There was a lot going on in this grand Balwyn home when we first visited; Georgian, Spanish Mission and Art Deco influences competed for supremacy over two levels. The sizeable floor plan suffered from redundant space and poor configuration, so when the owners suggested expanding the kitchen and living zone footprint, we knew there was a better solution. To invigorate underutilised areas, we proposed a careful reordering of rooms. A poorly used formal dining room was better repurposed as a family den, and the joining of the kitchen and meals spaces is more practical. The kitchen, toilet and laundry have been consolidated in one area, too, maximising living space, and the pantry no longer doubles as a thoroughfare from kitchen to den! Adding walls to enclose an adjacent study will eliminate distractions when working from home, and the conversion of a sunroom into a library and bar is befitting of the existing arched windows.
With rooms rendered more intentional, we then sought to make them feel more inviting. In a curvilinear theme, we picked up on existing Art Deco-inspired motifs like the carefully laid curved tiling and tricolour terrazzo flooring in the upstairs bathroom. A new curved wall beyond the entry and contoured timber lining boards will add texture and suggestion, wrapping to reveal the kitchen and dining zone beyond: a feature repeated in the main bedroom. Steel arched windows will define the new dining space, matching the existing in the library, and echoed in the new French door arches through to the living. Once austere and haphazard, the experience of this house will shift to rich and enveloping.
Construction will begin on Arch Deco next month, with completion expected in October.