Heritage Properties Regenerate, Revitalise With Balance Heritage Architecture

Over the last year there has been a significant increase in the sale of rural and regional city properties. This has seemingly been in response to the COVID situation whereby many people have felt the need to re-assess their living situation and move to a more relaxed, more comfortable home in places such as Geelong, Ballarat, the region of Gippsland and the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas. 

Often the properties purchased enjoy a heritage overlay or a singular heritage listing. Beautiful Victorian terraces, villas and older Georgian style homes offer a whole raft of new and quite difficult impediments to developing a modern living space yet still maintain the period charm and heritage features of some of these wonderful old homes. 

There are eclectic purchases that include old churches, former hotels, corner stores and even schools. Locales stretch from central Victoria – Castlemaine, Daylesford, Kyneton, Bendigo, Ballarat and Maryborough through to the Murray Valley, the high country around Bright, Mansfield and Beechworth.

Homes constructed during the late nineteenth century through to the early 1930s often present with unique issues. Electricals, plumbing, lighting and foundations nearly always need assessment and often replacement and renewal. 

It is not unusual for such heritage listed properties to have suffered unkind modifications over the years – the removal of or bricking up of fire places and chimneys, tiling, ornate plaster mouldings, fragile stained glass and wrought iron features on verandahs such as lacework, pillars and ornamental features. 

To renovate these types of properties can be immensely rewarding and satisfying but it is entirely prudent to arrange for a heritage report from a qualified and experienced  Heritage Architect. Andrew Fedorowicz is such an Architect and as the Principal Architect for Balance Architecture Andrew has managed hundreds of such projects from initial assessment through design and planning to completion and lock up stage, supervising the contracted builders to assure complete compliance to both the restoration and design intended as well as ensuring compliance to the heritage listing or heritage overlay requirements. 

It’s everyone’s desire to create a comfortable and liveable space, a home that is fitted with modern standards and a vision of space and light. It is possible to achieve true heritage compliance and beauty that is a highly desirable, comfortable residence.

Call Balance Architecture now on 0418 341 443 to arrange an obligation free consultation at a time that is convenient to your schedule. Alternatively leave your details here for a prompt reply. 

Vision, Experience and a True Respect for Heritage and its Value – Balance Architecture. 

Heritage – the pathway from our past ensuring a rich rewarding and fulfilling future. 

Balance Architecture – For expert advice, planning and delivery on all Residential Heritage Architecture

With current Real Estate clearances at an all-time high in Melbourne and Rural Victoria, many buyers are purchasing property that carries a Heritage listing or is a part of a Heritage Overlay. This can be a complicating factor and definitely requires expert advice and direction. Balance Architecture offer qualified and experienced support to buyers purchasing Residential Heritage listed properties throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.

As a Residential Heritage Architectural firm, Balance Architecture offers a steady hand and sensible programming of any and all renovations and refurbishments of Heritage homes. Georgian, Victorian, Federation or Mid Century Modern – Balance and its principal Architect, Andrew Fedorowicz, offer practical sound planning as well as bringing real excitement and flair to the recovery of the true Heritage identity of your valuable new property.

Today, it really is the merging of modern living, the space and comfort that is required with many properties often constructed well over a century ago, still retaining much of the older infrastructure and internals.

Balance Architecture will ensure the essential and required heritage features are retained, refurbished or replaced, faithfully adhering to the fittings, materials and building methodologies prescribed by Heritage authorities. At the same time, issues such as electricals, plumbing and painted surfaces will be addressed. What was acceptable 50 to100 years ago is not necessarily so today! Lead paint, antiquated electricals and lighting, creaky old iron pipes and ineffective drainage and sewerage must be replaced with modern functional infrastructure.

Ultimately, it is a combination of livability and maintaining the classic beauty of a gorgeous older building to the levels of appearance and quality as required by Heritage Victoria. It is no simple task and for that reason it’s imperative to seek and avail yourself of expert advice and experience.

Andrew Fedorowicz, Principal Architect for Balance Architecture, is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects. Andrew is a highly experienced Architect with over 30 years in Architectural Design and construction, its administration and ancillary drafting. Clearly Andrew represents the upper echelon of his profession, having won numerous awards and having personally managed and supervised over 320 high level projects.

It may be that you have purchased a Heritage property in regional Victoria – Ballarat, Bendigo, Daylesford, Kyneton, Mt Macedon – or the Dandenong Ranges or Gippsland. Alternatively, you’ve been fortunate enough to purchase in Greater Melbourne– Kew, Hawthorn, South Yarra, Clifton Hill, Ivanhoe, Eaglemont or Heidelberg to name just a few areas where both Heritage listed homes and suburban Heritage overlays exist.

