Although set on a 1880m2 erf with a bubbling stream that runs through the gardens, this existing 720m2 home was a very disjointed property that was being used as a guest house. Nothing ‘married’ and it was evident that the house had received a few make overs, none of which made any real connection to the existing house.
The biggest issue for the client was that the house was really dark...a rabbit warren of passages and rooms. Entirely mismatched doors and windows. Strange roofing angles and extremely dated finishes.
My brief was to transform this property into a functional family home with a contemporary Provence and elegant style. Incorporating all that represents stylish and relaxed living.
We chose to focus on an eclectic combination of merging the old with the new. With a striking use of exposed internal beams, high ceilings and dramatic finishes, we wanted to maintain the original integrity of the structure, but enhance all the areas that fell short on design and ambiance in its previous incarnation!
The two parts of the building (double and single storey) didn’t relate to each other and were not linked. We achieved this by designing a unified roof structure and coherent windows, doors and architectural detail which resulted in a more unified building and space.
In addition, parts of the house were very dark (e.g. kitchen, dining room, family room) so through opening up key areas and by bringing in large sunrise windows a lot more light fills the home whilst maintaining the sense of history of the house (e.g. the original shutters and sash windows).
The Entrance Hall
The kitchen – the heart of any home…
Entrances and Exits
This, together with the new sash windows, created a sympathetic link between the new upstairs section and existing home. It is also essentially the only side of the house that is visible from the street.
Open plan formal living area, playroom, family room and downstairs bedrooms
The Mezzanine: The design challenge was to be able to minimize the amount of roof trusses from support point of view so that we could achieve enough comfortable head height in the m ezzanine. I also wanted it to look less busy so Together with my builder architect and engineer we looked at ways of successfully achieving this.
I loved the feature of the stainless steel flu which I wanted to be visible from the lounge, so I worked it so that a section was open from the lounge and then continued through the floor of the mezzanine and through the roof. This was not only a powerful aesthetic but extremely functional from a heating perspective.
The challenge here was to not let anything feel too voluminous, which the division of the two spaces with the fireplace successfully, achieves. I designed the staircase using a combination of the old oak parquet blocks with mild steel to play off the textures of the raw brick and stainless steel of the flu.
The lower level downstairs playroom and informal TV Lounge were reworked to maintain a degree of privacy between the two spaces, yet remain connected. These both lead out onto the pool area. A considerable amount of work went into the design of this area as once again it was a series of ‘outside service rooms’ on different levels that had to be streamlined into one seamless section of the house. This also allowed for the sixth bedroom en suite, where there were previously three.
We addressed this by ‘pushing back’ the lawned area to align with the outside terrace in front of the formal lounge and created a generous terrace with four broad sweeping treads to the upper lawn. This essentially opened up the entire pool area to now include the new terrace in front of the tv lounge making an elegant statement.
In addition to this we lost all the old 70’s curves to create a more unified finish.
The downstairs guest bedrooms were recreated entirely, to include en suite bathrooms and dressing areas. New French doors lead onto the private garden facing the mountain with captivating views.
The original balcony deck was very low, so to achieve optimal height and much needed light, we removed and cast two entirely new decks that now connect and cover all these areas to maximize the effect.
Bedrooms & Bathrooms
Apart from the strategic lighting, we selected Damask wall covering together with Volekas marble and luxurious Victorian Bathroom finishes completing the look!
Both flus for the new fireplaces extended through the slab to allow for maximum efficiency and heat distribution for both rooms.
The re-roofing and wow factor!
This was designed to be elevated to accommodate the huge sunrise window and once again to connect to the overall feel of the house. This allowed for the dramatic double volume above the sweeping oak staircase, which held the same curved shape but was reworked to be an extension of the new oak floor. Furthermore this new structure successfully met the energy requirements which previously were not met. Here an unattractive, low sloping roof was removed to allow for this new heightened feature to emerge. This section previously was a hot house in summer.
The upstairs section received all new sash windows and double doors. The window and door schedule was utterly streamlined to connect with the original sash and double doors of the house. We opted to work with sections of the house having exposed trusses. In the case of the main formal lounge, these were existing trusses that we refined and painted, significantly heightening the area and creating the Wow factor. This was also strategic because of the mezzanine/lounge sunrise window. This entire ceiling and window detail went a long way to address the issue of light, which one does not normally associate with in houses in Fernwood.