BY NAT WIDERA
Located in one of Melbourne’s oldest suburb, Fitzroy Residence is a Mid Victorian terrace house that has already experienced two major renovations during its time: the first extension at the back comprising of the kitchen and dining, bathroom, and a first floor bedroom. The second round almost haphazardly added a second bedroom upstairs without resolving a proper flowing floor plan. When we were engaged by the clients, our first imperative was to focus on improving the floor plan to increase the functionality of spaces. The existing secondary door between the living room and kitchen was removed, the new space was divided between the living room with a new in built shelving unit next to the existing fireplace and to the kitchen, with additional and much needed storage space. To increase light into the kitchen, the splash back window was extended and an additional vertical sliding window added to encourage the indoor-outdoor relationship. The kitchen is light and bright, seamlessly flowing into the dining area, providing ample storage and hiding a functional laundry behind a hidden door. The high ceiling adds a sense of grandeur to the space, accentuated further by the two new pendants above the kitchen island and dining table. There is a nod to mid century modern design with the materiality but also with the clients furniture and art works. The main bedroom is minimal, focussing on the ritual of rest and sleep without distractions. Full height wardrobes wrap around the existing fireplace flue and eventually become the entrance into the ensuite bathroom. The bathrooms feature a rich terrazzo floor, soft grey wall tiles and fresh white stone and timber for the vanity units. They are both luxurious and functional. The project outcome is both respectful to the heritage of the house and the needs of the inhabitants.