Brook House
Location Hawthorn
Size 300sqm+
Completed 2023
Architect Therefore Architects
Builder BFC Built
Photography Dave Kulesza
Styling Sarah Weston

Situated in the leafy neighbourhood of Hawthorn, this residence prioritises communal spaces and family living. Studio Doherty partnered with Therefore Architects to revitalise this Californian Bungalow, reconfiguring its interior and adding a large rectangular exposed brick pavilion to the rear of the home to cater to the needs of a young family of four. The objective was to establish a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor spaces, with a primary focus on infusing the interiors with additional natural light to create an airy and tranquil atmosphere.

When conceptualising the interior design, we opted for a foundation of neutral tones, including light timber flooring, pale timber grain veneers, and warm whites, imparting a fresh contemporary ambiance to the spaces. To introduce contrast, we strategically incorporated rich hues throughout the house, not only distinguishing one area from another but also injecting visual interest. This can be observed in the kitchen, where earthy timber elements and steel-framed glass cabinets harmonize with striking black granite surfaces. Adding a finishing touch to this interior scheme is the introduction of forest green handmade 3D tiles, enveloping the kitchen’s rear countertop, range hood, and extending to a floating breakfast bar, offering scenic views of the lush courtyard garden.

Beyond the kitchen, a sunken conversation pit bathed in soft blues provides an ideal gathering space for the family. As part of the new extension, this area is flanked by two floor-to-ceiling windows, offering views of both the backyard and the newly designed courtyard. The new pavilion which houses the sunken lounge was pulled off the existing house to provide a northern aspect to the south facing block. This architectural gesture, together with lowered seating area creates a sensation of being fully immersed in both interior and exterior environments.

The primary bedroom and bathrooms embrace the period charm of the original home. Timber joinery with intricate framed detailing is a recurring theme in these spaces, though it incorporates deeper, more subdued tones to instil a sense of serenity and encourage relaxation. Gold-toned curtains and a tiled dresser serve as the finishing touches to the bedroom retreat.

The main family bathroom exudes a calm, Japanese-inspired aesthetic, and functionality. Japanese mosaic tiles are used to create a lowered vanity platform, complemented by a deliberately dark and earthy rendered finish on the walls.

The introduction of light and a stronger connection to the outdoor spaces were central design principles and are evident throughout the residence. A series of generous skylights were integrated into the new kitchen area, making a bold architectural statement while flooding the space with natural light. In other areas, full-height windows were incorporated to maximise views of the newly landscaped courtyards and gardens, reinforcing the concept of a welcoming home that seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor living.