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May 11, 2022

This classic double-fronted Victorian home in the culturally-rich suburb of Footscray, in Melbourne's west, was in dire need of a well-designed renovation. In the 80s or 90s, additions were made, but they did not bring any value to the owners. So when Andrew Stapleton of DOOD Studio was approached, the ad-hoc additions were removed, the heritage front was restored, and a modern extension was added.

The clients, a couple and their two dogs, enjoy entertaining and having people over for dinner and drinks, so it was important for Andrew to facilitate their lifestyle in the design. The existing Victorian house was reconfigured, keeping the front two rooms as bedrooms and transforming one of the existing bedrooms into an ensuite and walk-in-robe. What was originally the fourth bedroom became a much-needed home office. The modern extension is separated from the heritage by a simple step down. The detailing is more linear and clean in the new part of the house.

A modernist approach to the extension uses simple forms and clean lines to frame views through to the outside. The recycled bricks have been painted with a bagged finish, giving a soft and subtle texture finish. The kitchen uses dark wood grain, rich veiny stone, and aged brass edging around the island benchtop.

The dark kitchen works because of plenty of natural light and texture that absorbs that light and creates visual interest. Without that natural light or texture, a dark interior would be dark. So often, with minimalist homes, it's all about light and bright interiors. Still, a dark interior can ground a space and create an intimacy that isn't felt otherwise. And through the dark material choices and a well proportion scale to the extension, there is an intimacy that suits the dinner parties.

Website article with photographs and the floor plan:

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Filmed and Edited by Simple Dwelling / Anthony Richardson

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