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In recent years, we’ve seen a colossal surge in the demand to add a contemporary renovation or extension to a period or heritage home, and it’s no wonder why—a contemporary addition allows you to continue living in the same location, in a home you love, while also typically proving to be a more affordable alternative to rebuilding.

Before you embark on your own contemporary renovation or extension project, there are a few ‘essentials’ you need to consider to ensure it’s a success.

Seamlessly blends the old with the new

Time and time again, renovators face the same question of “How do I blend the old with the new”.

While period homes tend to favour ornate detailing and intricate floor plans, contemporary design is revered for its clean lines and open layout. While the two disciplines seemingly contradict each other, when done well, a contemporary renovation or extension developed around period bones can create something that is truly breathtaking, without feeling disjointed.

Families undertaking a contemporary renovation aren’t looking to replicate the style and features of the existing home, but instead want to respect the history and character of the original dwelling while improving its liveability to meet current standards.

A good approach to successfully blend two contrasting styles is to refresh or update the original residence to complement the finish and colour palette of the new addition, while still paying close attention to the preservation of features which contribute to the character and charm of the original home.

Opt to retain and restore existing features where appropriate. While you don’t need to preserve every period feature of the original home, consider the features that add unique charm and personality—after all, they’re what made you fall in love with the property in the first place!

Incorporates bespoke design features

The age of cookie-cutter design is long gone. As a society, we’re placing more importance on individualism than ever before—a trend which has also made its way into the world of residential architecture.

While stock standard home designs are fine for some, more discerning clients are demanding something a little more ‘sui generis’. Generic is out, while bespoke is definitely in.

Today’s clients want their homes to be a true reflection of themselves and to possess their own unique personality. Whether you want your home to project a sense of opulence, glamour, prestige, drama, exclusivity or quirk, bespoke features are the way to do it.

Features like intricate joinery, a vaulted ceiling, custom-made windows, unconventional tiling or an aberrant choice of construction materials will provide a point of difference that sets you home apart as something that is truly one of a kind.

Keeps functionality at the heart

What’s more important—form or function? While there is no question that the aesthetic of a home is important, functionality is paramount. Your home needs to complement your lifestyle and allow you to live the way you want without compromise.

From the floor plan to the fit-out, the functionality of the home should underpin every decision made throughout the design process.

Pay attention to the way the family likes to come together to enjoy shared spaces and how everyone likes to wind-down at the end of a busy day. Consider things like: how you prefer to work in the kitchen; where the kids will do their homework; where you plan to entertain guests; and how conveniently located storage zones are.

Contemporary design takes functionality to the next level—from home automation technology like voice-activated lighting and remote climate control, to smart locks and intelligent security systems, our homes are evolving to provide an unprecedented level of convenience and amenity. 

Furthermore, the desire for our homes to extend beyond pure functionality to also promote sustainability is growing exponentially. From solar panels and geothermal climate management to smart water systems, recycled building materials and passive design, ‘sustainable’ is becoming the new standard in contemporary construction.

If you’re planning a contemporary renovation or extension in Melbourne, we’d love to hear from you. As specialists in heritage restorations and contemporary additions, we’re backed by three generations of craftsman and have a unique capability to cost custom projects at an early stage. Want to know more? View our portfolio of previous projects, get acquainted with our team or contact us to discuss your plans for a contemporary renovation or extension.




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