A Playful Renovation + Extension Of A 1910s Edwardian Weatherboard Cottage

This once lacklustre Edwardian cottage has been given new life thanks to an owner-designed renovation and extension by Architect George Meek, of Studio Meek.

Eye-catching green and pink accents, playful terrazzo tiles and a timeless palette of timber and white blend seamlessly with re-imagined and restored original features. Take a look below!

Bea Taylor

The kitchen was relocated to the back of the house and runs seamlessly into the new extension. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

A base material palette of timber and textured whites allowed other design elements to pop. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

Square pink porcelain tiles delineate the breakfast bar and run along the floor to soften the transition between the old Baltic Pine floorboards and the new Tasmanian oak flooring. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

This space used to be the dining area in the old house. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

Forest green cabinetry references the lush garden. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

Painted bricks have been used for the internal fireplace, which helps zone the living and dining areas. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

Greens and pinks are also brought through in the living area. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

George selected playful terrazzo tiles for the bathroom and powder room. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

Green cabinetry features in the bathrooms, too! Photo – Nikole Ramsay

‘This immersion of soft grey tones and textures has helped to create visually quiet, calming spaces for rest and recharging,’ says George. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

In the bedrooms at the front of the Edwardian cottage, George opted for a colour palette that felt moody and sumptuous. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

The new extension showcases the contemporary ‘hipped roof’. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

‘The white painted bricks were an affordable and durable material selection used throughout the exterior of the extension and facilitated some playful mid-century modern inspired details such as a hit-and-miss brick screen to the rear elevation which faces the garden,’ explains George. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

Outdoor living has been optimised in the new extension – for all to enjoy. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

Forest green also features on the front door. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

The original 1910 facade remains the same. Photo – Nikole Ramsay

Bea Taylor
24th of March 2023

Architect George Meek, of Studio Meek, and his partner Matt Madden knew they’d uncovered a gem when they first laid eyes on this 1910 Edwardian weatherboard cottage in Newtown, Geelong. 

The home had already received a tidy renovation in the early 2000s, with re-stumping and painting, ‘However, the yellow-based cream walls and faux heritage blackwood kitchen were crying out for some tender love and care!’, says George. 

George knew early on that his design for the renovation and extension needed to address these issues, as well as improving the quality of light within the dark interior spaces,  and connect the indoor and outdoor living. 

The entire project took 17 months to complete. The sequence of the build, which started at the front of the house where the original kitchen was, meant the couple lived in the house for nearly 14 months without a proper kitchen. 

‘To get by we made a makeshift cooking station with the old laundry door… although we opted for takeaway dinners a lot during that time!’, says George. 

Their new kitchen is the antithesis of this makeshift set-up. Now located at the back of the original home, its design facilitates a seamless transition into the new extension, which houses the open plan living and dining, and flows through to the garden beyond.

This new connection to the garden inspired pops of forest green in the kitchen cabinetry, complimented by dusty pink square porcelain tiles for a dedicated meals area within the island bench. These same tiles are mirrored on the floor beneath the bench, softening the transition between the old baltic pine floorboards of the original house and the new Tasmanian oak flooring of the extension. 

‘We loved the way the green helped to reference the lush green garden beyond… and these pink tones now link visually to the king proteas and kangaroo paws in the garden too,’ explains George. 

It’s not the only reference to the home’s surrounding landscape. George also opted for a contemporary version of a ‘hipped roof’ with an off-center ridge to the west of the house, inspired by the shelters along the Barwon River, not a stone’s throw from the home. 

‘We often spend time down by the river, enjoying these community spaces with friends and I liked the idea of re-interpreting our own little “shelter” to connect us to the landscape in the rear yard,’ he says. 

This old Edwardian has been given a new lease on life thanks to George’s considered design; reviving the old, seamlessly integrating the new and celebrating the surrounding site. His goal to bring light into the dark home and connect it to the garden, complete.

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