Designed and constructed by Modscape, this two-storey addition to the rear of this mid-century home in Elsternwick is sympathetic to its origins, but unashamedly modern, fulfilling the needs for a growing family.
The owners loved their mid-century home, but in its poor state – cluttered layout, leaky windows, rotting frames and lack of storage – the house simply wasn’t working. The original street-facing facades were restored and surrounding mature trees preserved. A sensitive renovation and new modular extension made up of five small modules breathes new life into the home, reinvigorating the original qualities while being sympathetic to the era and style.
The new floor plan retains the essence of the original, with a modern open-plan kitchen/ living/ dining space that maximises on the northerly aspect. The addition of a new kids zone upstairs with three bedrooms, family bathroom and rumpus room allows for thoughtful modifications to be made to the existing home to create a generous master suite, complete with enviable walk-in robe and dressing room.
At the heart of the addition is a new kitchen designed as the centre of activity. One of the gripes about the original home was the lack of kitchen storage. The inclusion of a butler’s pantry – complete with a second sink, dishwasher, fridge and plenty of open shelving – helps to solve this issue. Slyly integrated into the wall of joinery, the pantry is tucked discreetly away from the main living area.
Highlight windows above the kitchen joinery not only increase natural light and aid ventilation but assists in the illusion that the floor above is floating. The same floor and ceiling finish continue from inside to out, drawing the eye, effortlessly connecting home and garden.
The restrained yet rich and textured material palette takes cues from mid-century modern design with Cotto Manetti terracotta tiles, INAX Yohen Border splashback, exposed-brick walls, timber ceilings and a spiral staircase. The result is a comfortable and appealing family home that respects, celebrates and expands upon its original qualities, while providing every amenity for modern family living and ensuring it will be around for many more decades to come.
The existing home had an exposed brick floor so the Modscape design team wanted to use something on the floor that could mimic this. They selected Cotto Manetti terracotta tiles in Arrotato da Crudo due to the colour and also the softer finish that they provide. The terracotta tiles are natural, earthy, warm and raw, and tie in nicely with the rest of the home’s material palette. Additionally, they have a real ‘70s/mid-century vibe that connects to the period of the existing home. The Modscape team explain that “Aside from the aesthetic, the perks to Artedomus’ terracotta are that they are soft underfoot compared to stone, durable, easy to clean and suit both inside and outside, so they are a great all-rounder.”
The terracotta tiles run through both the old and new parts of the home and tie the project together perfectly. They also chose to carry the terracotta flooring outside and into the bathrooms, creating a seamless finish.
Photos courtesy of Modscape.