An Interior Designer Asks Why Change an Interior?

Family room renovation by Amanda Richmond

Family room renovated by Amanda Richmond – Deepdene

If you are thinking about changing the interior of your home or a room like the kitchen or living room it is worth considering a few things first before you make the final decision to change it and set about ordering the new paint, drapes or lighting or even contacting an Interior Designer to professionally redesign the space. Amanda Richmond, a highly experienced Interior Designer from Balance Architecture + Interior Design, offers these tips before you start.

Firstly, list the positive and negative features of the space.  What works well, what doesn’t, what do you love about it and what do you want to get rid of? Add to the list the things in the space that need to change.  You need to give consideration to the purpose of the space, what is it used for, how best can it work for you and your family?  Can you anticipate changes to your lifestyle in the near or distant future that will affect the space to be redesigned?

You need to get down to the nitty gritty of the space and consider how well it works on a number of levels. Does anyone using the space have special needs? Is the atmosphere comfortable even when the outside temperature soars high or drops low? What about the artificial lighting in the space – does the type of lighting, where it’s positioned and the style of light fixtures and fittings suit your needs and taste?  An important issue, especially in older homes, are the power outlets.  Do you have enough? Are they in the right position? Storage is the other big need often not met, is there enough for your family in this space or do you need more?
Now you are ready to make the right decisions when renovating and redesigning your home so it becomes the type of space that caters to your family’s needs, reflects your personality and is a joy to inhabit.

Renovating A Californian Bungalow

Californian Bungalow

Californian Bungalow – Travancore, Ascot Vale House

The Californian bungalow was a popular house style in the United States from 1910 to 1939 and became popular in Australia from 1913 onwards, coinciding with the rise of the Hollywood film industry, which popularised American clothes, furniture, cars and houses. The original bungalows in the United States were built to meet the needs of the middle classes who were moving from apartments to private houses in great numbers. They were low cost, low profile and modest homes. The growing suburbs of cities like Sydney and Melbourne, with a similar climate to California, required a low cost solution for housing shortages, the Californian bungalow was a perfect fit.

Today a proliferation of Californian bungalows are to be found in many of the older suburbs of Melbourne, such as Moonee Ponds and Bentleigh. They are highly valued and a sympathetic renovation brings them up to date, improving their liveability and desirability as a family home. Balance Architecture + Interior Design recently renovated Californian bungalows in Travancore and Ascot Vale.
When walls were removed in the Travancore home, it opened up the entire rear living space, creating the effect of doubling the size. A new kitchen was installed with granite bench tops and European electrical and plumbing fixtures. The original pantry area was upgraded with granite benches as well as new shelving and preparation areas. The bathroom was renovated into a larger, multifunctional room with separate bath and shower facilities and, along with the Laundry & Powder Room, electrical mesh heating was laid under the tiles. Floor boards were replaced and windows repaired, including double glazing of a lead-light window.

The kitchen renovation in Ascot Vale was designed to be sympatico with the French provincial style, allow more light to the space and enough room for multiple users. The kitchen was moved to the dining area, giving it visual access to the lounge room and pool.  A new leadlight window was installed to increase light levels, while providing subtle colour, and sky domes pour daylight into a naturally dark, internal space. Blue Pearl polished granite benchtops reflect the light.

Architecture by Andrew Fedorowicz and interior design by Amanda Richmond.

Every Home Has A Story, Reveal It With An Expert Renovation

Renovation at Deepdene

Renovation at Deepdene

Every home has a story, as evidenced in the television program “Who’s Been Sleeping In My House”. In this series, aired on ABC, Archaeologist Adam Ford seeks to uncover the hidden stories of people’s houses across Australia, uncovering fascinating stories about the past residents and the past uses of the buildings. Sensitivity to the past history of a home, including the original architectural features and design sensibilities, is important to uncover the beauty, personality and charm of the house in which you live.

So when it comes time to renovate or remodel your heritage home, do it with great care and respect for the history and original design concepts of the building. Employing an Architect that is experienced at heritage renovations, knowledgeable and sensitive to the heritage overlays, council requirements and structural condition of your home will save you much time and angst and produce an end result that will resonate with the true history of your home. It’s just as important to call on the skills and experience of an Interior Designer that understands the historical elements and features of the building and designs interiors that are contemporary yet sympathetic to the past style and grace of your period home.

The team at Balance Architecture + Interior Design offer this level of experience, expertise and integrity for renovations, restorations or remodelling of period homes. Architect Andrew Fedorowicz is registered as an Associate Architect with The Royal Australian Institute of Architects (A.R.A.I.A.) and has been in private practice for 34 years specialising in heritage work. Interior Designer Amanda Richmond has a B.A. in Interior Design and worked as an administrator in her own private building company specialising in heritage renovations. She is Past President and Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia. Put your home in the hands of the experts.