Before + After: A Stylish Transformation Of A 75m² Home

There’s nothing wrong with a granny flat, but that wasn’t the intended feel of this McKinnon, Melbourne property, which needed to function as a home for one, plus workspace.

‘It was relatively featureless and had a poorly considered bathroom/laundry and kitchen made of very basic materials,’ says Anouska Milstein, creative director of A.mi.

‘A low ceiling throughout really drew focus to the flooring, which was timber-look vinyl planks…. Definitely of another time!’

Initially engaged to renovate the property after suffering water damage, A.mi were soon embarking on a comprehensive renovation

The exterior envelope of the petite 75-square-metre weatherboard cottage remained untouched, but A.mi were able to unlock the space by opening up the previously partially enclosed kitchen and removing a hallway linen closet.

The interiors were inspired by the client’s desire for a Hamptons-style home appropriate for their seaside location. ‘Even though it is their full time workplace and home, they wanted it to feel like a holiday escape,’ says Anouska.

This brief was adapted in a manner tailored to the size of the home, resulting in lightly detailed shaker style cabinetry and an interrupted display shelf (achieved by integrating a rangehood within the cooktop) in the kitchen.

‘I also love the floating bench that runs across the entire room (we chose to do this to give a further sense of lightness and spaciousness), and then the wall of full height joinery adjacent to it,’ says Anouska.

Chalky walls and warm-toned joinery contrast against the new white timber-lined ceiling and smooth white-washed floorboards.

This colour palette evolved over the life of the project under A.mi’s guidance. Anouska explains, ‘The client really wanted a bright, all-white home, but we felt that this wouldn’t evoke enough of the feeling the client wanted to achieve from the renovation.

‘Instead, we developed a palette of various warm-toned off whites, which our client luckily was happy to pivot to!

‘They selected their final choices based upon visiting the site and seeing the colours transform at different times of the day.’

New French doors lined with ruched linen curtains and relaxed blinds over windows filter light and introduce a softness to each room.

Building on the intended ‘holiday feel’ of the home, A.mi wanted the bathroom to shine. This space was entirely reworked, turning what was a simple shower and basin into a slightly larger and luxe retreat featuring the same gold-veined marble as the kitchen.

The bathroom is now as practical as it is stylish, comprising a new linen cupboard, washing machine concealed by a curtain beneath the bathroom bench, and a small bath.

Altogether, this renovation has turned what was a ‘blank white box’ into a layered, inviting space – that’s also extremely functional, despite its compact size.

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