Retro House


A Mid-Century classic it was not, but this house in the suburbs of Melbourne had remarkable qualities of space and light that made it a great place to live. Frugal in design, the years had not been kind to the exterior and the landscaping was very harsh. It was almost a classic.

With limited funds to improve the property we set out to work with what we had and pondered what I described as ‘missing parts’ – the sort of embellishments I had imagined may have existed had the frugal mindset not been so predominant. With simple and low cost interior works the focus was primarily the exterior along with the transformation of a garage to a home office. A lot of concrete was removed and exotic planting introduced in place of grass. A security fence was created in timber based on the design of one in an adjacent suburb. Pergolas were added to the roof line and a facade added to obscure the tiny garage at the rear. That facade also delivered a backdrop to an extended paved area which connects the house to the home office.