Always wondered what you could do to your current home to reflect your love of the sophisticated architectural niche of gothic style homes? We go through the history and types of renovations that can turn your current house into a stylish Gothic home with plenty of character.
A large range of architectural styles across the spectrum can be found across Australia: from cheap, iconic, truly Australian corrugated iron roofs to the most sophisticated and intricate styles brought from Europe and beyond.
One popular, stylish and increasingly trendy example of the latter, sophisticated architectural niche is the rustic gothic style, which was brought to Australia mainly by British settlers to remind them of their homeland and built across the country throughout the 1800 and 1900s.
We all know basically what the gothic style home looks like - particularly when it is applied to those familiar, tall, ornate school or university buildings with decorative patterns. The rustic gothic style in particular originated as long ago as the 1740s in England, but its application in Australia recalls mainly rural images and the beautiful 'rustic house' and cottage orné.
But the rustic gothic Australian house or villa may also have multiple steep gables and a picturesque porch.
The common rustic gothic houses of Australia are mainly the modestly-sized, contrived and picturesque cottage orné. They are pretty, charming, old-world and probably only vaguely medieval, and were popularised by expatriate Britons who took comfort in bringing a slice of their beloved England with them to their new home on the other side of the world, perhaps complete with a fragrant rose and lavender garden.
But rustic gothic homes are also found in just about equal measure in the Australian suburbs, made of stone, brick and even timber. In England, they were originally conceived and designed for the very cold and damp conditions, but a very Australian addition was a veranda, making them suitable for our hotter and drier climate.
The main characteristics of Australian rustic gothic home renovations are things such as: pointed arch windows or bay windows with bulkheads, irregular massing and steep gabled roofs, decorated bargeboards and timber fretwork.
Rustic gothic renovations may also include the detailed restoration of polished floorboards, the beautification of wood graining on timber architraves, and making the most of the intricate designs conceived mainly and originally by carpenters, complete with complex and truly unique asymmetrical floor plans.
The best thing about looking to renovate a gothic rustic home is that they are easily customisable and therefore accessibly affordable according to varying budgets, with so many options to suit preferences, personalities and the particular features of the architecture and building. A focus may be put on gothic style windows with pointed arches, perhaps located in a gable. Indeed, the pointed arch is a signature of the gothic rustic style and it can be extended as a theme throughout the renovation project.
Bay windows are also common with gothic rustic renovations, and they must be done with precision. The window sizes are commonly of varying size and shape, so care must be taken to make them fit with the exterior and interior style whilst making the most of gothic rustic characteristics, like the potential for an asymmetrical treatment.
A great piece of advice with renovating a gothic rustic home is to ensure the character of the building is left intact. A gothic rustic home is truly unique and bursting with history and personality, so ensure all of those characteristics are preserved and enhanced.
The centrepiece of rustic gothic is elegance, drama, detail and layers of ornate accessories. A lancet window is a common renovation feature with its pointed arch and perhaps even stained glass, as are square or dark wood panels to decorate the walls. Detailed crown mouldings are uniquely rustic gothic, as are ornate fireplaces, so ensure that your renovation complements these features rather than hides or replaces them.
Similarly, if you are going to make actual alterations to the building, check first as to whether that is allowed and then try to make those changes reversible. Another option is to make a clear distinction between the old, original gothic rustic features of the building, and anything obviously 'new'.
Renovation is often depicted on television as a simple process, but proposing to change or add to the structure of any building can mean building applications and approvals are required. A good first place to go to is the council, but you may also need advice about any heritage requirements or restrictions when it comes to your rustic gothic renovation.
Major renovations may also require a structural engineer to ensure the structural aspects of your design are sound, with this work then needing to be certified and then approved and potentially inspected during the renovation.
Renovating a gothic rustic home to your specifications is not an easy task, and doing so on budget is even harder. So you'll need a team of renovation specialists on hand like Refresh Renovations, including all the designers, builders and tradespeople you need to complete your dream project, all the way from concept to completion.
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for your next renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.
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