Fermanagh Rd, Camberwell Photographs: Derek Swalwell
Styling: Heather Nette King. Australian House & Garden, March 2016

Fermanagh Rd, Camberwell

This stunning home has undergone a complete transformation in recent years. It retains its beautiful Victorian facade, but has a contemporary renovation to the rear.

The brief given to Cortese Architects and Lowther Builders was to blend the original front rooms with a two storey rear modern extension and to incorporate as much northerly light as possible.

The house had previously been converted to three apartments and had lost many of its original period features. The owners were keen to honour the heritage of the home and have reinstated many of these features such as the arch in the hallway and fireplaces in the main bedroom and elegant sitting room.

This house is charming and elegant while remaining practical and family friendly. Interior decorator, Lynn Cheong has created an interior that flows with a seamless grey and white colour palate, with lime washed American oak floors. Interesting and beautiful treasures are thoughtfully and effortlessly displayed throughout the house. Stylish lighting is also a feature with a gorgeous, chandelier in the hallway and a collection of pendant lights suspended as a focal point above the dining table.

Steps have been introduced from the hallway to the living area of the house. This has allowed the backyard and living area to flow seamlessly on the one level, and minimised the overall height of the second storey extension.

The kitchen/ dining/ living area is stylish and bright, with high ceilings and large windows overlooking the backyard and maximising the northerly light. Calacatta marble has been used to striking effect, as a splashback to the kitchen, and as a suspended hearth (doubling as a shelf seat). The kitchen leads into a very practical and functional zone including a butler's pantry, concealed laundry with drying room and access to the front garage, vegie patch and water tank.

Upstairs provides a kids living area with three bedrooms, a bathroom and a retreat area. A full height glass window provides a dynamic link between downstairs and upstairs and maximises the light in the lower level. Two of the bedrooms have inviting balconies with views of the city. Bathrooms and ensuites throughout the house are each distinct but have been decorated in a similar colour palate with hexagonal tiles.

The gardens are lush and inviting and can be viewed from all rooms in the house. Landscape architect, Ben Scott, designed a soft free-flowing front garden to integrate with the established Liquidambar tree. A large variety of plant species has been used including woodland plantings, herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses. The result is a traditional but relaxed garden that sits beautifully with the house's lovely Victorian facade.

The rear garden is more structured to blend with the contemporary part of the house, and includes bamboo and pleached evergreen trees. It is set around a lawn area and a bluestone paved terrace with outdoor fireplace and built in BBQ and seating.

The care and attention to detail that has been lavished on the restoration and renovation of this home is evident throughout. The result is a stylish but extremely comfortable home that will be the envy of many.