A New Life for a Historic Ballarat Home – Lyon House by David Cook-Doulton

Words by Jackson Hides
Architecture by David Cook-Doulton
Photography by Myles Formby

David Cook-Doulton has a long-held love for breathing new life into historic residences, and his latest effort, Lyon House, is a continuation of this passion. Once more, form and function merge as the historic building is given a contemporary update.

Originally built in the 1880s, the house began its life as a stately country home during Ballarat’s golden age. The 1920s saw the home totally remodelled, with changes made to the façade, to suit the popular villa style of the time. Now, after a three-year renovation, Lyon House has undergone its third major iteration, bringing it into the 21st century with a considered renovation that is careful not to lose touch with its Victorian-era features and heritage.

The resulting house, which is available to rent as a boutique holiday home, respects where the building has come from, but brings forth a contemporary flair that creates a fascinating tension throughout. For David Cook-Doulton, this is reflected in the balance between the light and dark elements of the house, that play off one another for dramatic effect. “Lyon House…has a uniquely masculine feel with this play of light and dark,” he says.

The Victorian-era home has been given a contemporary update that sees light and dark create a playful tension.

Furthermore, he explains, “with fashion accommodation, it is integral that the product not only looks fantastic, but that it performs perfectly.” The consideration for well-appointed products that can not only stand the test of time but also stand on their own, was but one of the reasons why David chose to partner with Rogerseller for the tapware, showers and accessories across the three luxuriously appointed bathrooms. “We have been using Rogerseller products for a number of years over different projects. There are two qualities that we look for in bathroom products – these are design and durability,” he says. “The use of the Arq II tapware, with its beautiful graphite finish, perfectly suited the textural finishes of our three retreat bathrooms.”

The appointment of Australian designed and made tapware feels appropriate for a contemporary renovation to a historical home in a town like Ballarat and speaks to the inherent versatility of the Rogerseller range. As David has breathed new life into a previously tired space, he has shown the potential for respecting the past, and adding to it with consideration and craftsmanship. The end result is a beautiful Victorian home, which while greater than the sum of its parts is made more special by those parts being of the utmost integrity.

Rogerseller’s premium tapware and showerheads played an integral role in helping to shape the mood and feel of Lyon House’s three bathrooms.