Federation makeover

Homeowners Jan and Steve were sure their 25-year-old Federation style project home had good possibilities and architect Mark Lawler showed them just how great those possibilities could be.

Looking at the before and after photos of this four bedroom, three bathroom home in Swansea Heads, it’s not surprising that some of Jan and Steve’s friends didn’t recognise the home and drove right past it. It’s hard to reconcile the Federation style project home from the 1990s with the sleek, modern building of today.

The transformation has been a long time in the making. In a first phase, the couple renovated the three bathrooms and the second living area downstairs. They were unsure about what to do next and felt the need to bring in an expert to make the most of the existing structure and the stunning location. This is where architect Mark Lawler comes into the picture: Jan and Steve had seen his projects in previous issues of Hunter&Coastal Lifestyle Magazine and loved his work. “We discussed the project with Mark, who viewed the property and took photos. When he came back with his ideas it looked like an entirely different house. We couldn’t believe it,” laughs Jan. “It was exactly what we wanted, we just wouldn’t have known how to go about it.”

Mark says, “This project is a good example of how you can dramatically transform a home, both internally and externally, while leaving the existing house largely intact. We managed to correct the deficiencies of the house without wholesale demolition and its new look has added substantially to the value of the property.” Another crucial step was to find the right builder. “Hiring Mark and hiring our builder Eli were definitely the best decisions we made,” Jan says. Open home “We knew the house had good possibilities,” adds Steve. “The plan was to open up the home towards the beach, to create a new deck and get rid of the internal walls that separated the kitchen, formal dining and lounge rooms. Plus, we wanted to make the most of the ocean views from the master bedroom.”

Read more about this amazing transformation in the Spring issue of Hunter&Coastal Lifestyle Magazine. Available in news agencies or subscribe here and never miss an issue.
Story Cornelia Schulze, photography Murray McKean