The talented team at Preston Lane Architects has certainly excited est with their Melbourne-based design, The Elwood House.  The once cold, impractical Edwardian home, has been boldly adapted by Preston Lane to achieve a striking take on modern family liveability.

DESIGN Preston Lane | PHOTOGRAPHY Derek Swalwell 

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From the outset, the 1915 Edwardian home may appear like any other. With respect to the home’s individual heritage and neighbourhood character, Preston Lane kept the new extension hidden behind the original steep roofline. Taking a step inside, the Edwardian entrance has been restored to immaculate white-washed walls and polished timber flooring. To further celebrate the existing structure, Preston Lane converted the roof space into two large bedrooms, a children’s playroom and family room – an expansive space otherwise unused. This reinvented upper level is enhanced by an abundance of natural light and ventilation from a skylight in each room, complementing the angled ceiling lines elegantly.

A trusting relationship between client and architect was essential to the daring restructuring of the home’s interior. Preston Lane worked closely with the clients to take the fabric of the old and forge it with the new extension. An open-plan layout is at the heart of this hybrid, with a rich material palette of concrete block, brick, timber and polished concrete. Exposed and sandblasted red brick is a prominent feature in the kitchen, contrasting  with the sleek marble bench tops and copper pendant lighting. Continuous design choices throughout the home help create a sense of consistency, such as the textural backdrop of the exposed concrete wall in the shared spaces. This repetition, paired with the light-hearted splash of teal running throughout the house, unifies the interior.

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To keep family at the forefront, Preston Lane has thoughtfully considered the comfortability of the home by better utilising the outdoors. The north-facing extension is designed for direct sunlight in winter, allowing the thermal mass of the polished concrete slab and masonry walls to warm the home. Without compromising privacy, the steel-frame doors and windows create a open, light-filled home that invites the garden to be a continuation on the living area.

Preston Lane has achieved a fine balance between preservation and modernisation, by redefining the old to respectfully make way for the new. With a design solution outside the confines of a typical heritage home renovation, the architects have established a house that is both a better fit for the family and has the future squarely in mind.

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Black glazed bricks were selected for the dividing fireplace element between the living and dining areas accentuating the drama between textures and materials.

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 Preston Lane stylishly pairs classic and contemporary elements, by creating a playground of textures and materials.

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