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A Compact + Colourful Extension Of A Fun Family Home

Architecture

This former rental in Melbourne’s suburbs is equal parts playful and practical, after this clever renovation.

A young family (Beck, an illustrator behind Wally Paper Co, her builder partner and their three children) enlisted Foomann Architects to turn their brick home into a family abode that would reflect their creative personalities.

While it’s come a long way from the party pad it was while leased out, the house hasn’t lost its fun spirit, thanks to bright pops of colour throughout, and new-and-improved living spaces primed for entertaining.

27th June, 2022

A void over the family room brings light into the space and creates a greater sense of spaciousness. Timber detailing around the void provides texture and warmth particularly when illuminated at night. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Natalie James

The spray-painted pink door! Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Natalie James

The clients prioritised the void over additional upstairs floor space, enhancing the quality of the family room. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Natalie James

The textural Grey Tundra benchtop provides a robust surface for three children and to withstand daily use. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Natalie James

The pantry is contained within oak veneer joinery along the side of the room with full-length tapered vertical pulls. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Natalie James

The light-filled living room. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Natalie James

The colourful picture wall adds plenty of personality to the home. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Natalie James

Northern light filters through the large glass doors into the living area with the concrete floor providing thermal mass. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Natalie James

An sleek ensuite has been inserted alongside the clients’ bedroom, and a new shared bathroom designed for the children and guest. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Natalie James

A concrete reveal frames the large glass doors, bringing northern light into the living area and connecting the interior to the outside. This reveal provides a garden seat and eave to block the summer sun, as well as rebates for blinds and an operable flyscreen. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Natalie James

The timber-clad first-floor addition contains a study/guest room and encases the void above the family room. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Natalie James

The entry is now located in the addition and is accessed via a landscaped garden path along the side of the house. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Natalie James

The original brick facade! Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Natalie James

Christina Karras
Monday 27th June 2022

When Foomann director Jamie Sormann first visited this Farnham Street property to measure the house, it was being leased out, and had just been the scene of a party.

‘There were people asleep everywhere,’ Jamie says.

‘The house had seen better days, particularly the 1970s lean-to extension, but the exterior of the original brick building was beautiful and well preserved. Our intention was to create an addition that was as durable.’

The owners enlisted the architecture firm to replace the lean-to with an updated extension, seeking a more functional space that was filled with natural light and outdoor views.

To achieve this, the architects reworked the brick component on the ground floor. A concrete reveal was established to frame large glass doors that lets the northern light into the living area, while oak timber veneer joinery brings a sense of warmth to the kitchen.

Moving the entryway to the side of the house along a landscaped garden path also improved the dynamic and playful character of the home. A new, vibrant pink door opens to a view of the mint green spiral staircase, as the family’s colourful picture wall and fun furniture rounds out the compact, 65sq m ground-floor space.

‘The interior is intended to reflect the clients’ personalities and tastes,’ Jamie adds.

Upstairs lies a striking timber-clad addition, which contains a study or guest room and encases the void above the family room. Jamie highlights the timber-lined void as ‘the most impactful gesture’ of the project.

‘The clients prioritised the void over additional upstairs floor space as it enhances the quality and experience of the room, infusing it with greater light, loftiness and views,’ he explains.

Creative details including the open shelves and the spiral staircase beside the courtyard help the resulting design feel light and open despite the ‘modest’ sized home for a family of five.

But one thing the home has retained amid all the renovations is its ability to entertain.

‘The home is still a great party house,’ Jamie says. ‘I’ve been to one, so can confirm, [and] I’m pleased that we’ve preserved this aspect of things.’

See more work by Foomann architects here.

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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