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 Victorian Terrace Renovation Inspired By Feng Shui

Architecture

When architect Steffen Welsch presented his initial ideas for this Melbourne terrace renovation, he received some unexpected feedback. ‘…you do know this is not good feng shui?’ his clients said. This response inspired Steffen’s team to go back to the drawing board, spend some time researching feng shui, and ultimately design a better home.

The renovated house is now a light-filled space punctuated by colour, and filled with good energy!

12th October, 2020

Curves have been introduced throughout this Melbourne terrace. Photo – Shannon McGrath

The renovation has brought good feng shui into the home. Photo – Shannon McGrath

The new open-plan living domain. Photo – Shannon McGrath

A shade of orange-toned pink appears strategically throughout the home, in a manner reminiscent of Mexican architect Luis Barragan’s work. Photo – Shannon McGrath

The sculptural staircase is a standout new feature. Photo – Shannon McGrath

Brick was chosen for thermal mass and painted with a matte finished. Photo – Shannon McGrath

Pink was again to accentuate little brick platforms. Photo – Shannon McGrath

‘It is very vibrant and conveys energy, so we were careful how we used it’ says the architects of the orange-toned pink accent. Photo – Shannon McGrath

The original second bedroom was transformed into a bathroom and separate laundry/powder room. Photo – Shannon McGrath

A desk in the study area built by Woodcraft Mobiliar. Photo – Shannon McGrath

The new rear exterior. Photo – Shannon McGrath

The original hallway has been restored. Photo – Shannon McGrath

Amelia Barnes
Monday 12th October 2020

‘There is the unexpected, and each room has its own character and merits.’ – Steffen Welsch

When Steffen Welsch Architects were brought in to renovate this property in Melbourne’s inner north, the single-fronted terrace had a lean-to, with three inappropriately-sized rooms. There was also no relationship between the living space and the backyard, due to a bathroom being previously tacked on at the rear. ‘It didn’t have good sunlight access or ventilation, so it felt dark, uncomfortable and cold,’ says Steffen.

The main renovation objectives were to improve the home’s thermal performance, and open up the living domain. Other desires included the clients’ wish for a study, second bathroom, and a laundry, but these were treated as budget-permitting ‘maybes’ rather than ‘must haves’, in order to design the most functional home possible. 

The updated home offers a sense of discovery, starting in the restored front rooms and hallway, into the open-plan living area, and through to the new upper storey. ‘Ideas reveal themselves gradually. There is the unexpected, and each room has its own character and merits,’ says Steffen. The original second bedroom was transformed in this process, becoming a bathroom, laundry/powder room, while the upper storey contains two new bedrooms. 

A key material of the renovation is timber, which flows from the original floors onto the new wall lining, stairwell, ceiling, and rear exterior. Brick and concrete were meanwhile selected for thermal mass, enabling heat from direct sunlight to be stored in the living area. 

A shade of orangey-pink also appears strategically throughout the home, in a manner reminiscent of Mexican architect Luis Barragán’s work. ‘It is very vibrant and conveys energy, so we were careful how we used it. As you enter the main living space you see only the reflection of colour in the stair void, then when you arrive at the stair and turn around, the full extent of the pink feature wall is revealed,’ Steffen says.

Overall, this house has been completely transformed, containing new spaces that are rich, but not overbearing. Inspired by feng shui principles, Steffen Welsch Architects have created a functional, thermally comfortable, and beautiful home.

This Week

Homes

Louella Boitel Gill's Loved And Layered Bungalow By The Beach

Interior and furniture designer Louella Boîtel-Gill has turned her former Airbnb in the Northern Rivers into an idyllic family home.

Architecture

This Couple's Home Is Two Houses In One!

Coy Yiontis Architects have designed this home with separate areas for a couple who have been living together for 50 years. His and hers goa...
02:40

Small Business

Our (Free!) Small Business Summer School Is Here!

Got a burning business idea but no idea where to start? Small Business Consultant Fiona Killackey is here to guide you through how to get st...

Creative People

The Best News Story Of 2021, So Far!

We check in on Think Thornbury owners Maggie May and Josh Kelly and their son Remy and get an update on their family!

News

Art Deco Meets The 1980s In Greg Natale’s New Vase Collection

The Australian interior designer launches his latest vase collection, ‘New Wave.’
Amelia Barnes
  8 hours ago

Studio Visit

A Conversation With Artist And Former Youth Prime Minister (!) Aretha Brown

The 20-year-old Gumbaynggirr woman shares her thoughts on the intersection of community and creativity, how she feels around this time of ye...
Bridget Caldwell-Bright

Architecture

A Lean, Clean Renovation To A Grand Heritage Weatherboard

ioa Studio transforms a cavernous Victorian residence into a light, bright contemporary home - and adds an element of surprise!
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Sit Front Row At The Country To Couture Fashion Show Tonight!

The 2020 runway show featuring an incredible lineup of contemporary First Nations designers will be broadcast via Facebook this Friday (toda...

News

Colourful New Kids Books From A Legendary Local Illustrator

Artist Kat MacLeod teaches us our ABCs in this super cute range of books from Thames & Hudson.

Interiors

The 5 Rules Of Good Kitchen Design, According To Cantilever Interiors

A good kitchen starts with observing these five rules, brought to you by Australian design and manufacturing kitchen brand Cantilever Interi...

