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Morgan Cres, Curtain


This well-loved home in the suburb of Curtin is a classic candidate for an upsize and update to suit a growing family, a beautiful location, and the demands of modern living. A keen eye was put on the suitability of existing spaces and finishes versus those that required renovation or extension, and the combination of them was key to this project's success. Unification of these is a tricky thing to achieve but it is undoubtedly one of the most notable parts of this wonderful family-forward build.

The most significant addition to the home was an increased footprint - a significant extension to both the living space and the addition of a master bedroom and ensuite. While this sort of addition is relatively common, this involved rebuilding the entire roof structure with trussed components that tied into the existing hardwood beams and roof members, as the rear of the house was effectively being kept as-is - a challenging proposition for any build. While this was a difficult feat, the combination of existing and new was central to keeping costs at an appropriate level and using what still worked from the previous home for the new construction and came together spectacularly.

The expansion of the home, alongside reconfiguring the existing rooms to be more efficient, allow the family to develop alongside these spaces, giving each a room for themselves while not compromising on the shared spaces. These additions come alongside a raft of other additions to the general livability of the home such as double-glazed PVC windows, a renovated laundry, a study space and a modernised bathroom.

The study space was seemingly reclaimed from nothing, a new internal area sprung up in the middle of the home, while the bathroom is in place of the old but otherwise unrecognisable. Piccadilly tiles in soft greys contrasted against brushed gold tapware with black and timber accents are a modern classic and provide a timeless, clean finish that looks both comfortable and contemporary. A double-bowl vanity provides plenty of practical space for all members of the family to use, while keeping a roomy shower area. The ensuite is similarly furnished, keeping the elegant simplicity of the former but adding a recessed shaving cabinet for additional storage options.

A key feature of the redesign for this modern family home was a focus on open space and light, which can be most easily recognised and appreciated by a single foray into the vaulted ceiling space of the living room. This huge area is in many ways the cornerstone of the home, gathering up all the light and views for its occupants. Its enormity is emphasised by the presence of full height windows with highlights and simple clean design, unobtrusive and elegant. Sliding doors between it and the kitchen and dining space can be used to separate or combine these spaces very easily, the kind of flexibility appropriate for a contemporary home. The addition of Lemon Spotted Gum vinyl plank flooring ties the whole house together as it runs from room to room, complimenting the brushed gold hardware and features present throughout the home.

Finally, the exterior received no small amount of love itself. The carport build is itself a new quality of life addition that makes living in the sometimes turbulent weather of Canberra more bearable and with the new brickwork and roof tiles provides a powerful and brilliant view of the home from the road. Meanwhile, out the back, a new small deck area is met against re-cladded tongue and groove sheeting that mirrors that clean simplicity present throughout much of the design of the home.

The combination of these revised, renovated and extended elements produces a home that is more than its parts - a place built to accommodate a modern growing family. While many new builds compromise to achieve it, this build manages to accomplish all the goals while maintaining the essential essence and elements of the existing house that was so well-loved.





The Bellatos