Cleaver Street Residence

West Perth

How do you give a family room to grow, in a house that has none? A balancing act of light, space and ingenuity.



With one child already and twins on the way, the owners of this Federation-era home in West Perth needed to make the absolute most of the space they had. The existing home had only three bedrooms and suffered from a slightly ‘hemmed in’ feel, due in part to previous renovations.

Our design aimed to bring light and life into every corner of the home, giving the family maximum use of the space. First, we used an existing two-storey wall as the backbone for a tall, thin tower. This sliver-like extension incorporates the new kitchen/dining and laundry areas, as well as stairs to the new upper level. The master bedroom and ensuite share the upstairs with a small open study, overlooking the soaring void space and dining room below. To maximise space in the master bedroom, we needed a little ingenuity. By opening a door into the existing roof cavity, we were able to reclaim it as a spacious walk-in-robe.

Privacy is crucial in any family home. Our design incorporates a number of features offering an easy transition between connection and seclusion. The master bedroom can become a quiet retreat via a pair of internal shutter panels. The noise of the lounge and hallway areas is likewise easily separated from the kids’ bedrooms opposite with large, glazed black-steel French doors.

Given we were using every available inch of space, it was important to preserve as much light and air as possible in the final design. The new two-storey addition drinks in the light, with the east-facing void shelled almost entirely in glass. Outside, the new terrace and lush pergola extend seamlessly from the kitchen/dining area, softening the outlook and offering a shaded outdoor living space. A series of sculptural south-facing loft windows also scoop light into the upper level, venting hot air during summer and drawing in the cool afternoon breezes.

The finishes and fittings bring this home to life, combining a contemporary aesthetic with a nod to classic, prestige materials. Gold feature tapware in the kitchen is accented beautifully against green Dulux ‘Cool Current’ lacquer. Stone-look ultra-compact porcelain panels add a touch of sophistication (and durability for busy family life), while timber veneer brings warm walnut tones to the cabinetry. The finishing touch was the striking Perch Light Branch light fitting in the dining room, illuminating the heart of this unique family home from within.

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