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William Denny

Small and imperfectly formed, this Sandringham dwelling, clad in weatherboard, was typical of its era. The floor-plan was essentially a square with a central hallway that divided the living quarters from the bedroom zone. The homeowners, a couple with their first baby on the way, had a simple request. They wanted to make the spaces more functional.

Working within the compact footprint, and to a tight budget, a no-nonsense strategy was called for. The essence was commonplace: removing walls to allow an open-plan room incorporating kitchen, dining and living that are more in line with today’s expectations. Bi-fold joinery was installed to make the outdoors more accessible and bring in the light, and a new kitchen became the fulcrum around which the rest of the plan revolved.

While the concept is simple, the delight is in the detail - small moments that make a big difference. In the kitchen, a two-tone palette of oak veneer and contemporary white lends a sense of spaciousness. Storage incorporated on both sides of the island bench does double duty and sleek, handle-less cabinetry that reaches right to the ceiling has both presence and purpose.  

Reusing the existing floorboards meant a cost saving and kept the integrity of the home’s character while a sliding door with opaque glass doesn’t encroach on the space but allows privacy and quiet in a home office that comes complete with a built-in desk and shelving.

Off the master bedroom, a modest extension allowed room for a master en suite, accessed via the walk-in wardrobe. White tiles reflect the less-is-best scheme throughout the house, but the deep timber window sill simultaneously acts as a shelf and the seamlessly integrated frame of a bathroom cabinet.