Parslow Street, Malvern Parslow Street, Malvern Parslow Street, Malvern Parslow Street, Malvern

Parslow Street, Malvern

This gorgeous little cottage looks like it belongs in an English seaside village - the upstairs dormer windows, set in a steeply sloping slate roof would allow inhabitants to scan the horizon for distant sails or incoming storms and the front garden would be planted with honeysuckle, rambling roses and brightly coloured flowers. In reality, this home is wedged between two buildings - one modern - yet it provides a romantic and charming relief to an otherwise typically inner-suburban streetscape.

Built in 1910, the front facade, including the slate roof, the upstairs windows and the verandah posts are original. Even the two chimney pots perched on either end of the roof have been retained as they were.

The current owners bought the house in 2005 and lived in it until undertaking an extensive renovation in 2010. The outcome is a tribute to the ingenuity of the owners and architect - it now houses a family of six, is light and airy and gives the impression of being much larger than it is. The block only measures 450 square metres and every design decision has been made to optimise the space - both literally and illusory.

The front door opens directly into a hall, which runs down the centre of the house. Wide double doors on each side open to the master bedroom and a large study. Sliding doors can close off these spaces, but they usually remain open to give the impression of a bigger area. The hallway leads to a formal sitting and dining room. Recessed shelving, French doors opening to a sunny courtyard, and the judicious use of a full-length mirror add to the illusion of space. The modern artwork includes a Kirsten McIvor neon sign, a David Band painting hanging over the open fire and a fabulous digitally manipulated image by Sophia Szilagyi. These rooms have been painted Porter's "Kanpai Grey". The smoked glass lights hanging over the dining table were sourced from New York.

The hallway leads into a kitchen and living room. Unbelievably, there is an enormous butler's pantry tucked behind the kitchen, and a large and functional laundry - both deemed essential to the smooth running of the household.

A wide staircase leads to the upper floor - the children's area. There are three large bedrooms, two bathrooms and a vast central space providing play and study areas. The front two bedrooms still have the original dormer windows, and a barn-style ceiling built over the new rooms not only exaggerates the space, but reflects the style of the ceiling in the front rooms. Tiles in the bathroom were chosen as a reminder of the vertical lining boards that were originally used throughout the house.

Downstairs again, sliding full-length doors lead to a deck which runs the width of the house. A pool sits to one side and a lawn to the other. A painted wooden pergola will eventually be covered in ivy, providing shade in summer to the living room.

The house is beautifully decorated in muted, natural tones, with colour only appearing upstairs in the children's area. It creates a sense of calm, order, and naturally, of space.