Preserving a home’s history whilst completing a modern renovation can be a careful balancing act. Ensuring old and new sit comfortably next to each other takes restraint, and a sympathetic touch – something the owners of this Kensington house, Belinda Farrant and Thomas Ryan, have managed to expertly navigate.
‘When we purchased the property, there were signs of its original life,’ says Belinda. ‘There were the original fireplaces and lath and plaster in the front three rooms, the wood oven and stove in the kitchen, and a laneway, which ran down the side of the house, which we assume was for transporting household waste via horse and cart.’
With the help of Heartly Design Studio, a renovation undertaken in 2018 saw the footprint of the house change to maximise the outdoor space and interior flow, whilst maintaining aspects of the original home. The front facade, southern wall and original fireplaces in the front two bedrooms are nods to the home’s past, but the rest of the house has received a modern new look.
The home now has two large bathrooms, a powder room, mud room, three bedrooms and a mezzanine office (which doubles as a guest bedroom), along with an enormous modern kitchen, designed for entertaining. But Belinda’s favourite feature of the home is the soaring cathedral ceilings in the living and dining area.
‘The high ceilings give the living room a sense of space. One of our favourite views of the home is sitting on the living room bench in the southern corner, looking back to the mezzanine. The sloped ceiling shows off some amazing lines and shapes,’ she says.
Belinda and her husband Tom will be sad to say goodbye to their beloved family home, but they won’t be moving too far away – having seized the opportunity to purchase and renovate another beautiful home in Kensington.
‘We absolutely adore Kensington,’ says Belinda. ‘Including our beautiful neighbours who have become our friends and family, but more broadly because of its village feel and sense of community and belonging.’