Grid House
Location Malvern East, Victoria, Australia
Size 400sqm +
Completed September 2021
Building Designer Ari Alexander
Builder Shepherd Builders
Photography Timothy Kaye

This renovated Edwardian weatherboard is home to a young family who had become attached to the property and local area, but had outgrown the footprint of the house. Working alongside Ari Alexander, we were engaged to both spatially replan and redesign the interior spaces in a manner that honoured the existing architecture, while clearly expressing a desire for modernity.

The brief called for two additional bedrooms, an additional bathroom, a rumpus space for the children and for everything to feel calm, open and light. Given the scale of the site, the only real way to achieve this was to go up, so we went up. We also introduced the family to our friends – tall ceilings and we strategically placed windows and skylights, which enabled sunlight to filter in at all times of the day. Our colour choices helped further establish this feeling of serenity in a manner that’s bold, but not loud. Blue tones provide adornment and interest, and through repetition, became a connecting thread between all spaces. Colour is also used to delineate one space from another, defining and celebrating this marriage of the old and the new.

Consistency and repetition through colour also allowed other decorative elements to successfully co-exist. V-groove panelling and vertical timber battens (a contemporary nod to the traditional weatherboard aesthetic) add texture, warmth and ornamentation while also expressing geometric form and thus creating a ‘grid’ motif through joinery. 

A strong connection between the interior and exterior spaces was achieved by reorienting the kitchen, dining and living towards the garden and pool. No matter where you stand, you’re always facing greenery and in prime position to cannonball into the pool. The back extension also saw the introduction of a ‘floating’ glazed box, designed and positioned so that anyone inside feels completely immersed in the garden.

Throughout the entire process our clients were heavily involved in decoration and furniture. With such an established art collection (that embraces bold colour), everyone was keen to make sure the new spaces considered this final layer of design and decoration, allowing colourful artworks, elegantly designed pieces, joinery and materials to all work cohesively.