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A Compact Heritage Bungalow Becomes A Functional Family Home

Interiors

A newly renovated 1920s bungalow in one of Adelaide’s garden suburbs was the site for interior designer Georgie Shepherd’s latest project – House of Billie.

With delightful heritage bones and a simple rear extension to cater for a family of four, the compact space required a laser focus on materials, colour and furnishings, to ensure a minimalist approach, with maximum functionality.

3rd September, 2020

The open plan communal area proved the most challenging part of the interiors to rework. Photo – Christopher Morrison.

A small footprint meant that clever spatial design was paramount to make the space liveable. Photo – Christopher Morrison.

Georgie favoured curved edges and rounded surfaces to create the illusion of space. Photo – Christopher Morrison.

Billie the dog, whom the whole project was named after! Photo – Christopher Morrison.

A monochromatic paint palette allows the line between functional spaces to blur, meaning more emphasis was placed on the textures and finishes to demarcate the zones. Photo – Christopher Morrison.

Nooks and crannies were used to their full advantage as locations for in-built furniture! Photo – Christopher Morrison.

‘Having worked already with the architect prior to coming to us, the clients had nutted out a lot of the spacing and placement of bathrooms and kitchens, but were unsure how to pull it all together into a cohesive space,’ Georgie explains. Photo – Christopher Morrison.

These Volker Haug wall lights in the main bathroom are a standout designer feature! Photo – Christopher Morrison.

Curved edges continue throughout the bathrooms. Photo – Christopher Morrison.

The soft grey monochrome palette is continued through the wet areas. Photo – Christopher Morrison.

The house is split into two parts: the original 1920s bungalow with a rear renovation fitting the original footprint, and a steel clad freestanding pavilion which houses a second living space. Photo – Christopher Morrison.

Sasha Gattermayr
Thursday 3rd September 2020

‘Texture, detailing and clever lighting teamed with simplicity meant that big impact could be created, without feeling crowded.’ – Georgie Shepherd

When designing small spaces for maximum functionality, interior designer Georgie Shepherd of GSiD likes to be as detail oriented as possible.

‘Attention to detail was paramount due to the scale of the project,’ she explains. ‘So every little feature needed to elevate the simplicity of the design to form a layered, textured and complete space.’

The space in question was a renovated 1920s bungalow, with a new rear extension to cater for a family of four. The client and their architect (Beach DC) had reworked the original floorplan, while adding a standalone pavilion at the back of the property. Georgie was charged with creating a internal spatial arrangement that ensured flow between the old and new spaces.

‘Having worked already with the architect prior to coming to us, the clients had nutted out a lot of the spacing and placement of bathrooms and kitchens, but were unsure how to pull it all together into a cohesive space,’ Georgie explains. Her role was more than just facilitating ambience, it was intrinsic in ensuring the compact space would work as a functional family home.

In this respect, the open plan living and dining area housed in the rear extension posed the biggest challenge. Georgie favoured beveled edges when selecting the kitchen furniture – a round dining table, a curved island bench, a circular rug – to make the necessary bulky items less imposing. Implementing a monochromatic soft grey colour palette continued this intention, by blurring the boundaries between kitchen and living zone.

By designing the joinery to seamlessly transition between these two spaces, the communal rooms feel less compartmentalised. Georgie opted for a textural shift to demarcate the zones instead, selecting soft furnishings and rugs to softly indicate the transition between living and dining, and cushion the acoustic effects of concrete floors. Nooks and crannies were used to their full advantage with built-in furniture, the best example of which is a curved, panelled window-seat nestled at the base of an in-set shelf.

‘The small footprint meant that clever spatial designing was paramount,’ she explains. ‘Texture, detailing and clever lighting teamed with simplicity meant that big impact could be created without feeling crowded.’ Combining marble and slatted oak with economical laminates left room in the budget for lux details, such as custom brass bathroom mirrors – and those stunning wall lights by Volker Haug in the main bathroom!

The resulting design is one which elegantly enhances the original architecture,  without overwhelming it – and transforms this 1920’s charmer into a functional, flexible and contemporary family home.

See more from GSiD here.

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