What used to be a double fronted Victorian terrace house in Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia, recently became an inspiration to us all, as you will see in the images below. Transformed from a potentially livable home into a mesmerizing collection of spaces, the owner’s old residence was enlarged, and polished into an inviting and modern family home.

The existing house has four good sized bedrooms at the front, but the living, dining and kitchen rooms were small with low ceilings. ”

Renovating and expanding the existing floor plan meant opening up the living, dining and kitchen areas to light and air. Where low ceilings used to be, Australian studio Chan Architecture imagined a collection of elegant spaces. Here inhabitants would feel safe and empowered.

Architects saw the existing situation and proposed to “demolish the existing rear of the house and construct a new, modern, open planned kitchen/living/dining room with new laundry, two bathrooms and a new master bedroom.” By doing so, they opened up the spaces and inserted natural light via floor-to-ceiling windows flooding living spaces with natural light. Another challenge was to create a smooth transition between old and new, between the familiarity of the old structure and the functionality of the modern home extension.

They guide us through the work: “The main challenges of this project were to create a new family area without sacrificing too much of the backyard, whilst being respectful of the existing house.  The approach was to create a visual break between the old and the new, to clearly delineate the different areas.”

Photographed by Brendan Finn of Folded Bird Photography, the modern home extension re-envisions the way owners interact with the space, natural light and the private outdoors. And, as clearly imagined by the creative Chan Architecture studio, “the new extension has clean lines, high ceilings and carefully chosen palette of materials.”