Home to serial renovator Kate Taylor, of sustainable bedding brand Calvi.Co, this recently overhauled home is in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg. A circa 1910 weatherboard with a chic contemporary extension, Kate purchased the home four years ago with very clear renovation ideas in mind.
“I am always able to visualise the potential in a property and am the eternal optimist when it comes to restoring period homes to their former glory. As soon as the home popped up for sale, I knew it was special and I could immediately see past the old green and cream carport that made the whole thing look a bit drab,” says Kate who knew the road ahead would be long but pushed on regardless.
“When we bought the property, it was tired, run-down and stripped of almost all of its period charm. The only real hint to its former beauty was the stained-glass porthole window in the master bedroom,” says Kate. The home’s Baltic pine flooring had been covered with thick brown/orange shagpile carpet, the bay window had been replaced with a steel-framed eyesore and the original fireplaces had been removed.
At the rear of the home there were two rooms in complete disrepair including a laundry space and a lounge room that had completely lost its footings and had grass growing through the floor. “There was such a slant that our six-month-old could roll from one side of the room to the other,” says Kate who has three young children with her husband Mike.
The couple started stripping back all the finishes (including the old carpet and wallpaper) so as to begin the renovation with a relatively blank canvas. They then sought to bring in elements to replicate the home’s original period features including the timber flooring and leadlight windows and changed the floorplan slightly by turning a dated old bathroom into a luxe ensuite and walk in robe that runs off the master bedroom. “I think removing the old, unsympathetic renovation elements and replacing them with period details has made the biggest difference to the project,” says Kate.
Architecturally designed, the double-storey rear extension features an open-plan living and dining space and it’s where the family spends most of their time – a three-sided Chiminees Philippe fireplace adds that all-important cosy factor. “I intentionally sectioned off the lounge area at the back of the house so we could hang out in a comfy space as a family and not feel like we are watching TV in the kitchen as is sometimes the case with open-plan living,” says Kate.
The home’s new kitchen is unrecognisable from the original – Kate added floor-to-ceiling storage and selected hardwearing materials like granite bench tops and splash back. “I designed the new kitchen and butler’s pantry/laundry spaces myself to suit our growing family,” says Kate.
The larger space behind the kitchen island and around the dining area is perfect for entertaining – guests often perch on the oversized concrete island when the family entertains. “And if we need extra space we can throw open the bifold doors and use the alfresco area. We had a sit-down meal for 40 people on Christmas Day last year. I’m very pleased with the whole renovation to be honest!”
Photography: Nic Stephens Photography | Styling: Calvi.Co
With Kate and her family moving onto their next project, this home is currently for sale.