Text by Dan Gayfer Design
The Fitzroy North Residence is a stunning renovation of a double fronted Edwardian residence that reflects the changing lifestyle of a family moving into the next phase of their journey. Designed by Day Gayfer Design the renovation exudes mid-century modern vibes while focusing intensely on function and style.
The design emphasizes bringing the outdoors in through floor-to-ceiling windows and doors on the ground floor, a low-angled roofline, and a family room that opens its walls to the garden. Clean lines, simple geometric forms, and curves make an appearance in the family room and kitchen, and the interior design is based on functionality with a palette of man-made and natural materials.
The use of solid timber and timber veneer throughout the interior is typical of mid-century design. The family room, in particular, gives off serious modernist vibes, with a built-in lounge and warm, earthy tones that could be straight out of the 1960s. A centrally positioned wood fireplace takes center stage at the end of the room.
One of the most distinctive features of the project is the reuse of the existing steel structure that formerly supported the roof over what was once the outdoor retreat. The row of steel columns and beams that extend the entire width of the property were retained and became fundamental to the design of the new family room.
The family room’s dimensions are defined by the existing roof structure, and the space beneath was enclosed via a combination of solid walling, floor-to-ceiling glazed sliding doors, and sliding windows. An interlocking sliding door and window system was implemented to create a spectacular and uninterrupted vista of the garden from the family room. The use of these existing steel components is quite unique, bringing a sustainable element to the project.
Another unique feature integral to the design is the first-floor balcony structure. The concept behind this structure was triggered by the need for an overlooking screen to the east as per council regulations. Instead of installing opaque glazing into the windows, a balcony was developed that was essentially “wrapped” in steel mesh, which prevented overlooking while providing an eve for both the first-floor retreat and dining room below.
The result is a fully functional semi-enclosed balcony space that can also be furnished with potted and creeping plants, bringing greenery into the upstairs retreat.
On a smaller scale, there are several uses of materials and elements throughout the design that are also distinctive and somewhat unique in their application. One such example is the concrete island bench with a custom-designed pattern forged into its vertical face beneath the bench top. The bathroom features large porcelain panels that wrap every single surface of the vanity, and the family room boasts an ochre carpet that rolls up the vertical face of the lounge kicker.
Overall, the Fitzroy North Residence is a breathtaking example of mid-century modern design, showcasing the reuse of existing materials and a focus on functionality without compromising on style. The design adapts to the nuances of the family’s lifestyle while providing necessary spaces and functionality.
Photos by Dean Bradley