Make the decision now – engage a Heritage Architect, call Balance Architecture now on 0418 341 443 and arrange a free no-obligation consultation. Meet directly with Andrew and start the process of re-developing your home to its real potential and true heritage. Alternatively, simply leave your details here for a prompt reply and scheduled meeting.

Balance Architecture and Interior Design

Luxury, Comfort and Style. Heritage Values, Heritage Design.

Construction Projects

Andrew Fedorowicz and Amanda Richmond are partners in Balance Architecture and Interior Design. Together they are currently restoring historic Palm House in Maldon, Victoria to its former glory.

Current Major Project – Cragieburn Sports Club

For Andrew however his major project currently is, as we mentioned last week, the Cragieburn Sports Club. Stage 3 of the building expansion program is now under way with Andrew as Supervising Architect maintaining an overview of all new building and construction at the venue.

The current phase of construction continues Andrew’s long involvement with the club. This commenced in the 1990s when he commenced working for the venue and its club management. A larger building was developed to incorporate the rapid expansion of the popular club and to facilitate the growing membership’s very real requirements.

Further to this significant additions to the complex were planned and implemented between the mid 1990s and 2000. These included the very extensive Tabaret facility and its building as well as what was then a TAB and also a Golf Pro Shop. This was affectionately known as the ‘West Wing’ extension in that the extension ran off the main building to the west.


East Wing Construction and Facility Upgrades

This third round of construction, about to get underway is on what will effectively become the ‘East Wing’. It will as suggested be at the Eastern end of the main building and will incorporate a flowing sandstone wall to blend the different edifices together providing a pleasing vista to soften the 1960s original building.

As described previously, this new ‘East Wing’ will provide two new function rooms, two substantial new bars, a major commercial kitchen to service the new facilities and a large interior children’s playroom with contemporary indoor play equipment and a clear, open glass wall to the bistro and parents seating.

The existing kitchen is being totally remodelled and restructured with new larger cool rooms, freezer rooms, new work benches, new stove tops and ovens and on a far bigger scale. It will be in fact ‘State of the Art’ and provide immeasurably better facilities.

The Engine room for all this will be a new large basement area. The basement will house a new refrigerated storage area for beer kegs, kept cool at a constant 4ºC. This area, the bistro, function rooms and existing facilities will be serviced by new switch rooms and electronic controls that monitor and control all refrigeration, cooling, heating and power usage, also located in the new basement level.

It is truly an exciting project and one Andrew Fedorowicz and his team are justifiably proud of.

Next week, with the holiday season fast approaching we will visit a delightful refurbishment at a beachside holiday home in Anglesea, a project now underway and again supervised by Architect Andrew Fedorowicz.



Top Tips On Renovating Successfully From Balance Architecture + Interior Design

Victorian Home fully restored

Victorian Home fully restored

During the year the team from Balance Architecture + Interior Design have shared some great tips for successful renovations. We have chosen their top tips and put them together in this year-end blog:

The first tip is to list the positive and negative features of a space.  Consider carefully what works well and what doesn’t, think about what you love about it and what you want to get rid of, also what needs changing. What is the purpose of the space? How can it best work for you and your family?  Try to anticipate any likely changes to your lifestyle in the future that will affect the space.

The second tip is when renovating a heritage home to do it with great care and respect for the history and original design concepts of the building. Sensitivity to the heritage overlays, council requirements and structural condition of your home will save you much time and angst. Architects and Interior Designers, such as Andrew Fedorowicz and Amanda Richmond, that have the experience and knowledge required for heritage renovations will ensure an end result that resonates with the true history of your home.

The third tip is to detect any problems in the building that require addressing before embarking upon structural changes and beautification.  For example, a damp house is a serious problem, causing building defects, health problems and can be costly to repair if the issue is not addressed promptly. Types of dampness are condensation/horizontal/falling and most commonly, rising damp.

The fourth tip is to create space. Amanda Richmond recommends creating a view from room to room, such as overlooking a lower level from an upper level or through placement of windows to capture the outside vista. Use colour to visually move between spaces, remember that darker colours advance, lighter colours retract. Define spaces by using contrasting materials and remember a fluid movement through the space helps create the illusion of more space.

Designer’s Tips On Renovating Your Kitchen

Kitchen Design by Amanda Richmond

Kitchen Design by Amanda Richmond – Armadale House

Amanda Richmond, Interior Designer at Balance Architecture + Interior Design has given us some great tips if you are considering renovating your kitchen.

 Decide what type of kitchen will suit the life you lead and what are the essential design elements to be considered.

