Changing Times
Australian House & Garden Magazine|December 2020
Having spotted the potential of this Federation vicarage, one Melbourne couple decided to transform it into a home for all ages.
Stephen Crafti
Seven years ago, the owners of this inner-Melbourne property were seeking a new home that could grow with their family. With five children under the age of 14, space was top of the wish list. Set on a 1200-square-metre site, this house seemed ideal. The Federation home was built in 1907 as a vicarage for the nearby church and still offers hints of its heritage, including a crucifix embedded in the timber surrounding the front door. “There were still little maid’s bells in one of the smaller rooms and beautiful tessellated floor tiles in the foyer,” says the owner.

While the home’s heritage features and the amount of space appealed, some work was needed to bring it into the 21st century. The couple called on architect Clare Cousins, briefing her and her team to create a home that was robust and not at all precious, with areas for both adults and children to separately entertain their friends. It was important to retain a sense of the home’s history too.

Clare says they were fortunate that the original part of the house was in reasonably good condition, so the project mainly involved refreshing the existing structure and extending at the rear to give the family space to sprawl. As a bonus, the extension would improve the home’s indoor-outdoor connection too.

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