Art

The Nomadic Artist Who Is Always Painting On The Road

Emily Imeson lives her life out of a four wheel drive, travelling the country in pursuit of new landscapes to paint! Her solo show, 'Ancient...
Sasha Gattermayr
  10 hours ago

Architecture

Bigger Isn’t Better In This Newcastle Home

Covering just a 55 square metre footprint, this Curious Practice project in Newcastle proves less is truly more!

Studio Visit

The Dreamy New Retail Space Of A Professional Plant Charmer

Consider us charmed by Ryan Klewer’s (aka Plant Charmer) brand new headquarters in East Brunswick!
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

An Owner-Built, Architect-Designed Renovation Of A Charming 1920s Melbourne Home

Lauren Egan and Glenn Hester collaborate with Project 12 Architecture on a thoughtful update to their 1920s Preston home, with interiors by
Lucy Feagins
  18 hours ago

Architecture

A Contemporary Beach House Designed By An Architect For Her Parents

The Bendalong Beach House by Madeleine Blanchfield provided such a serene escape for its owners, it became their full-time residence!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

This Renovated Victorian Terrace Is Like Living In A Day Spa!

How Timmins+Whyte Architecture and Design turned a dark, Victorian terrace in North Melbourne into a flexible, light-filled home.

Architecture

A Curious City Home, Nestled In Park Land

Architecture Architecture balance indoors and out in this clever renovation of a 1940s house in Williamstown North.

Architecture

A Curvaceous Renovation In Sydney

A former Bed & Breakfast in Sydney's Forest Lodge returned to its former glory as a grand family home, by Carter Williamson.

This Week

Architecture

A Lean, Clean Renovation To A Grand Heritage Weatherboard

ioa Studio transforms a cavernous Victorian residence into a light, bright contemporary home - and adds an element of surprise!
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

Louella Boitel Gill's Loved And Layered Bungalow By The Beach

Interior and furniture designer Louella Boîtel-Gill has turned her former Airbnb in the Northern Rivers into an idyllic family home.

News

Colourful New Kids Books From A Legendary Local Illustrator

Artist Kat MacLeod teaches us our ABCs in this super cute range of books from Thames & Hudson.

News

Art Deco Meets The 1980s In Greg Natale’s New Vase Collection

The Australian interior designer launches his latest vase collection, ‘New Wave.’
Amelia Barnes
  8 hours ago

Studio Visit

A Conversation With Artist And Former Youth Prime Minister (!) Aretha Brown

The 20-year-old Gumbaynggirr woman shares her thoughts on the intersection of community and creativity, how she feels around this time of ye...
Bridget Caldwell-Bright

News

Sit Front Row At The Country To Couture Fashion Show Tonight!

The 2020 runway show featuring an incredible lineup of contemporary First Nations designers will be broadcast via Facebook this Friday (toda...

Creative People

The Best News Story Of 2021, So Far!

We check in on Think Thornbury owners Maggie May and Josh Kelly and their son Remy and get an update on their family!

Architecture

This Couple's Home Is Two Houses In One!

Coy Yiontis Architects have designed this home with separate areas for a couple who have been living together for 50 years. His and hers goa...

Architecture

Bigger Isn’t Better In This Newcastle Home

Covering just a 55 square metre footprint, this Curious Practice project in Newcastle proves less is truly more!

Interiors

The 5 Rules Of Good Kitchen Design, According To Cantilever Interiors

A good kitchen starts with observing these five rules, brought to you by Australian design and manufacturing kitchen brand Cantilever Interi...

Art

The Nomadic Artist Who Is Always Painting On The Road

Emily Imeson lives her life out of a four wheel drive, travelling the country in pursuit of new landscapes to paint! Her solo show, 'Ancient...
Sasha Gattermayr
  10 hours ago

Homes

An Owner-Built, Architect-Designed Renovation Of A Charming 1920s Melbourne Home

Lauren Egan and Glenn Hester collaborate with Project 12 Architecture on a thoughtful update to their 1920s Preston home, with interiors by
Lucy Feagins
  18 hours ago

Studio Visit

The Dreamy New Retail Space Of A Professional Plant Charmer

Consider us charmed by Ryan Klewer’s (aka Plant Charmer) brand new headquarters in East Brunswick!
Sasha Gattermayr
02:40

Small Business

Our (Free!) Small Business Summer School Is Here!

Got a burning business idea but no idea where to start? Small Business Consultant Fiona Killackey is here to guide you through how to get st...

Architecture

A Contemporary Beach House Designed By An Architect For Her Parents

The Bendalong Beach House by Madeleine Blanchfield provided such a serene escape for its owners, it became their full-time residence!

Similar Stories

Architecture

This Renovated Victorian Terrace Is Like Living In A Day Spa!

How Timmins+Whyte turned a dark, Victorian terrace in North Melbourne into a light-filled home.

Architecture

A Curious City Home, Nestled In Park Land

Architecture Architecture balance indoors and out in this clever renovation in Williamstown North.

Architecture

A Curvaceous Renovation In Sydney

A former Bed & Breakfast in Sydney's Forest Lodge returned to its former glory as a grand family home, by Carter Williamson.

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.