Transforming the Traditional – Fitzroy North Residence by Dan Gayfer Design
Creative use of space and warm tones help to transform this Edwardian residence into a home that delights. Dan Gayfer Design accommodates growth for the owners of Fitzroy North Residence in a way that still honours the existing structure.
From first look, this North Fitzroy home appears as though it was constructed for the sole purpose of communal living. An open plan kitchen and dining space looks out to a patio area and magnificent garden. It housed within an existing steel structure, which – along with a section of the timber decking – was left over from the building’s previous life. Clean lines and geometric shapes, coupled with considerably placed curves, help to heighten and accentuate the openness of the interior, providing a space where time can simply melt away.
It is only when one starts to explore beyond the communal areas – made appealing by their warm tones and custom-built furniture – that the home begins to reveal moments of pause. A study nook, for instance, is carefully configurated under the stairs, carving out a place of escape within the larger communal kitchen and dining space. Likewise, an enclosed living room that looks out to the garden quietly exudes a sense of rest and relaxation for its occupants.
The term ‘functionality’ is often used when describing builds these days, however, for this project, the team at Dan Gayfer Design made it one of their core tenets. By grasping a thorough understanding of the owners’ day-to-day needs, the team explored how each space could be used by the family and allowed the design to be informed by practicality, tailoring sections of the house accordingly. This marriage of design and functionality also helps to reinvent areas; for instance, moving away from a simple balcony space to instead deliver a retreat that can be updated and utilised as required.
The kitchen centres around a concrete island tabletop; the brutalist-inspired design is softened by the contrasting exposed blackbutt veneered cabinetry and light-toned handles. With open air coming through the ground level’s floor-to-ceiling windows and doors, alongside natural light delivered by the custom skylight, the bench remains a presence in the room but offers an unexpected sense of grounding and calm. By eliminating unnecessary components, the kitchen becomes a space to come together in the evenings and delivers on connection without traditional formality. The concept of finding warmth in these occasionally cold materials similarly extends to every part of the house; from the bathrooms with its porcelain and concrete surfaces to the first-floor balcony wrapped in steel mesh.
Through considered materiality and distinguished design, Fitzroy North Residence appears as a robust family home. Dan Gayfer Design delivers a structure of lasting resonance and the ideal backdrop for family life.