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Optimising A Charming Victorian Cottage

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This Victorian home in Northcote was blessed with a north-facing backyard and generous block—key attributes that were under utilised and under appreciated until a recent renovation by Pipkorn Kilpatrick

Due to its position at the centre of the home, the original lounge room received zero northern sunlight, and the interiors had been given a faux heritage makeover complete with a pressed metal kitchen splashback, maroon half length curtains, and shiny gold chandeliers.

Pipkorn Kilpatrick and Pitrone Design were engaged to make sense of the floorplan, and strip back the interior to reveal warm and minimal detailing. 

23 square metres was added to the floorplan, allowing for an open-plan domain containing the kitchen, meals area, and lounge at the rear. Warm American oak joinery sits above concrete floors, with autumnal-hued terrazzo providing a playful kitchen accent. 

A banquette seat with large bi-fold windows subtly defines the dining area, while the living area comes into its own with a large American oak shelving unit and a painted brick fireplace with exposed flue.

This material palette was influenced by the worker’s cottage appeal of the existing Victorian facade with its humble and understated beauty.  

‘The addition is quite simple in form and structure, but we love the way the materials and detailing work together to zone the open-plan areas and makes them feel intimate and inviting,’ says Cate Kilpatrick of Pipkorn Kilpatrick. 

Large brick blades frame the opening to the backyard where Andy Murray Landscape Design has created a calming native garden for the family to enjoy. 

Replacing the original lounge in the middle of the home is the main bathroom alongside a generous laundry and storage zone. Otherwise, the remainder of the home remains structurally unchained, with the location of the original bedrooms now making sense.

An earthier variation of terrazzo and eucalyptus coloured tiles draws the native garden inside the bathroom interior, with a large overhead skylight providing abundant light.

Pipkorn Kilpatrick has revealed the quiet beauty that’s always existed within this period home, ensuring its functionality for decades to come. 

‘Any renovation that gave the living spaces access to the north and freshened up the palette would have helped, but we feel we’ve updated the house in a way that has improved its connectivity and flow while also maintaining character and warmth,’ says Cate.

‘Our lovely, trusting clients are thrilled with their house, and that means everything.’



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