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.

Though the existing Victorian weatherboard served as the inspiration for the final design, the brief was to create a functional, easy-to-live-in family home that made the most of a small footprint. One key part of the design response was to maximise light, through the extensive use of glazing. With enormous sliding doors that sweep the rear of the house, and a pane of scalloped glass inserted in the front door to carry light down the hallway, sun streams into the cottage at all hours of the day.

As a professional challenge to Emlyn and his team, the entire home was designed without the use of 3D modelling or computer rendering. Instead, all the drawings were done in the old fashioned way, with card models and drawings! An anecdotal detail that makes this clever little renovation project all the more impressive!


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