House call: Heritage townhouse with a modern Scandi twist

Today we’re taking a look at a terrace townhouse that has been given a new lease on life, undergoing a full architectural makeover.

What was once a drab, tired 90s interior has been transformed into a light, bright more liveable townhouse with clean lines and a Scandi twist, while still celebrating its heritage protected charm.

We take a walk through with Bo Chu, Creative Director at Pitch Architecture and Developments, whose team was brought on board to revamp this Melbourne home.

Dining room with storage
Dining room

“This project was big, but the brief was really quite simple — to completely redesign the interior of this family home and maximise the natural light,” explains Bo.

“Our aim was to improve the efficiency and practicality of the home, and reconfigure the layout to achieve open plan living.”

This double storey townhouse features 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and single car garage, tucked down a quiet laneway in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy. Being partially heritage protected meant caution had to be taken during the renovation.

“The home is on a narrow block and the existing conditions of the property threw in a few challenges during both design and construction.

“We had to take extra care when working with the rear portion of the home as it is a heritage building so we had to retain these features,” says Bo.

Central courtyard with stairs and study nook
Courtyard

An abundance of natural light flows throughout the home, but it was a tricky one to get right for the design team.

“As the orientation of the block faces east-west, we were restricted on how much natural light was able to be received internally throughout the day.

“In order to maximise the natural light, our strategy was to focus on reconfiguring the spaces surrounding the courtyard,” Bo explains.

The owners were keen to make the central courtyard a key feature of their newly designed home, allowing more natural light to flow.

Open trade staircase
Open plan living designed around central courtyard

“The existing floor plan had to be reshuffled, allowing the addition of another bedroom and bathroom, and opening up the kitchen to the living areas.

“Creating the new open plan kitchen meant there was now an immediate visual connection to the courtyard the moment you enter through the front door of the house.

A lot of emphasis was placed on the existing courtyard to make it a central part of the home.

“The new kitchen and staircase are definitely my favourite spaces. Both areas have significantly improved the quality of the space.

“What was once a narrow and enclosed foyer, kitchen and corridor have now been transformed into a series of connected, free-flowing spaces filled with natural light.”

Kitchen with view to central courtyard
Kitchen with a view through to the courtyard in this heritage townhouse

“The battened stairs balustrade allows light to flow between the stairs and corridor adjacent to the courtyard, again bringing it back in as a key focus of the home,” Bo says.

The use of natural materials and light and generous spaces reflect the home owners Scandinavian roots and freshen the old areas for a greater sense of spaciousness.

Another architectural feature we love is the cleverly designed study nook tucked under the stairs in what would otherwise have been wasted space.

“The under-stair study nook was a nice touch to the overall design. We removed the old, cramped powder room in lieu of an opening to allow more of that natural light to flow.

“To maximise efficiency and utilise the space under the newly opened tread staircase, we added the study nook which looks great and is super useful, too,” Bo says.

Under stairs study nook
Under-stair study nook

To get the most out of every room, clever design methods were used throughout this tight terraced home to maximise space and add architectural elements.

“The walk-in robe in the master bedroom is also a design feature. Instead of building a separate room with walls, we used the robe itself to create the separation.

“A ‘hole’ was then added into the robe to reveal the existing window.

Walk in robe to ensuite
The ‘hole’ feature in the walk-in robe

“It was a fun project to work on, we’re really pleased with the final outcome — and most importantly, so is the client!” Bo says with a smile.

Thank you to Bo and the team for sharing this beautiful heritage townhouse renovation with us. Visit Pitch Architecture and Developments website to see more of their stunning design portfolio or check them out on instagram.

Find more home tours here

Study nook under stairs
Study nook
Dining room open plan living in heritage townhouse
Dining area
Scandi style kitchen marble splashback
Scandi-inspired kitchen
White and blonde timber kitchen
Kitchen
Walk in robe within master suite
Master bedroom using walk-in robe wall
Walk in robe hole in wall
Walk-in robe features
Master bedroom with walk in robe
Master bedroom
Ensuite features in tight heritage townhouse
Ensuite features

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