Real Homes

A 1912 double-fronted home gets a spectacular renovation

A family’s space mission led to a simply spectacular renovation

Not everyone gets a second bite of the cherry when it comes to renovating, but Terri Shannon did: she’s had the good fortune to have renovated her bayside home twice now, with the most recent project seeing an open-plan extension added.

“Our house is a 1912 double-fronted home we bought in 2011 and initially renovated to restore it and make it comfortable,” says Terri, director of Bloom Interior Design & Decoration, “but we always intended to live in the house for a while and then extend.”

At the time they bought the home, Terri and her husband Luke were parents to two daughters, Charlie and Chloe. The arrival of their son Sam, four years ago, instigated renovations that would allow the house to grow alongside the family.

Luke took on the role of owner/builder and project manager, and set about bringing Terri’s vision for the extension to life. “We lived in the front section of the house while building work was going on,” says Terri, “and while that had its moments, the experience of collaborating with Luke to extend the house was great.”

For Terri, the flexibility to make last-minute decisions as the house took shape was a godsend. “As issues came up, we were able to adapt and change things. We could make decisions like ‘let’s take that door a bit higher’ or ‘let’s put a skylight in there’. It’s a luxury you don’t always have when renovating.”

At the front of the house, what was once Terri’s study has been transformed into Chloe’s bedroom. In order to retain the work space, a desk has instead been built into the adjoining formal living room. “It’s generous enough in size to be multifunctional in this way,” says Terri. Beautiful joinery features in the living spaces and all the bedrooms. “The kids have built-in desks, bench seats and drawers,” she says. “Storage was very much front of mind when I was designing the bedrooms.”

The kitchen also had its storage radically enhanced with the addition of a butler’s pantry, which has made a huge difference to Terri, who’s a keen cook. “I designed built-in spice drawers and oil drawers, so it’s tailored to the way I like to use the kitchen. I always wanted a black kitchen and I was confident that one would suit this house.” Another key inclusion in the kitchen is its formed-concrete benchtops.

“I looked at loads of English kitchens and admired their semi-industrial concrete benches,” says Terri. “I did a lot of research before putting them in but we’ve still been surprised at how easily they stain. With three kids, I can’t be precious about olive oil and lemon juice marks. That said, the more we hammer our benches, the better they’re looking.”

This family-friendly attitude runs right through the house, with washable covers on the sofas and hardy seagrass in the bedrooms. American oak flooring was laid in a herringbone pattern over the home’s draughty Baltic pine boards and window treatments from Terri and Luke’s business, Bloom Bespoke, add warmth and softness to the home.

The main bathroom didn’t require much updating, just a lick of baby-pink paint. “It’s been black, navy and white over the years, but I really love this pink,” says Terri.

Outside, a well-equipped outdoor kitchen has been added and the exterior painted Dulux Natural White. “It’s a pretty house,” she says. “We get a lot of comments about it, which makes us happy.”

Words by: Sarah Pickette. Styling by: Heather Nette King. Photography by: Armelle Habib.

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