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A Cheerful Brick Addition To A Weatherboard Home

Architecture

Olaver Architecture have worked on many single-fronted Melbourne terrace renovations over the years, with each project presenting new territory to explore and a building vocabulary to expand on.

In the case of this Brunswick home, the architects saw an opportunity to capitalise on the existing weatherboard’s sloping site, and play with ceiling heights to demarcate spaces.

The resulting solid brick addition is exactly what the clients, Taryn Stenvei and Pat O’Neill, asked for: a sunny, personality-filled home built for entertaining and the realities of young family living.

14th July, 2022

Brunswick House by Olaver Architecture. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

What was a rundown two-bedroom one-bathroom home with a ‘70s lean-to became a three-bedroom three-bathroom property thanks to a new addition — without extending upwards or losing the entire backyard. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

Priorities of the addition were capitalising on the home’s northern aspect and introducing quality materials. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

A larger footprint was sacrificed for optimum natural light, and a juxtaposing material palette of brick and timber window frames. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

Northern lights floods the new addition. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

‘Our favourite way to socialise (even before kids!) is having people over for a meal, and that felt really considered by Olaver, who made the kitchen area the heart of our home,’ say the owners Taryn Stenvei and Pat O’Neill. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

Olaver Architects came up with a cost-effective and practical solution that fit Pat and Taryn’s style to a tee. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

Home owners Taryn Stenvei and Pat O’Neill with their children Louis and Maeve. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

The backyard now directly speaks to the living room, which is best appreciated from the window seat in winter, and with the sliding doors fully open in summer. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

The fireplace has been a saviour on chilly winter nights. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

The creation of various ceiling heights and levels to counteract the home’s sloping site turned relatively uninspiring spaces into those special and unique. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

A sunny new retro-inspired powder room. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

Peachy cabinetry meets fizzy terrazzo floors. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

The existing living room was turned into the main bedroom, with a new wall separating it from the hallway, built-in wardrobes, a new window, and attached en suite. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

Another ’50s inspired bathroom! Photo – Benjamin Hosking

The single-fronted terrace facade. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

Amelia Barnes
Thursday 14th July 2022

Home owner Pat O’Neill has known Emlyn Olaver, director of Olaver Architecture, for years, and always admired his architecture work from afar.

He and partner Taryn Stenvei had been living in their single-fronted terrace in Brunswick since 2008, so when it came time for an upgrade, they knew exactly who to call.

Olaver Architects came up with a cost-effective and practical solution to extend their home, that fit Pat and Taryn’s style to a tee. What was a rundown two-bedroom one-bathroom house with a ‘70s lean-to became a three-bedroom, two-bathroom (plus powder room) home thanks to a new addition — without extending upwards or losing the entire backyard. 

‘We sought to make a small space (and small budget) work hard. We wanted to give Pat and Taryn a home which ticked all the boxes functionally, whilst also bringing a sense of delight and interest to everyday life, says Emlyn. 

Priorities of the addition were capitalising on the home’s northern aspect and introducing quality materials. A larger footprint was sacrificed for these elements, resulting in optimum natural light, and a juxtaposing material palette of brick, timber window frames, and vibrant ‘50s inspired bathrooms. 

Emlyn explains, ‘Budget was a challenge. We had to scale back Pat and Taryn’s aspirations to ensure we could meet their budget from the outset.’

‘As we developed the design, we continually looked at how we could optimise every nook and cranny to keep the total square metres down. We worked with a builder we had worked with before who both knew what our expectations were and was able to work within the budget.’

The creation of various ceiling heights and levels to counteract the home’s sloping site turned relatively uninspiring spaces into those special and unique. The backyard now directly speaks to the living room, which is best appreciated from the window seat in winter, and with the sliding doors fully open in summer.

Pat and Taryn say the renovation has allowed them to do more of the things they love. ‘Our favourite way to socialise (even before kids!) is having people over for a meal, and that felt really considered by Olaver, who made the kitchen area the heart of our home.’ 

‘Even just a year in, the backyard pizza oven has been given an absolute workout, and the fireplace has also been a saviour on chilly winter nights.’

A tight budget, modest footprint and the realities of family life have all been catered to here, with a beautiful and practical outcome that will serve this young family for many years to come.

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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