Is it within a single room, a studio, a residential home, a warehouse or workspace? Is it for retired, elderly or disabled users? Is it for a family with children? Is it for a couple without children? Is it for a single person?

Do you need to conceal the cooking area when not in use?

You can use doors, blinds or curtains to do this.

All kitchen types will require an extractor fan of some type.

Do you want a range hood, in-bench extractor system or ceiling fan?

Children will need adequate space to be supervised in play and work.

Allow sufficient floor and table space away from the oven, cook top and sink for safety.

Will you use the kitchen as an office?

If so, do you need to allow for file storage, electronic usage/storage, layout space, keyboards/monitors/sound systems?

How often will you eat in the kitchen?

Design a separate area away from cooking and preparation.

Will the space accommodate the size of table and chairs you want?

Consider circulation spaces behind seated people and allow 600mm minimum per seating space.

Design for the minimum use of unnecessary steps.

Cook top, oven, fridge, sink and work top should be no more than a step or two from each other. Equipment used regularly should be within an arm’s reach of the stove, the rest should be stored farther away in a convenient location. As a general rule the total distance between fridge, sink and hotplate/oven/stove should be no more than 3.0m.

Kitchen design by Amanda Richmond

Kitchen design by Amanda Richmond -Travancore, Ascot Vale House

Amanda is a very experienced Designer and has designed some gorgeous kitchens for her clients. If you would prefer to use the services of an experienced Interior Designer please contact Amanda direct to make an appointment to discuss your new kitchen.


Considering Type & Placement of Windows in Renovations


Deepdene House

Amanda Richmond, Interior Designer, provides advice on choosing windows and frames.
The spaces in your home that will require the largest window area are your living area areas, so it’s very important to consider the orientation of your living areas and the best placement for windows to take advantage of the sun at the right time of day (for heating in the morning and coolness in the afternoon) and the available views to open up the space.  What type of window shading will you incorporate to ensure it does not get too hot in the interior? Do you have a verandah, do the eaves provide shade, what about a pergola? If you don’t have enough shade you could build a verandah or pergola or use other, simpler devices to provide shade and protection such as curtains, blinds or vinyl film on the windows.

The glazing of your windows is another important decision –you can use double glazing to keep out noise, a very good option if you live close to a busy street with traffic noise. Then there’s obscure glass, which lets in light while obscuring vision. These are often used in bathrooms and you can add a unique, decorative touch with a patterned version. Lead lighting is a highly decorative option for a feature window, usually placed in the main living space, the entry hallway or the front door. Sun shining through a lead light window creates gorgeous reflected colours and patterns, adding a further decorative enhancement.

Choosing a window frame depends on the look you want, performance and maintenance. Timber frames are highly energy efficient as they do not conduct heat but do require more maintenance than aluminium. Aluminium is a popular choice because it’s light, strong and requires little maintenance, but it’s not the most energy efficient choice, you can lose a great deal of heat through the frames in winter and gain unwanted heat in summer. A thermal break will minimise these effects, it’s an insulating material placed between the interior and the exterior elements of the window frame.

Amanda Richmond has a wealth of experience in renovating and decorating, being the chief Interior Designer at Balance Architecture + Interior Design. She will discuss glass safety in next week’s blog.

What can an Interior Designer do for you?

Interior Design by Amanda Richmond

Interior Design by Amanda Richmond – Essendon House

DIY interior decorating has been a big fad in recent times and there is certainly a place for doing it yourself but it’s also true that an Interior Designer will do it better. Like any other craft or trade, a professional will always have a bigger knowledge base at hand.  When it comes to using a professional Interior Designer you, the home owner, will be assured of a quality design that will enhance your lifestyle.

A professional Interior Designer will create space in and around existing Architecture, linking internal and outdoor spaces visually to create an aesthetic appeal, but also in a functional way, such as a kitchen/dining area opening out onto an outdoor living space. Tailoring design solutions to the individual needs of their clients, Interior Designers are clever at making spaces look luxurious at an affordable price. A professional, like Amanda Richmond of Balance Architecture + Interior Design, will advise you on the latest design trends and international trends in residential design.  She will also be across the latest trends for commercial and  hospitality interiors.

Golden advice, like new releases of furniture, soft furnishings, plumbing, lighting, tiling or paint finishes will ensure you have the latest and the best for your interiors.  Amanda Richmond will find the opportunities to fashion a point of difference in your home; ideas like creating a library, exercise room, contemplation space or cellar are the special extras you get from a professional Interior Designer. Having an expert design your interior pays off in many ways, not the least being the added value to your home.

