A Dilapidated Cottage Transformed Into A Modern Family Home

Olaver Architecture opted for a subtle, sophisticated approach when it came to transforming this dilapidated single-fronted cottage into a modern family home. ‘We took a ‘light touch’ approach to the architecture, and simply extruded the original form,’ explains director Emlyn Olaver. ‘On the inside we ensured that the modest space was amplified with natural light and rich materiality,’ he explains, while minimal changes were made to the street-facing exterior.

The clients had pre-purchased brass fittings and Baltic pine floorboards, so Emlyn and his team had a base palette to work around when selecting the rest of the materials. Rich burgundy stone, walnut joinery and dark marble slabs bring depth to the light-filled communal spaces, while lush forest green carpet provides reference to the natural world in the bedrooms. The bathroom is also heavenly, bathing in radiant natural light that accents the rich colours of the marble, tiles and walnut surfaces.

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Mia Mala McDonald and Steph Hughes On Being A Rainbow Family In A Heterosexual World

Photographer Mia Mala Macdonald and illustrator Steph Hughes are feeling thankful for their rambling Preston rental, which they moved into just weeks before social isolation came into effect. It’s near the creek and has a big backyard that’s already sparked a love affair with gardening with their three-year-old child Sidney. 

At their previous unit in Pascoe Vale, their next-door-neighbour used to wish them good morning every day without fail. She’d speak in Italian to Sidney, and offer fruit from her garden. She was elderly and had dementia and every morning, without fail, she’d look from Mia to Steph and ask: “Sisters?”

Australia had a plebiscite for marriage equality less than three years ago. It’s mind-blowing how recent that is, and how hurtful it must have been, and must still be. It was part of the reason Mia started Once in a Lullaby, her upcoming book of portraits of rainbow

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