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Alexandria St, Hawker


Some renovations are more about emphasizing the qualities of the family than about completely rebuilding what already worked, and this project in the east of Canberra was all about creating more beautiful, functional, and spacious areas for the family and their friends. A contemporary, open-plan approach was key to making this project work, with detail-oriented design and a focus on the unification of internal and external spaces.

With the focus squarely on modernization for this project, it was important that the house not only looks and feels great, but it is suitable for modern living. With this in mind, the replacement of existing windows and doors with new aluminium double-glazed counterparts was performed across the entire building, enhancing the homes’ ability to cope with the sometimes turbulent Canberran weather. The entry door itself is an impressive piece, a custom work from Monaro Timbers and Joinery that features v-groove Victorian Ash, with subtle oil treatment that brings its detailed grain to the surface. A new ducted air-conditioning system was installed alongside the windows and doors, and will provide a cozy, comfortable home throughout the year.

The internal work was primarily concerned with the kitchen and living spaces, turning these from small, discreet rooms into a contiguous open area filled with contrasting colours, natural light, and an abundance of space. The kitchen is both functional and beautiful, with simple Ultra White stone benchtops, clever use of cabinetry to provide ample storage space, and a breakfast bar under the island benchtop. The attention to detail and mirroring of other finishing components is a real treat in this space, such as v-groove paneling behind the shelving and wrapping the island bench itself, leather-bound door handles, timber shelves to match the flooring, and choice of material and colour in appliances. A remarkable feature that encapsulates the entertaining focus of many of the elements of the kitchen and family spaces is the servery, a large concertina window that opens out onto the new deck and pergola, allowing the kitchen to easily service the outdoor area. Rustic Blackbutt engineered flooring ties the new rooms together and continues throughout the rest of the house through to the bedrooms and wet areas.

With such an emphasis on the open-plan kitchen and living space this naturally lends itself to a brilliant area to entertain family and friends, further highlighted by the largest addition in both scale and sheer brilliance to the project – the outdoor entertaining space. A soaring pergola with exposed black steel portals is offset against the white of the ceiling and Spotted Gum timber of both the wrapping fascia beams and the decking below, creating a feast of contrasting colours that mirrors the overall design for the project. The effect of this huge structure is extraordinary, seeming to hang almost impossibly in space between the beams which wrap neatly downwards into the Spotted Gum of the deck. The deck itself is spacious and features wonderfully detailed Australian Spotted Gum, with an inset staircase and easy access to all the internal spaces through sliding doors into the lounge room and the addition of a servery window, including its own section of benchtop to match that of the kitchen, creating a seamless blend between the internal and external entertaining areas. There is no doubt that this new space will be the centerpiece of a great many happy gatherings for the family.

The final piece of the project was the laundry, which was restructured around generous storage space and functionality. Replacing the existing door with a cavity slider was a simple way to improve accessibility and reclaim the necessary space to fit everything required inside, and the timber of the benchtop, shelving and joinery neatly ties into the theming present throughout the other parts of the project. This project encapsulated the idea that a modern home can be a wonderful space for the family, while also serving as an outstanding entertaining space for guests. The dedication to small details and the mirroring of finishes across its pieces creates a remarkable sense of unification, and the newly present feeling of functionality and space fills it with a renewed life that makes it feel truly like a home suited to those who live in it.





Lisa and Julian