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.