Fiona and Paul suspect that back in the 1980s when their Brighton home was built, it was probably pretty amazing for its time. The problem more recently however, was that the ‘wow’ had waned.
Fiona immediately singles out curved walls when asked what was so wrong with the fascade of their home. They were rounded, brick walls with a scratched rendering finish, leaving rough vertical lines along the façade of the home.
Add to this wooden cream windows, a tilted sloping veranda (complete of course with matching cream coloured tin), all framed by a rendered fence with cream lattice inserts and you have, well, authentic 80s at their very best or very worst (depending where you sit on the pop culture scale).
It was actually the lattice inserts that served as the straw to break the camel’s back. They just had to go, which prompted Fiona and Paul to ask themselves why the whole façade couldn’t just go with them…
They encountered their first obstacle fairly early into the process. Some architects with whom they met were reticent to work on just a façade. Some were reticent to share too much detail unless officially appointed.
Eventually however, Fiona and Paul found George from Dakis Design, who proved himself to be every much the 80's architectural whisperer.
The brief was fairly simple – please modernise the façade. Surprisingly at first to Fiona and Paul, George didn’t banish the curves.
Instead, he worked to accentuate the existing positives of the façade and in doing so, managed to soften the perceived curvature and let it harmonise with the other features. Window positions, sizes and shapes were altered. This made a vast difference both outside and inside.
The original roofline sloped down to one side (80s – all about the diagonals), but has since been squared up with bricks and render.
George also brought to the couple a menu of materials they would never have otherwise considered.
Paul managed the build himself, which was necessary given the vast number of distinct tradespeople required; for a ‘small’ project, this renovation certainly called on a significant cast to be realised.
This was made a little easier given Fiona works at womo.com.au – a website featuring ‘word of mouth’ reviews about businesses and services Australia-wide.
The reno is now 80% complete and Fiona and Paul are feeling the 80s slip away just a little bit more with each day that passes.
Fiona and Paul’s tips to renovating a home façade:
- Invest in getting the design right and do the whole project rather than just patch up the worst bit
- Find an architect with whom you connect and who is willing to share their thinking with you
- Find reliable, quality tradespeople by checking customer reviews on womo.com.au!
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