Contemporary home renovation, pool refurb and granny flat addition to an existing home presents challenges

Continued palette: The granny flat seen from the rear deck of the main residence. Photos: Luc Remond
Continued palette: The granny flat seen from the rear deck of the main residence. Photos: Luc Remond

Poorly considered previous renovations, horribly constructed, dark and compartmentalised - not uncommon feedback from those we meet looking to renovate ... and this one had it all, said architect Adam Hobbs.

The key challenges faced by Hobbs Jamieson Architecture of Seaforth on Sydney's northern beaches, were having to work with the existing framework yet provide a free-flow throughout the home successfully without rooms fighting for space.

The briefing points from the Balgowlah Heights clients were to "open up the space, make it more contemporary and employ a classic natural colour palette".

It was essentially a brief in two parts - an existing dwelling renovation and the construction of a new secondary dwelling/granny flat.

The entire lower level of the main dwelling was changed to incorporate a powder room, study, living, dining, kitchen and sitting areas, along with a covered deck.

The architects suggested the use of timber for the floorboards in the kitchen and dining to add texture.

Blackbutt was the chosen timber for the flooring and was also used on the battens.

Ceasarstone benchtops with polyurethane and timber veneer (blackbutt select grade) cabinetry and black conical drop lights in the kitchen are the perfect backdrop to the statement curves throughout.

The butler's pantry has no door and is well lit. This give a feeling of openness, and makes it harder for clean-up chores to be avoided.

The large island with a central sink faces a built-in wall-desk, with drawers and floating shelves.

This placement was so the family's young children can do homework while the parents are close by preparing dinner.

A neutral palette of greys and black is used throughout the home, including the porcelain-tiled fireplace and bathroom floor.

The decor and furnishing continue the palette, which also matches with the exterior of the granny flat.

The home is much brighter now, allowing breezes through the living areas and providing much more opportunity for the management of the elements.

The landscaping surrounding the pool and granny flat is a vast improvement over the previous outlook.

A new deck provides for outdoor entertaining and family gatherings.

Within this space, the incorporation of the granny flat, given the limited space and aspect, presented some issues for the architects.

There was an existing carport-cum-storage and combined laundry that had to be demolished to make room for the dwelling and a better positioned carport screened off from the residences.

The existing pool had to be refurbished and the granny flat needed to be positioned to make the external spaces private for occupants of both dwellings, and still ensure it had a decent aspect.

The granny flat's interior finishes were a very straightforward choice, with the architects using the same timber floorboards as the main dwelling.

It features a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen/laundry, dining and living.

The architects chose rendered brickwork, James Hardie axon fiber cement cladding and a Colourbound roof with painted timber batten screens for the granny flat's external look.

The double carport is attached behind the timber batten screens.

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