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Hughes House

Described by its owners as a ‘rabbit warren’ prior to our renovation, this 1960s inner-South home needed a more functional floor-plan and an overhaul of its energy performance.

Re-thinking layout

Wanting to retain the original character of the house, we worked with the shell of the existing building to reconfigure its internal spaces, rather than increase its footprint.

Improvements to layout and circulation meant that while the size of some rooms was reduced, the overwhelming impression is one of expansion, openness and light.

In practical terms this meant moving the study and laundry, and repositioning the dining room to be closer to the kitchen, which was in turn opened up to the outside deck with large glass doors. The introduction of new joinery throughout, as well as new bathrooms, updated the interior and brought a new sense of liveable, workable space.

Despite an overall modest reduction in glazing, more light streams through the house due to the new floor plan and the strategic re-placement of windows.

The temperature remains comfortable year-round with new hydronic heating replacing the former ducted gas system, and ceiling fans in living areas and bedrooms. Heat loss has been markedly reduced due improved insulation and the use of magnetite secondary double-glazing, which clips on to the existing windows’ steel frames.

Key features

  • 777m2 sloping site with orientation of north to the side
  • Existing house floor area remained at 183m2
  • Renovation: floor plan reconfigured to improve light, warmth and connection to the outdoors, while improving overall energy efficiency with the existing footprint.
  • Customised joinery throughout existing house and extension
  • Floor finishes include; timber, tiles and carpet
  • Living spaces connect to the northern outdoor covered deck and entertainment area
  • Tailored to the site and designed to our client’s brief and budget


Sustainable elements

  • High levels of insulation retrofitted to ceilings, walls and floors
  • PVC double-glazed windows retrofitted to rear of house
  • Existing steel framed windows facing the street fitted with secondary glazing
  • Gas-fuelled hydronic radiator panel heating
  • Ceiling fans
  • LED lighting