Apparte Studio Transform a Victorian Cottage From Dull and Dreary to Cozy and Contemporary

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Located in Carlton North in Australia, this site was once home to a dilapidated, damp Victorian cottage. In 2017 it was taken on by new owners who sought to have it renovated.

The owners came in the form of a local firm called Apparte Studio, they set about bringing the old home back to life, converting it into a comfortable, contemporary home, fit for its new owners.

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The project, titled Curtain Cottage, consists of a 1,023-square-foot (95-square-meters) site, of which 646-square-feet (60-square-meters) is dedicated to the building. In an unusual twist, the architect on this project also doubled as the the builder and joiner.

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For Apparte Studio, the house was an investment, and required the designer to imagine a potential owner and what they would seek from a home: “How might a professional couple live comfortably inside a formerly tight and dingy Victorian… To add to the challenge, an extension was out of the question due to budget constraints.”

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With no option for expansion, they set making the most of the existing plan. Creating a light and airy home was a high priority – they wanted the space to feel larger than it was. They achieved this in part by raising the ceiling height and exposing the timber ties.

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LED lights were then introduced illuminated the ceilings backdrop. The majority of surfaces in the home are finished in white, helping to bounce light further into the home – a good move when windows opportunities are limited. Some of the homes original features were left as they were, like the red-brick wall in the kitchen.

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The long narrow plan features rooms stacked one after another, connected by a corridor until you reach the second half of the property. It then gives way to a kitchen and utility room at the rear. The occupants also have access to the rear garden from the kitchen, which is a secluded retreat from the surrounding homes.

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For more small houses check out Samantha Mink’s Culver City Home that strives for simplicity on a small scale. Or, Old Stone House, a Hudson Valley home that breathes new life into an old building. See all small houses.

Photos © Daniel Aulsebrook

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