A Clever Reworking Of A 70sqm Cottage In Hawthorn, Melbourne

Although interior designer Rosanna Ceravolo was constrained by the existing envelope of this cottage in Hawthorn, Melbourne, she succeeded in designing a space that belies its diminutive size.

By installing an intriguing barrel-vault ceiling, hidden storage cupboards, internal obscure glazing and a palette of softly coloured but richly textured materials, she’s capitalised on both function and form. Take a tour below.

Bea Taylor

‘We didn’t want to crowd the space with too much unnecessary full-height storage,’ explains interior designer Rosanna Ceravolo. Photo – Sean Fennessy

Rosanna fell in love with the dual-tile design and the way it sat alongside the Carrara marble and sage green cabinetry. Photo – Sean Fennessy

The barrel-vault ceiling is an eye-catching feature. Photo – Sean Fennessy

Sage green laminate cabinetry provides a subtle pop of colour. Photo – Sean Fennessy

Art by Cameron Gill from Sophie Ganon Gallery. Photo – Sean Fennessy

Obscure glazing along the top of the shower room allows for natural light to filter through, and provides a ‘lamp-like’ glow for the kitchen. Photo – Sean Fennessy

These hues are continued through into the living space. Photo – Sean Fennessy

Traditional details remain. Photo – Sean Fennessy

Slim-profile shelves create storage without wasting space. Photo – Sean Fennessy

The shower room also features a soft pastel palette. Photo – Sean Fennessy

Bea Taylor
5th of December 2022

This Victorian era cottage in Hawthorn, Melbourne, seems to extend well beyond its petite 70 square-metres. Interior designer Rosanna Ceravolo worked within the home’s existing pitched-roof addition to create a space that is open and connected to the garden beyond. 

‘Since this was an interiors-only project, we were constrained by the existing building envelope,’ Rosanna explains. She opted to keep the two front rooms in their original condition, allowing the renovation to concentrate entirely on expanding the function and form of the back of the cottage. 

This part of the house had a lowered single-pitched roof with a dropped ceiling. So, in lieu of raising the roof and ceiling height, Rosanna instead designed a barrel vault ceiling along the bulkhead. This feature serves the dual purpose of carrying the eye out to the beautiful tall gum trees into the pocket park beyond (‘one of the cottage’s best features’), and creating a point of interest in an otherwise elementary space. 

A complete revival of the materials and colour palette within the space also contributes to a general feeling of openness, whilst managing to stay true to the traditional cottage interior. Rosanna chose hard wearing and enduring surfaces such as laminate, Carrara stone, terrazzo flooring and resin, with subtle colour coming through in the caramel square tiles and sage green cabinetry in the kitchen, and golden window glazing lining the shower room. 

‘There was no room at the front of the house for a shower room, so this had to be located adjacent to the kitchen,’ she explains. ‘We thought we may as well make the most of it and create some beautiful detailing and a room that could light up.’

Incredibly, this open kitchen, living and dining space also functions as a laundry, with a washing machine hidden in a ‘secret cupboard’ (adjacent to the rear glazed door, below the steel shelf). ‘We also created a deep and relatively generously-sized broom storage cupboard at the front end of the shower room,’ says Rosanna. 

The compact space now feels anything but, with a wide range of materials and a soft colour palette adding textural interest without dominating the room, and function and form both operating at maximum capacity.

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