Urban Road

The stunning before and after home transformation of Willoughby II

We looooove a before and after home transformation here at Style Curator. From the not so fab ‘before’ to the jaw-droppingly how-did-they-even-do-that after. And Willoughby II is no exception.

Come and take a look around with tonnes of before and after pics of this beautiful home renovation project with us. We chat with Laura Steele, Creative Director at Branche Designs who is behind this stunning home.

Related article: A stunning before and after home transformation: Inside this contemporary Hamptons home
Related article: From dated home to luxe holiday style: Before and after home transformation

Branche Designs_Willoughby II_front exterior after
New exterior of Willoughby II
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_front of home before
Exterior of home before
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_kitchen from hallway before
Hallway to kitchen before
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_hall to kitchen
Hallway and kitchen after

Home to a family of 6, this 1930’s cottage was in dire need of an update.

“This home is located in Willoughby, on Sydney’s lower North Shore. Our brief came from the Mum of the household.

“She was the only female sharing 1 bathroom with 5 males — her husband and 4 teenage sons. So as you can imagine, she was desperate for her own ensuite!” Laura says with a laugh.

“The original brief was to reconfigure the internal layout in the hope to gain enough space to add an extra bathroom. We ended up adding 2 additional bathrooms and another bedroom to the property.”

Branche Designs_Willoughby II_bathroom before
The one and only bathroom originally in this home for a family of 6
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_grey bathroom
Bathroom after

More than just a cosmetic update, the entire home was remodelled.

“The property is now a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom home. There are 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms upstairs, 1 being the master ensuite. Downstairs there is another bedroom with an ensuite,” says Laura.

“We also added the new addition of a granny flat which has a separate bedroom and bathroom.

“For exterior of the home, we had to blend a fusion of styles to create a cohesive look. The original home is a 1930’s cottage but a modern addition had been tacked onto the back of the home by a previous owner.

“The home felt completely disjointed and lacked any connection so when we came on board, we were determined to give our clients their dream home. The photos of this before and after home speak for themselves, really!”

Branche Designs_Willoughby II_Back exterior before
The back exterior before the renovation
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_exterior after
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_dining to kitchen side view before
View of kitchen from dining space before the renovation
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_side view of kitchen
View of kitchen from dining space after the renovation

Working with their client’s key renovation request added an extra challenges for the Branche Designs team.

“There was an existing double-sided fireplace in the centre of the home which was the only structure that the owner wanted to keep. Through careful considered design, we worked with the fireplace to subtly divide the living room and kitchen while still keeping an open plan feel to the space,” Laura explains.

“Because the existing fireplace was a fixed point in a very central position, it was a real challenge when designing the new kitchen. We weren’t left with a great deal of width for the kitchen, so we decided to use the existing bay window for the sink and dishwasher in order to gain the extra space we needed.

“Another feature in the kitchen design that we love is the perfect curve in the island bench top using 80mm engineered stone.

What most people don’t realise is that this is a highly specialised process! We had to find the right person who had the skills to get it right for us. We were told by MANY that it would be impossible to achieve… but where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Branche Designs_Willoughby II_dining area window seat before
The former dining area bay window before
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_sink by window
The deep window now houses the kitchen sink and it’s beautiful!
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_living to kitchen before
Living room and fireplace before the renovation
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_living to kitchen
And after

The renovation blends traditional elements with modern, sleek design.

“Our aim was to be sensitive to the old cottage,” Laura says.

“But we also wanted to bring a feeling of connection to the new renovation. To achieve this, we used a neutral colour palette and similar textures throughout.

“We wanted to created a cohesive design which considerately blended the two styles. For example, the traditional style of herringbone patterned floors were the perfect way to connect past and present.

“We also had a vision of using the ribbed panelling on the base of the kitchen island as a feature, and decided to carry that profile throughout, changing only the colour in each space.”

Branche Designs_Willoughby II_dining before the reno
The home was extended and the old deck became the new dining space
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_dining space with bench seat
The former deck became the dining area
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_kitchen before
Kitchen before
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_kitchen after
And the kitchen after

It was the kitchen before and after transformation that caught our eye on a recent Instagram scroll. And it seems the kitchen is Laura’s favourite space too.

“My favourite space would be the kitchen and dining area,” smiles Laura. “This home has a stunning well-established garden in the backyard, which is a rare find in the lower North Shore.

“From the first visit to the property, I immediately had a vision to ‘frame’ this lush green outlook and make a feature of it from the dining room.

“To make a bold statement, we used black semi-commercial windows and created a pitched cathedral ceiling. I wanted the feature lights to seem like they were floating so not to distract from the view, while still bringing ambience to the interior. The end result is just stunning.”

Design — Branche Designs
Photography — The Palm Co
Construction — Rez Construction

Thank you so much to Laura for allowing us to take a peek around this wonderful before and after home project. Be sure to drop by Branche Designs website to view more of their gorgeous projects, or take a scroll through their Instagram account.

Were you as amazed at the home’s transformation as we were? Did you have a favourite feature? Chat with us in the comment section below!

More before and after home tours here

Branche Designs_Willoughby II_dining before
Dining room before
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_from kitchen to dining
Dining room after
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_hallway before the reno
Entrance before
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_entrance to home after
Entrance after
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_chevron flooring
Entry and hallway after
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_curved island bench
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_dining room
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_living room before
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_living room shelf
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_bedroom before
Bedroom before
Branche Designs_Willoughby II_bedroom after
Bedroom after
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!

I’m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


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