Many people love the romance a heritage home. But if renovating an old home can be daunting, imagine trying to build one from scratch.
One intrepid couple took the plunge and created their own piece of Aussie history right in the heart of Old Bowral.
Home owner builders Jo & Craig have built a brand new 1920’s style Californian Bungalow that combines the alluring charm of a period residence with all the contemporary comforts of a modern home.
Taking their inspiration from the homes of the famed 19th century Bowral builder Alf Stephens, the couple worked with local architects and builders who shared their passion for historic homes.
Whilst they were not bound by heritage listing regulations, they all felt it was important to honour the historical character of streetscape and the surrounding suburb. This meant matching the detailing of the neighbouring homes with reproduction materials and products.
The authentic facade includes terracotta roof tiles, tapered columns and windows and doors primed in white with individually glazed colonial bars.
As windows and doors were key to their design, the couple needed a supplier who was flexible enough to provide a wide variety of high functioning products that can replicate a period look.
This fine line between heritage and modernity was achieved by incorporating Wideline's Natura range of timber windows and doors throughout their home.
“Wideline helped us with a renovation years ago,” Jo said, “We were very happy with their service and the results. Naturally they were the first ones we went to for our new build.”
The couple met with a Wideline consultant as soon as the plans were drawn up. From previous experience they knew that good communication is key when building or renovating.
“Being specific and explaining your expectations is crucial,” Jo commented. “I could tell that our consultant understood our vision for the home and would work hard to make it happen.”
After a detailed discussion, Natura timber windows and doors were recommended because of their authentic heritage appeal and wide range of applications.
Solid Meranti timber was chosen for its strength, durability, and the insulation it provides during cold Highlands winters.
Insulated glass units were installed in the windows and the doors to keep the warmth in. As the home is located on a popular road, just a few hundred metres walk from Bowral's café society, the double glazing also helps reduce unwanted noise from the street.
The timber frames were all hand finished on-site in a crisp white paint, typical of the period.
Charm reigns in this period home. The front façade of the house features a thoughtful amalgamation of casement, double-hung, and sliding windows. The rear pays careful attention to decorative elements, such as bespoke sliding windows and entry doors with individually glazed Colonial bars.
The spirit of the 1920’s looms large in the home’s North-facing enclosed verandah.
As in many homes of the era, it wraps around the home, oozing personality. At one end, the kitchen is integrated into the flow of the verandah via a café-style bi-fold servery window. At the other end, ceiling to floor stacking doors delineate a private sunny sanctuary that is accessed by hinged French doors from the master bedroom.
In a break with tradition, at the heart of the home is a communal open plan kitchen, dining and living area. In a beautiful blend of historic home and contemporary styling, modern kitchen amenities are surrounded by 11-foot-high ceilings, decorative cornices, and "period" design architraves and skirting boards.
On all sides, natural light floods in from generously sized double-hung windows and hinged entry doors.
By any standard Jo & Craig’s newly built Californian Bungalow is a success. As proof, it has been nominated for the Wingecarribee Heritage and Urban Design Awards 2020.
Jo advises, “Take your time making the decision about who you work with and do your homework! Choose like-minded people. You will work closely with them and the better your relationship is, the smoother things will go”.
While there will be some stressful days, there will also be days of joy as you see your vision come to life in front of your eyes.
Make sure you talk with a Wideline consultant early on before you begin your building or renovating journey. You will be happy you did! Our product experts can help you plan windows and doors for any style of home.
Images © Di Jones Real Estate.