Unlocking lifestyle

Poor access, impeded flow and under-considered connections to the outdoor had held this home back from delivering a great lifestyle – now, all that has changed

Renovation by Studio Urbo

From the building designer:

The situation and existing home

When we met our homeowners, they had been living in the house for several years – they loved the location and natural surroundings. 

Their suburb Beecroft is a beautiful place with fantastic bush views and native trees.

However, the house was not comfortable and lacked convenient amenities.

The house was positioned on a slope, with the main entrance on the lower ground floor, making it unusable – the owners used it only when they parked their car in the garage. 

However, as the swimming pool steps and gates partially blocked access to the garage, the owner often parked on the street.

The house was spacious; it had two kitchens and three bathrooms but had no laundry – the owner installed a washing machine and a dryer in the garage.

The walk-in robe was large but inconvenient, with an inadequate amount of wardrobe space.

Owners' brief

  • To create a function and convenient house with good access to the garage – one access to connect all three levels and a visual connection with the swimming pool.
  • To improve the existing home's sustainability by enhancing the glazing and adding the insulation, replacing the current fireplace with a modern one, and adding ducted air conditioning.
  • Add cupboards space and to improve storage throughout, and enhance general house functionality.
  • Improve existing kitchen storage space.
  • Re-use the existing fabric as much as possible.
  • Work within the budget.

Our response 

1. Demolish internal stairs in the centre of the house and relocate the main stair to create a connection for all house levels. 

The stair demolition improved the living room on the lower ground and allowed relocation of the lower ground kitchen to the living space.

2. We placed a laundry with lots of storage and an additional shower and toilet in place of the existing kitchen room.

3. A laundry chute was built near the existing bathroom on the ground floor down to the laundry.

4. We relocated the main entrance to the higher level.

5. The existing swimming pool stairs and the gate from the driveway side were demolished and new gates introduced at the house side – this dramatically improved garage and swimming pool access.

6. We opened the family room northern wall facing the swimming pool and added full height glazing to greatly improve the backyard view.

7. Replacing all the windows and increasing windows heights across the house improved light penetration and visual connection with the gorgeous garden.

8. A lot of joinery was added across the existing house, including a new walk-in robe into the existing space with considerable cupboard capacity.

9. We replaced the existing timber flooring with the new floating floor which also improved the home's insulation.

10. Plus, we added additional storage space to the kitchen, as well as introducing a new island bench, integrated fridge and pantry.

Pleasing outcome

At the end of the construction, the owners were pleased with the outcome as they realised the full potential of the existing space and created a very comfortable home for the family.

Credit list

Renovating building designer
Paul Danelutti – Next Generation Projects
Interior designer
Studio Urbo
Window/door joinery
Vision 3 Windows & Doors
Bathroom tiles
Beaumont Tiles
Dulux, Lexicon half
JetMaster, Heat & Glo (x5)
Construction detailing
Steven Vanags
Kitchen designer
Studio Urbo designed island bench; existing kitchen re-used
Landscape design
Van Balen Horticultural
Main flooring/bedroom flooring
Preference Prestige European Oak Espresso T&G Engineered Timber Flooring, from Ultimate Flooring Australia
Wall coverings
General heating
Daikin ducted air conditioning
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended

Designed by: Renovation by Studio Urbo

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Paul Worsley,

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