The need for more space is a familiar problem for most families living in Melbourne’s inner-city suburbs. But rather than extending their existing house, Brunswick East residents Katrina and Chris found a solution in the family home’s dilapidated garage.
‘The clients had a large disused area at the back of the garden with an old garage,’ Brave New Eco‘s Megan Norgate says.
‘They needed another living area (that could also become a spare bedroom when required) and a second bathroom, to be able to socialise concurrently with their teenage children —without being on top of one another.’
Demolishing the existing garage made way for a thoughtful, custom-designed studio that ticked all the boxes. The new 27-square-metre space features an open floorplan, with a study nook, storage, a day bed, and a bathroom.
‘It’s an alternative to an expensive extension to the home, which would have necessitated the demolishing of a previous extension and the loss of previous upgrades, such as the new kitchen,’ Megan adds.
Timber battening sourced from sustainable suppliers CERES Fair Wood lines the studio’s interiors, layered with natural textures low-emission cork flooring and plywood — creating a warm and cosy atmosphere that avoids feeling like a ‘white box’.
‘We drew inspiration from mid-century aesthetics to create a palette of charcoal, orange and blue,’ Megan says, highlighting the bold orange door, tap and ceramic light in the otherwise utilitarian bathroom.
The addition has also improved the owner’s connection with the backyard, turning it into a central courtyard garden. Large windows open up to frame views of Katrina and Chris’ ‘more people-friendly, bee and bird-friendly and productive’ garden, re-designed by Miri Ransom of Daily Gardener, who anchored the compact build with leafy plantings.
‘Our changes have transformed the way our clients live in their home, giving them a multi-use space for living, working and entertaining,’ Megan says.