A much-loved home transitions to meet a multi-generational family’s changing needs.
These homeowners first met Renovation Consultants Narelle and Scott Randell with clearly defined needs for their renovation. Fifteen years prior, they had moved out of their family home to make room for their daughter and her growing family. Now their dream was to convert the double garage of that original family home into a self-contained apartment for themselves. This was a win-win for all concerned, as it meant they could downsize their own life, have the freedom to travel more, and stay connected to their family.
Joanne Yeomans of Issy & H Creative was welcomed on board for the interior design, and they worked together up until the final finishing touches, bringing the homeowners’ dreams to life.
As the concept stage progressed, it became clear that the homeowners were adventurous with their design ideas, confidently incorporating bold colours. Yet, they made sure that their final choices would stand the test of time. As they were not in any particular rush, they were able to take a relaxed approach and understand the value of particular items, both from the quality of material and quality of life perspectives.
Following close consultation with Narelle and Joanne, the homeowners settled on sleek built-ins to maximise the functionality of their restricted space while keeping everything well proportioned. As the homeowners were very clear about their goals and expectations, both in terms of personal needs and budget, they were happy to invest in high-end products where they would deliver a significant impact. And once they were happy with the final designs, Narelle returned an estimated budget, which came in at $190,000.
The construction phase was not without its COVID Challenges! The project experienced material shortages, price increases, and COVID shutdowns, through which Narelle stayed in open communication with the homeowners, who were very understanding of the difficulties. At the completion of this renovation, the final cost came in at $222,000, including an upgrade in cabinetry and finishes. The clients also chose underfloor heating, which is often considered an unnecessary luxury but is actually a very efficient way to heat a room as hot air rises.
Other than COVID, some interesting considerations presented themselves, which Narelle folded into the construction management process; these were things such as liaising with the manufacturer of the hybrid flooring to ensure warranties would remain intact when installed over underfloor heating, diligently ensuring the floor levels were correct to avoid potential complications, and working around the HSC student living upstairs who was sitting exams during construction.
As with most people, downsizing comes with challenges; for these homeowners, spaciousness, functionality, and finish were at the top of the list. The apartment needed to perform as a fully private, independent house, with laundry, storage and a full kitchen. Narelle was more than up for the challenge and found real joy in the homeowners’ collaborative approach.
In managing the design process, Narelle coordinated with Joanne to ensure all of the homeowners’ requirements were included - resulting in a perfectly proportioned and fully functioning self-contained space. Inside, this apartment is packed with a full kitchen, bedroom, laundry, built-in pantry and wardrobes, and a spacious bathroom with an in-wall toilet and separate shower. The design even includes an office, using borrowed space from the main house.
The homeowners opted for a palette of greys and blues to achieve an individualistic yet timeless design, accented with warm tones of orange, tan, and teal.
The kitchen’s navy shiplap panelled cabinetry visually anchors the room. Meanwhile, the white walls and ceiling create a feeling of height and space, which is further enhanced by the recessed LED lighting.
In the bedroom, the decision was made to install full-wall mirrors, creating the optical illusion of the room being double its size. It also includes frosted glass windows, which do the double duty of maintaining privacy while bringing in natural light. These techniques are particularly effective in a lower ground apartment.
As for the bathroom, modern design takes over. The kitchen’s navy cabinetry is continued, making a striking statement against the cool grey tiling. And without drawing much attention, the frameless walk-in shower makes a sleek addition, fitting into the space seamlessly.
The homeowners are overjoyed to have such a beautiful apartment so close to their family, allowing them to look forward to the next chapter of their lives in the comfort of modern design.
Transforming a family home into something that suits everyone’s changing lives can bring many emotions along with it, and Narelle’s high-level communication and project management skills ensured the entire renovation process was smooth from start to finish.
Scott Randell is Renovation Consultant of Narsott Projects Pty Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Australia PTY Ltd, doing business in Sydney.
Costs are accurate at the time of publication. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.
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