Baron Cottage renovation

Before Baron Cottage was the Baron Cottage it was a rental property and whilst the years hadn’t been exactly unkind they hadn’t been exactly kind either. It was a mish-mash of flooring, the kitchen design was suited to a different era and an old disused chimney was taking up valuable floor space. The bathrooms were pokey and the laundry was horrifically oversized. All-in-all nothing that a great renovation couldn’t fix!

When I first visited the Baron Cottage I had a deep understanding that this was a property that possessed a warm personality, an unassuming character that had stood in observation for generations, where good memories had been made within its walls. Walking into the Baron Cottage felt like I was getting a really big bear hug from Pop as a kid. The bear hug was just being hidden underneath some fairly hideous design choices.

5 May 2020

Kathryn Trentini

5 May 2020

‘I think homeowners are unbelievably brave to commit to completely tearing their home apart so they can rebuild it to suit how they want to live. Let’s face it, once you start that process there’s no going back. A renovation is not cheap and living onsite is stressful.’ – Kathryn.

Can I just say from the outset that the owners of the Baron Cottage were a dream team. They were extremely open to the design process, they were willing to say no if they didn’t like something and they trusted me even when they couldn’t quite understand the end result. Plus, they wanted the home to retain it’s large gardens rather than expand the house unnecessarily and this was music to my soul.

When the plans were presented and we worked through each space, there was serious excitement, however, they were both a little skeptical that everything would actually fit like it was drawn on paper. Rather than try to convince them on paper, I set about with masking tape laying out the new floor plan. They could see where new walls would be, where the new windows would sit, where the kitchen would be in relation to the butlers pantry and the laundry, how big the dining area would be, where that epic fireplace would end. Eventually, they could walk around the new space in scale and that’s when they got really excited. I have to admit it was a little tricky because some walls were in the way, but we got there in the end!

At presentation, everything single detail is considered and laid out to the homeowners for their approval including the plans, finishes and fixtures, equipment, window treatments, furniture and soft furnishings, labour and materials. When I say everything, I literally mean everything that is within the scope of work. It’s a big job but by the end of presentation the homeowners have a complete design with a renovation budget and an estimated timeline. There’s a number of reasons why I work in this way, but one of the advantages is that by the end of presentation the homeowner has finalised their decision making process and we can move onto the actual build itself. Last minute decision making isn’t required because it’s all done before we start demolition so at least that is one stress removed from the process!

Although the volume of the Baron Cottage remained the same, the internal configurations changed dramatically to accommodate modern family life and the rear elevation was streamlined to create a pleasing exterior. Let’s take a look at the kitchen and bathroom and what we did in those areas.

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