The home that lets light in. / by Shannon Battisson

Nicholls home_exterior

It started with the need to replace a dishwasher, which led to a desire for a new kitchen and ended with a complete renovation of a traditional family home. 

When we met on site to discuss the brief, it was clear that whilst the clients loved their home, and had invested significant money in the now established landscaped gardens, the house itself failed to meet their needs and wants.  With a young family, the hardworking couple desperately wanted to introduce some light into the living areas which were currently dark, cold and disconnected from the beautiful garden spaces surrounding the dwelling. 

Once we understood their needs and knew that the introduction of light was a necessity we provided multiple concept designs to ensure that all possibilities were considered. Starting with an option that changed only the kitchen, the next was the living spaces and the last was a complete renovation of the current home.

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The client was onboard and ready to make some major changes to the way the house functioned, and in so doing actually reduced the overall footprint of the house! This is a strong example of why extra floor area does not equate with better quality spaces.  In this instance, a pop out dining nook, which was too small and badly placed to be useable, was blocking all natural light from both the kitchen and family room. 

Removing the pop out made way for the introduction of the 6m wide stackable sliding door.  And when combined with three operable skylights, this formerly internal and dark space was suddenly opened to both the sun and the garden beyond.

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The other great change was the relocation of a series of box-like rooms that ran the length of the house, blocking access to the garden, light and cross ventilation.  Moving one bedroom to the south, and a study to an internal space with a large skylight, allowed the placement of a new north facing living room, dramatically improving both the energy use of the house and the general amenity of the spaces.

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And finally, we removed a feature common to houses in new estates from the 90’s onward, the entry portico.  This heavy masonry structure added little aesthetic value to the house but contributed to the complete lack of natural light within.  Removing exterior structures allowed the introduction of a beautiful timber solar pergola which provides weather protection for the front door, shade during summer months, and vital sunlight during Canberra’s winter. A home that lets light in.

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Photography by Adam McGrath - HCreations