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A Charming Victorian Cottage, Reorientated + Optimised For Decades To Come

Interiors

This Victorian cottage in Northcote, Melbourne was always charming, but a ‘muddled’ floorplan and faux heritage interior detracted from its full potential.

Pipkorn Kilpatrick and Pitrone Design were called in to bring the property back to basics by enhancing its undercapitalised attributes.

Adding just 23 square metres to the floorplan, the designers reoriented the home to the northern backyard to optimise function, beauty, and sunlight within for a family of four.

18th November, 2022

Pipkorn Kilpatrick recently went back to basics to enhance the interior and natural light of this Victorian cottage in Northcote, Melbourne. Ceramics on counters by Dasa Ceramics supplied by Modern Times. Artwork by Amy Wright supplied by Modern Times. Photography – Martina Gemmola

Ceramics on counters by Dasa Ceramics supplied by Modern Times. Artwork by Amy Wright supplied by Modern Times. Photography – Martina Gemmola

23 square metres was added to the floorplan, allowing for an open-plan domain containing the kitchen, meals area, and lounge at the rear. Ceramics on counters by Dasa Ceramics supplied by Modern Times. Photography – Martina Gemmola

 Warm American oak joinery sits above concrete floors, with autumnal-hued terrazzo providing a playful kitchen accent. Ceramics on counters by Dasa Ceramics supplied by Modern Times. Artwork by Amy Wright supplied by Modern Times. Photography – Martina Gemmola

Artwork by Brooke Holm supplied by Modern Times. Photography – Martina Gemmola

The living area comes into its own with a painted brick fireplace with exposed flue. Ceramics on counter by Dasa Ceramics. Artwork by Brooke Holm supplied by Modern Times. Photography – Martina Gemmola

An American oak shelving unit adds storage and warmth to the living room interior. Artwork by Brooke Holm supplied by Modern Times. Photography – Martina Gemmola

The main bathroom was moved to the lounge’s previous position at the centre of the home. Photography – Martina Gemmola

 An earthier variation of terrazzo and eucalyptus coloured tiles draws the native garden inside the bathroom interior, with  a large overhead skylight providing abundant light. Photography – Martina Gemmola

A banquette seat with large bi-fold windows subtly defines the dining area. Photography – Martina Gemmola

Large brick blades frame the opening to the backyard where Andy Murray Landscape Design has created a calming native garden for the family to enjoy. Photography – Martina Gemmola

The banquette seat looking out to the rear deck and backyard. Photography – Martina Gemmola

Generous outdoor spaces complement the home. Photography – Martina Gemmola

This material palette was influenced by the worker’s cottage appeal of the existing Victorian facade with its humble and understated beauty. Photography – Martina Gemmola

Amelia Barnes
Friday 18th November 2022

This Victorian home in Northcote was blessed with a north-facing backyard and generous block—key attributes that were under utilised and under appreciated until a recent renovation by Pipkorn Kilpatrick

Due to its position at the centre of the home, the original lounge room received zero northern sunlight, and the interiors had been given a faux heritage makeover complete with a pressed metal kitchen splashback, maroon half length curtains, and shiny gold chandeliers.

Pipkorn Kilpatrick and Pitrone Design were engaged to make sense of the floorplan, and strip back the interior to reveal warm and minimal detailing. 

23 square metres was added to the floorplan, allowing for an open-plan domain containing the kitchen, meals area, and lounge at the rear. Warm American oak joinery sits above concrete floors, with autumnal-hued terrazzo providing a playful kitchen accent. 

A banquette seat with large bi-fold windows subtly defines the dining area, while the living area comes into its own with a large American oak shelving unit and a painted brick fireplace with exposed flue.

This material palette was influenced by the worker’s cottage appeal of the existing Victorian facade with its humble and understated beauty.  

‘The addition is quite simple in form and structure, but we love the way the materials and detailing work together to zone the open-plan areas and makes them feel intimate and inviting,’ says Cate Kilpatrick of Pipkorn Kilpatrick. 

Large brick blades frame the opening to the backyard where Andy Murray Landscape Design has created a calming native garden for the family to enjoy. 

Replacing the original lounge in the middle of the home is the main bathroom alongside a generous laundry and storage zone. Otherwise, the remainder of the home remains structurally unchained, with the location of the original bedrooms now making sense.

An earthier variation of terrazzo and eucalyptus coloured tiles draws the native garden inside the bathroom interior, with a large overhead skylight providing abundant light.

Pipkorn Kilpatrick has revealed the quiet beauty that’s always existed within this period home, ensuring its functionality for decades to come. 

‘Any renovation that gave the living spaces access to the north and freshened up the palette would have helped, but we feel we’ve updated the house in a way that has improved its connectivity and flow while also maintaining character and warmth,’ says Cate.

‘Our lovely, trusting clients are thrilled with their house, and that means everything.’

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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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net