The first thing you notice about Lantern House is its glorious, light-filled interior. With a dreamy curved mezzanine balcony, warm timbers and statement stone features, this is one enviable home tour.

We take you for a look around this modern architectural conservatory, with Sally Timmins from Timmins + Whyte Architecture and Design.

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Natural stone kitchen splash back
Living room flooded with natural light from skylight

With soaring high windows, internal mezzanine balcony and skylights, the team at Timmins + Whyte Architecture used every design tool up their sleeve to achieve the client’s brief of increasing natural light in the home.

“This home is a grand heritage-listed Victorian terrace, located in North Melbourne,” explains Sally.

“It’s home to a family of 5 plus their large, loveable dog. Their main requirement when we took on this project, was light. It was what they wanted first and foremost. The home’s original orientation meant the front got more morning sun than the back.

“It had an extension added in the ’80s but it was incredibly dark and in dire need of repair. For the new renovation, we added the kitchen/dining/sitting space, double-sided fireplace, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a laundry.”

Heritage facade of Melbourne home
open plan indoor outdoor with timber ceiling

We adore the materials palette in this home and Sally explains the rationale behind the selections.

“The clients had only recently purchased the home when we came on board. It was clear it had been neglected for quite some time. The original part of the house was pretty much intact but the ’80s extension was dark and pokey.

“Our aim was to contrast the heavier original building and allow the new extension to tell the story of its own time,” Sally explains.

The extension feels light and doesn’t overpower the grand residence from the street. Instead, it sits back quietly and is more recessive.

“We moved all the bedrooms upstairs and added a stunning mezzanine and void space. It gives the living room a palatial proportioned ceiling. The space takes full advantage of sun, light and interactions with the landscape.

“It did mean 2 of the bedrooms had to be slightly smaller than if we’d built over the entire space. But the sacrifice was so worth it!”

Living room with skylight and curved mezzanine floor
Two way fireplace with stone plinth

The conservatory feels incredibly grand using a contrasting mix of sweeping curves versus straight lines.

“The ceiling over the dining table and internal mezzanine balcony both curve in order to ease the interaction between the old and new spaces. Another element worth mentioning is the beautiful curved leg on the island bench that’s made from Tasmanian oak.

The mixed palette of materials and textures were selected to create a feeling of softness, stillness and quiet… and to reinforce a sense of calm.

“Many of the surfaces chosen seem quite hard, like the polished concrete and marble. However, the addition of the timber ceilings and floors, and chalky matte finishes really soften the space. The idea was for the family to feel like they’re on holidays or at a day spa,” smiles Sally.

“We chose the natural stone to feel like an extension of the outdoors. The green and navy tones blend in beautifully with the external landscaped spaces.”

Lantern home by night
Modern extension with pool

The contrasting features continue outside with the external facade of Lantern House.

“We used Colorbond steel Matt in ‘Surfmist’ with a standing seam profile on the external facade and roof to give it a light quality. It further reinforces the contrast from the dark, heavy colonial Victorian terrace and the new light, bright conservatory at the rear,” explains Sally.

“The pool area got a complete makeover too. The original pool had a dated timber enclosure over it and the garden was overgrown. They felt like they were suffocating the external spaces but now they’re just beautiful!”

Thank you to Sally for showing us through the stunning Lantern House. For more from Timmins + Whyte Architecture and Design, check out their Instagram page. What’s your fave feature of this amazing home? Tell us in the comment section below.

Photography — Peter Bennetts
Builder — Barkers Burke Construction
Landscape designer — Mud Office
Landscape construction — Josh Norman Landscapes

More real homes here

Open plan living dining kitchen with statement stone bench
View from internal mezzanine balcony
Open plan living dining room with curved ceiling detail
Red brick and glass exterior
Exterior of lantern home with pool
Neutral bathroom with marble benches
minimalist bedroom with ceiling fan

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