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This weeks renovation recce sees the transformation of a late 1970's, single storey red brick house into a well equipped, contemporary home fit for a young, energetic family thanks to Mardi Doherty and the Doherty Design team. Driven by the home owners love for 'all things natural', the newly renovated home has been given a fresh new look using a predominantly neutral colour palette and custom designed, richly grained timber joinery throughout.

Working within the existing footprint, the team at Doherty Design set about stripping the internal walls to create an open plan multipurpose, light filled space that now encompasses an entryway together with a kitchen, dining and living area. Full height windows and sliding doors allow the natural light to flood the interior while bespoke timber joinery has been designed to fit the newly configured layout to effectively delineate the space.

Here we ask home owner, Jackie T to share her experience of renovating and the process involved in engaging an interior designer to help realise a homes full potential...

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A window bench with concealed storage underneath is incorporated into the living room to create a relaxing reading nook.

Why did you choose Doherty Design?

Like all those who about to embark on a reno, you look out to see who is doing great and innovative work locally, as well as looking for similar projects that show what your house could realistically become. Mardi Doherty's projects were exactly what we were looking for.

How would you describe the process of enlisting a designer to help when renovating your home?

Doherty Design worked with us to decide on the main issues that we were wanting to tackle and then created a quote for a set amount of work. If additional work was required, then that was performed at a $/hr rate. Initially Mardi started by presenting some high level aspirations based on our likes and dislikes, the Doherty design team handled the detail work with regular sessions in-between held with Mardi. The final design went on to the builder to execute. The process was obviously well thought out and tried and tested, so we had no issues with it.

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What were the 3 key elements to the brief that was given to the Doherty Design team?

• Make the house flow. There had to be a connection between the rooms and the cabinetry had to be both functional and ergonomic.
• Make every room useable. We didn't want rooms that couldn't be used daily. We didn't want a 'special occassions only' room.
• Make it feel like a home. Sure we wanted style but this house needed to be lived in as we have a young energetic family.

Did you present Doherty Design with a ‘lookbook’ of images to convey the style of home you were wanting to create?

Yes. I was prepared for her to throw them all out, but she used many of them.

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Solid Australian blackbutt timber, blackbutt veneer and tallowwood flooring have been used throughout the home.

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At the entrance, a bespoke shelving unit in solid Australian blackbutt with fluted glass detail is designed for displaying personal items, as well as effectively dividing the entry to the living room.

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Purpose-built joinery throughout underpins the high sense of a ‘craft’ associated with the renovation, while providing innovative ways to display personal effects and ensuring the home’s streamlined, uncluttered appearance.

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What were your main sources or references when trying to communicate your particular style to the design team?

Magazines, both printed and online publications, books, product references we had already sourced and knew we wanted, projects Doherty Design had done that we liked, colours and tones and some furnishings.

What did you love most about the process of redesigning your home and what did you like the least?

When we started thinking about design, there were so many ideas and products floating around that it was hard to understand the options and pull them all together into a coherent design. Mardi and the team made the process easy and exciting for us, that's what we loved the most.

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What element of the renovation are you most happy with?

The fact that we were able to achieve our top three elements of the brief! We want to be home all the time now - why go anywhere for a holiday?

What’s next on the agenda for your home?

Landscaping. Then nothing, not for a long while. It's pretty exhausting to go through a reno, physically and emotionally.

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