Month: January 2020

Renovation a Fairy-tale Ending

Arts and Craft Home Needed a Major Face-lift

Sydney’s eastern suburbs are well known for their overtly grand properties, and naturally, these homeowners insisted theirs, on a heritage conservation area, be just as impressive. Taking the Queen Anne-style home’s bare, neglected bones and using this as a basis for a glamorous transformation has provided marvellous results and the home of their dreams, and certainly one that most can only dream about. But its starting point was not so grand.

“The house has elements of English Arts & Crafts style but was badly in need of repair, with no internal stairs, but external stairs to access the two sides of the house,” says architect Maddalena Vienna, of Sydney-based firm Vienna Design. “There was a poor, unsympathetic addition at the rear, with a flat roof, and many of the original features were taken away.”

Client and Designer Align

Maddalena was inspired by her enthusiastic clients, who, like her, also recognised the home’s hidden potential, and came to the project armed with an abundance of ideas. “The clients loved American Hampshire-style homes and wanted a beautiful home that’s not only elegant, but also practical, with all possible comforts,” says Maddalena. “They had lots of images of what they liked and wanted to put into the project. It was a pleasure to work for someone with good taste and is always assertive in what they like.”

With a home of this age came plenty of special considerations, in order to delicately revive and preserve its natural beauty. “As much as possible we tried to retain the original features, such as the fireplaces and cornices, but we also added plaster and timber detailing to the walls to highlight the heritage elements that were stripped out recently,” says Maddalena.

The Changes

The changes that took place were not just cosmetic, but structural, too. “We removed a number of walls on the ground floor, completely changing the existing layout configuration and creating a new entry to the residence,” says Maddalena. “In particular, on the ground floor, we enlarged the kitchen and added a powder room and laundry.” The kitchen is now very special, with state-of-the-art appliances and an array of superb high-end finishes, such as Calacatta marble for the splashback and benchtops.

New stairs were built to the top floor, the roofline at the rear was changed to give much-needed height and light to the existing rooms, and new bathrooms were created on the first floor.

We buy ugly houses in Winter Garden Fl

“We also enclosed the front and side verandah to form a study and a new ensuite, added a Juliet balcony to the main bedroom, and built a new carport, garage and pergola on the side of the home,” says Maddalena.

Creating a Flow

“I now love the flow of the spaces and the privacy that each room has by having large sliding doors that create intimacy when needed.” The clients also had wonderful furniture and pieces of artwork that complete the picture and work very well with the home’s sophisticated, neutral palette.

Finally, outside, new fences, a luxurious swimming pool and landscaping that complement the style of the home complete the overall work. “This house is now built to last for another century, with solid construction, insulation and a water tank for the swimming pool,” says Maddalena.

Not only was the age of the property a concern, but naturally, when carrying out a renovation of this nature, various hurdles were faced throughout the process. “Council requirements are always a challenge, especially when the residence is in a conservation area and the neighbours complain; however, diplomacy and perseverance works wonders,” says Maddalena.

Although the house has now been sold, the clients are very happy. “A truly ugly duckling has been turned into a magnificent palace,” says Maddalena. “The first time I took measurements here, I could feel the negative energy the house had, but now, the place feels happy and alive. The house is very much a celebration of the past with the comfort of modern living.”

How to do Your Home Buying Homework

With the Housing Industry Association recently noting that dwelling commencements are expected to break 20-year old records and rise above 190,000 in a year, there could be a lot of property coming your way on the market. But with this wide range of homes being built, how do you boost your knowledge of the market to make a great purchase? It is time to go back to school and do some buying homework, but never fear – we are here to give you some tutoring tips!

How to do Your Buying Homework

Accessing Resources

With the Housing Industry Association recently noting that dwelling commencements are expected to break 20-year old records and rise above 190,000 in a year, there could be a lot of property coming your way on the market. But with this wide range of homes being built, how do you boost your knowledge of the market to make a great purchase?

It is time to go back to school and do some buying homework, but never fear – we are here to give you some tutoring tips!

The information superhighway is open and waiting for you! From research sites like RP Data, to downloading our free myMarket report, for regional snapshot, market news and house prices. It is also recommended you ask your local real estate agent for a suburb market report or snapshot on the suburbs sales trends. Local agents live and breathe property in the area you are looking in and are best placed to give you an accurate summary of what is going on.

It is also worth investigating any future infrastructure projects that may benefit or take away from the area. Local councils can help provide you with this information along with heaps of other facts about services, child care, events and much much more. Additionally if you have kids, sites like My School are a good resource to investigate the quality of educational facilities in the region.

There is an endless list of sites to visit, and so many tailored to exactly what you want to find. Jump online and get researching!

Get on the Ground

Doing hands-on research in the area you want to buy in is another great way of finding out about a suburb or town. You can see if parks are kept clean, roads are maintained, test out the public transport, or even pop down to a local cafe to try out the coffee and food.

Another idea is introduce yourself to people who live in the area – perhaps spark up a conversation with the corner shop or cafe owner and find out what they enjoy about the suburb, what the community is like, are there any big building projects they are aware of that may impact the value of property in the area.

If you are picking a place to live for the long term, first-hand experience is an excellent way to gain some valuable insight.

Speak to an Agent

As professionals who constantly work in certain areas, real estate agents can be a fountain of wisdom and experience.

By having knowledge of how much homes sell for, how long they spend on the market and also having experience with local tradespeople and vendors, they can give you an accurate depiction of a suburb just by giving them a call.

An agent can also give you tips on council rates, and perhaps even the tax breaks or subsidies you can qualify for!

Attend a Few Auctions

To get a good idea about buyer interest in the suburb you are looking at, attend a few auctions. This is a great way to firstly see the different techniques people use at auction which may help you when you come to buy, but it also gives you a good indication of how popular a suburb is, how ‘hot’ the market is and what properties are selling for.

By spending a bit of extra time doing your research early, you can really work out if this is an area you want to live in and understand how much you should be paying for a home, which could save your money when you go to buy. Put the home in your homework, and experience the benefits!