the new extension to settle into its surroundings,’ Melanie explains.

The texture turns inwards, too, with reclaimed bricks and Tasmanian oak panels covering the walls and ceilings, left unfinished to highlight the wood’s raw qualities. Handmade Anchor Ceramics tiles and brass detailing bring artisanal warmth to the kitchen, while Melbourne-based craftspeople West Wood contributed a large amount of impeccable custom timber furniture and joinery throughout the home.

The pitched roof in the kitchen / dining area creates elevated volume and ‘an element of surprise when you enter the house’, as well as flooding the communal space with natural light. The central living hub also acts as a divider between parent and children’s living quarters, compartmentalising these private zones at opposite ends of the house.

‘We had enduring specific interest in materials, spatial volume, sonic conditions, natural and artificial lighting and how to achieve a feeling and ‘memory’ in the build,’ the client explains. ‘We wanted the human hand on our house.’

This Week

Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Roasted Tomato Summer Soup With Mozzarella

Celebrating the best of easy summer eating with this sweet roasted tomato soup, creamy mozzarella and a drizzle of basil oil.
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The Good Room

A Stylist's Good Room In South Yarra's Most Coveted Apartment Building!

Heather Nette King shows us around 'THE room' in her apartment in Melbourne's Beverly Hills apartment complex.
Lisa Marie Corso

Architecture

A Compact And Curvy Family Home In Glebe

Arched windows and internal voids converge in this mind-bending spatial marvel in suburban Sydney by Chenchow Little Architects.
Sasha Gattermayr

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

A Home With A Warm Hart

The eclectic and soothing home of doula Sunni Hart and family.

Architecture

An Off-Grid Rural House, Designed For The Future

MRTN Architects have designed an adaptable shed and home, made from salvaged bricks and upcycled materials in Nulla Vale, Victoria.
Amelia Barnes

Homes

A Colourful Family Beach Shack, Wrapped In Shingles!

Kip&Co co-founder Kate Heppell shares her colourful 1970's family beach shack in Sorrento, Victoria.

This Week

Interiors

A Green New Addition For An Ageing Edwardian Home

Brave New Eco revitalises an existing Brunswick home for multiple generations with a new extension, natural material palette and clever use

Studio Visit

Kelly Thompson’s Playful Preston Showroom Clashes Colour In The Best Way

The clever creative behind online store, Makers’ Mrkt, gives us an inside look at her fun Preston stockroom-turned-store!
Christina Karras

Creative People

Landscape Studio Ayus Botanical On Creating Calming + Enduring Gardens

The husband-and-wife team of Ayus Botanical share the thoughtful processes behind their lush residential and commercial projects!
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Compact + Colourful Extension Of A Fun Family Home

Foomann Architects replaced this Melbourne home's dated extension with a personality-filled renovation, behind a vibrant pink door!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Mediterranean-Inspired Holiday Home Right On The Water’s Edge

CLO Studios styled the interior of this new Noosa home (dubbed Sky Garden) with earthy tones and pieces by local artists.

Studio Visit

Kuku Yalanji Artist Tiarna Herczeg Creates Colourful Maps Of Country

The emerging artist shares how they found their creative voice and intuitive painting style, as their latest solo show opens in Sydney.
Christina Karras

Food

Julia's Irresistible Double Chocolate + Tahini Brownies

Is there anything more irresistible than a brownie? We think not! Especially Julia's, which come with double the chocolate, and a nutty swir...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Art

Artist Cressida Campbell Is Finally Getting The Spotlight She Deserves

A new exhibition at the NGA brings together more than 140 works from the artist's life and unique practice.

Architecture

A Colourful Extension Inspired By Clinker Bricks

Wowowa’s Presto House is a vivid and respectful addition to a 1930s art deco home made from 'clinker' bricks.
Sasha Gattermayr
  20 hours ago

Homes

A Stylist + Podcaster’s Layered, Textured Seaside Home

Kerrie-Ann Jones’ renovated retro pad in Sydney’s southern beaches is a sun-drenched dream home!

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Costume + Production Designer, Catherine Martin

The four-time Oscar winning designer shares insights from her career working alongside husband Baz Luhrmann, and how she helped bring 'Elvis...
Christina Karras

Architecture

The Treasure-Filled Sydney Home Of Two Global Art Collectors

House Gezellig by Studio Prineas reflects their clients’ love for modernist design principles and collection of fine art.

Creative People

Artist and Yindjibarndi Elder Wendy Hubert On Mapping Country + Culture

Our new columnist Jirra Lulla Harvey talks to respected Yindjibarndi Elder, artist, Cultural Custodian and linguist, Wendy Hubert about Coun...
Jirra Lulla Harvey

Shopping

8 Local Creatives Making Furniture That Doubles As Art

Meet our favourite designers and makers pushing the limits of traditional furniture with their sculptural and striking pieces!
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Hawthorn Home Enveloped In Dreamy, Layered Gardens

This new family home is brought to life with lush gardens designed by Peachy Green – reminiscent of a flowering ‘woody meadow’!
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Homes

A Home With A Warm Hart

The eclectic and soothing home of doula Sunni Hart and family.

Architecture

An Off-Grid Rural House, Designed For The Future

A shed and house in rural Victoria, designed with future expansion in mind, by MRTN Architects.
Amelia Barnes

Homes

A Colourful Family Beach Shack, Wrapped In Shingles!

Kip&Co co-founder Kate Heppell shares her colourful 1970's family beach shack in Sorrento, Victoria.

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