Dark Victorian cottage transformed into light-filled home

The owner/architect of this once damp, dilapidated cottage transformed it into a flowing and uplifting home
Story by: David Renwick
This cozy deck area makes the most of architecture, daylighting, facade, home, house, lighting, property, real estate, residential area, roof, sky, window, brown, black
This cozy deck area makes the most of the available space

Architect: Apparte Studio About the project (text supplied): A cramped, dark and damp Victorian cottage is transformed into a light-filled, flowing and uplifting home, while referencing original features of the house. The project is unique in that the architect was also its builder and joiner, so this provided the opportunity to test out ambitious ideas and their consequence during construction. One of the special aspects about this project is the play of contrasts between the modest facade and what lies inside. Like a veil of camouflage, the front gives nothing away of its contents and remains perfectly anonymous.

Brief

This was an investment project for the studio so we set a hypothetical brief as follows. How might a professional couple live comfortably inside a formerly tight and dingy Victorian of 60m2? To add to the challenge, an extension was out of the question due to budget constraints, so all changes had to be made inside the existing envelope.

Plan

advertisement

Recessed lights draw the eye upward architecture, cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, daylighting, floor, interior design, kitchen, room, gray, white
Recessed lights draw the eye upward

We felt a couple would only need one dedicated bedroom so the front room could be incorporated into the hallway and become a flexible and open living space. On the occasion that guests stay over, a curtain can be pulled across to 'wall' off a spare room.

The kitchen was reconfigured to include a generous island for ease of circulation and encourage shared cooking. The dining area extends out from the island bench and provides a seamless transition to the courtyard.

Section

While we couldn't increase the square meterage of the house, we could add to the volume and feeling of space. We did this by lifting the ceiling to the line of the original rafters which created the opportunity to light the house indirectly by placing LED strips atop the newly exposed ceiling joists. In addition, a little quirk can be seen on the brick wall in the kitchen, where we punched a hole through at the top to add a further connection between front and back, while also providing an access point to the attic floor.

There's room for shoes, coats, books and more architecture, floor, furniture, interior design, product design, room, shelf, shelving, wall, gray
There's room for shoes, coats, books and more

This connection can be felt when the light from LED's running around the bedroom perimeter are switched on. Light There are no downlights in this project and the entire house is lit indirectly with energy efficient LED strip lights shining up at the ceiling and reflecting back a comfortable warm glow.

Where task lights were needed in the kitchen and bathroom, we made custom linear pendants which complement the linear theme of the house. In the bedroom we flipped this pendant upside down to create an uplight which provides a softly lit ceiling ' perfect for making the transition into night. In the bathroom there are a number of lighting options.

During the day natural light shines down the rear wall where a skylight was cut-out over the shower. After dark, aside from the custom pendant, the shower screen can be lit, which has been fitted with an LED strip along its top edge and provides just enough light to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

White translucent multi cell polycarbonate has been fitted to the entire roof section covering the dining area, providing enough natural light to illuminate the back half of the house well after the neighbours have turned on their lights.

Dec 08, 2017

advertisement

advertisement

advertisement

advertisement

Similar stories

Kitchen designed to integrate seamlessly into apartment interior

Lightly stained white oak kitchen cabinetry extends into adjacent living areas in this New York City loft. Read more

Renovation creates large open-plan living space and opens interior to the backyard

This home renovation emphasises natural materials and sustainability with the wrap-around living area feature in recycled wood left over from the up... Read more

Picture perfect

This may be a landmark in inner-city living, with postcard views of San Francisco and an interior featuring an extensive art collection Read more

Latest books

Fowler Homes

These high-quality homes proudly designed and built by Fowler Homes are just the starting point for your own inspiration. They reflect the latest and best  ideas, materials and technologies to benefit your own home Read more

Home Trends 3401

If you're designing a bathroom for a new home or renovating your existing one, you'll quickly discover how involved the process can be.It's not only the challenge of how to fit the different functional zones into the often limi... Read more

Home Trends 3402

Placing the kitchen at the heart of a home is not just about creating a convenient zone for easy food preparation and eating meals.Just as important is the way it's seen as an attractive place where family can spend time togeth... Read more

Related profiles

Louvretec New Zealand Ltd

Explore Louvretec's signficant range of Opening Louvre Roofs, airfoil shaped Sun Louvre Systems, Window Shutters, Window Blinds, weather board shaped Louvreline Panels and Gates, Fences and Screens and Outdoor Blinds ... Read more

RH Cabinetmakers

With years of experience, we specialise in custom cabinet design of quality kitchens, bathroom vanities, laundries, furniture, shelving, counters & bars. Read more

Heirloom International Ltd

Heirloom International is a long established and leading manufacturer and distributor of bathroom products. Read more