Creating Space In Your Interior

Kitchen Design by Amanda Richmond

Kitchen Design by Amanda Richmond

Creating space is the holy grail of renovations, particularly when redesigning an older style or heritage home.  Older homes tend to have much smaller rooms, each with a designated purpose, whereas the modern style is to have large, open, multi-function spaces such as an open plan kitchen, dining, family room. Interior Designer, Amanda Richmond shares some of her top tips for creating space.  Amanda is the leading Designer for Balance Architecture + Interior Design.

Create a view
Create a view from room to room, overlooking a lower level from an upper level or create the classic view, looking outside to an exterior space from your interior. Create surprising juxtapositions, reveal views and bring light into the interior.
Use Colour
Colour helps to visually move between spaces – remember that darker colours advance, lighter colours retract. Find richness in plain materials and contrast textiles against leather.
Define spaces
With the use of contrasting materials you can better define spaces, such as darker skirtings, architraves and flooring against lighter coloured walls.
 Define individual spaces
A clever way to achieve this is to use half height partitions, such as for a toilet within a large bathroom.

Create fluidity
A fluid movement through the space helps create the illusion of  more space. This can be achieved by contrasting open plan spaces with overlapping wall planes or structural members. Some great examples are:
A glass balustrade staircase intersecting a void
A contrasting colour or material for ceiling rafters
Glass screens animated by the movement of water

With years of experience at renovating heritage buildings Amanda Richmond offers a unique perspective on the creation of space.  Contact Amanda directly to discuss how she can help you with your next renovation project.

Resolve Building Issues Before You Renovate

Ivanhoe House

Prevention is always better than cure! Identifying and resolving underlining building issues prior to decorating or renovating will save you time and money. So don’t jump into those renovations without checking out the health of your building first.  Interior Designer Amanda Richmond and Architect Andrew Fedorowicz from Balance Architecture + Interior Design say the things to look for are –

• Roofs & Walls out of alignment
• Ceiling discoloration suggesting roof leaks
• Damp patches
• Sudden leaks
• Bouncing floors
• Bulging, peeling plasterwork
• Unexplained cracking
• Persistent musky smell

Possible causes may be –
Blocked gutters, rising damp, defective internal plumbing fittings & fixtures, cracked roofing tiles, rusted gutters, inadequate internal box gutters, no roof overflow considerations, termite infestation, defective floor stumps/foundations, tree roots.

If you are a handy man or woman or have a handy man or woman friend or family member you can check out some of these issues fairly easily and resolve them.  However, most of these issues will require the services of a professional plumber or builder and, in the case of termites, a pest control company.  It is important to have any of these issues dealt with properly and resolved before you spend money on renovating or decorating your home as over time those problems will only get worse and ruin the effect of the renovations.

Imagine if you have just painted a room a lovely, fresh colour and the next thing you have a major leak from the ceiling down the walls or rising damp coming up the walls and ruining the paintwork?  It is just not worth the risk and heartache.  So please follow this wise advice from experienced, professional renovators Amanda Richmond and Andrew Fedorowicz and make sure you have a healthy building before you renovate!

Tuning Into Your Style For Interior Design

Renovation by Balance Architecture + Interior Design

Renovation by Balance Architecture + Interior Design

How do you define your personal taste when it comes to planning an interior design? If you are considering renovating or redecorating your whole house, bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms or living spaces, or if you have a newly built home, it is important to stamp your own personal style on your interior spaces.

To help define your own personal style, Interior Designer Amanda Richmond, who is incredibly experienced at renovating and redecorating interior spaces, suggests that you list spaces that appeal to you. Source your inspiration from houses you see, individual rooms you visit, shops you like, restaurants that appeal, films that inspire, books on design or photography, magazines on design, modern living or decorating spaces, design blogs and articles as well as fashion trends.

Define why these spaces or places appeal to you, what is evocative or meaningful to you – how did it look, what sounds did you hear, what smells reached you, how did you feel? Take into account the ventilation, light, movement, orientation, shape, space and harmony of the space and how it affected you.

To help you remember and delineate what your personal style is, keep a design file. Store images, fabrics or anything else that reminds you what appeals to you. Another clue to establishing your own personal style is to think about seasonal changes and what appeals to you. Consider colours, temperature, texture, smell. Add these to your design file too.

It is also critical to consider the nature of your location and how it impacts on your decision making process when renovating or building. For example if you live on beach frontage you need to offset the effects of salt water and offshore winds, so your external finishes will be chosen with this in mind as well as landscaping, which would have to be designed to suit to these conditions.  Balance Architecture + Interior Design have a wealth of experience, particularly in renovating heritage homes, so check them out for further inspiration.