Urban Road

Willoughby house: A modern, heritage renovation with genius space saving secrets

That design process of melding the old — heritage, classic style — with the new — modern, sophisticated and sleek — is always a challenge. And yet Willoughby house is a modern heritage renovation that is executed to perfection.

Leah Pitman, one half of the Bone Made duo behind this magnificent home, takes us for a look around. Including all the genius space saving secrets!

Related article: Inside a modern heritage home with timeless beauty
Related article: Blurring the architectural lines: A charming Federation style home gets a modern makeover

Kitchen with leather bar stools
Heritage features in modern home
Stained glass windows in bathroom

The original home was full of character and classic style which the owners were keen to protect.

“Willoughby house is home to a family of 4,” Leah tells us. “It’s a 2 storey home with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 living spaces and the open plan kitchen and dining.

“The exisiting home was full of character and it was vital for us to retain these beautiful, period details. We wanted to create a cohesive connection between the old and new. Our concept was ‘clean lined cottage’.”

Kitchen going through to laundry
The ‘hidden laundry’ which flows off the kitchen
Stacked washer and dryer in modern laundry
The colour palette used in the laundry matches in beautifully with the sleek kitchen design
Large square window by window seat
Living room window seat with a gorgeous view AND bonus hidden storage
Pocket doors in kitchen hiding study
Pocket doors hide this clever study nook
Study nook hidden behind pocket doors
The doors tuck away seamlessly when the desk is in use

A standout feature in this modern heritage renovation, are the clever space saving inclusions.

“Where we can, we always try and create as much storage as possible within our designs. Storage is always key with a growing family!” says Leah.

“Underneath the living room window, we created a window seat that joins up to the fireplace with storage below. This helps to create a really cosy living space and allows for extra seating and storage in one element.

“The hidden study nook off the dining room is pretty special. It’s a great way to add in a useful feature, but the pocket doors allow it (and the mess!) to be quickly and easily tucked out of sight.

“We also created a ‘hidden laundry’ within the kitchen. This allows the family to keep the space concealed if they wish, or open it up. Which they should! It’s a gorgeous space. The finishes palette is a flow on from the kitchen for that streamline, cohesive look.”

Read more about pocket doors here.

Dining room with pendant light and large artwork
Modern kitchen with brass lights
Double white round vanity with oval mirrors

Willoughby house gets the balance just right when it comes to blending heritage features with modern style.

“The home has a really warm, inviting and open feel to it. I’d describe the style as ‘contemporary meets classic’,” says Leah.

We retained all existing period features in the home, such as the ornate ceilings, cornices and stained glass windows. We paired them with a more contemporary style finishes palette.

“For example, within the kitchen, we opted for a classic and bold vein within the feature stone. We went for a classic style rangehood design and paired it with a contemporary joinery profile and colour.

“For this modern heritage renovation, we really wanted to retain the exisiting cornices. However, we also wanted to open up the dining space onto the living, so we worked closely with our builder and it took some quality craftsmanship from the trades to help make this happen.

“The end result is wonderful and creates a seamless look and finish to the overall space.”

Photography — The Palm Co
Builder — Greenchip Constructions

What a wonderful home this was to discover! We loved taking a look through Willoughby house and seeing the wonderful blend of styles in this modern heritage renovation. For even more beautiful projects from the Bone Made team, be sure to take a look at their website and Instagram.

Discover more home tours

Pocket doors in kitchen
More storage, with more clever pocket doors
Shelves and pocket doors shown behind pocket doors
Open plan living and kitchen
Kitchen with open pocket door shelving
Kitchen island with 3 pendant lights
Laundry details in white and grey laundry
Grey tiles with pink sink and 2 oval mirrors
Grey terrazzo bathroom
Grey terrazzo half-height wall above bath
Living room with large windows
Living room with sheer curtains
Rattan dining chairs with stone fireplace
Stone fireplace in living room
Mudroom with built in bench seat
Outdoor kitchen and stone pizza oven
Back door to modern extension
Living room with window seat
Build in bedhead with white bubble lights
Brushed bronze tap in kitchen
Terrazzo niche in shower
Bathroom with brushed bronze tap
White hallway with full length mirror
Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

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    1. Hi SC
      Love the feel of this house and in particular the beautiful kitchen. I am trying to create a similar feel with my whites – would you please share what colour was used on the cabinetry and the walls?

      Thanks Vicki


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