Classic Victorian treated to a modern edge

FRESH LOOK: While the facade, front bedroom and hallway were restored, the remainder of the property was upgraded with a new, modern extension, adjoining the original front of the house.
FRESH LOOK: While the facade, front bedroom and hallway were restored, the remainder of the property was upgraded with a new, modern extension, adjoining the original front of the house.

It was a case of Victorian heritage charm meets modern minimalist design when interior designer, Eve Gunson, from Dot + Pop, and her builder husband, Matt Benetti, from New Living Constructions designed and re-built this single-fronted home in the Melbourne suburb of Albert Park.

The Victorian terrace was originally built in the 1880s, with a shop front added during the 1950s. "Over the years, the shop has housed a number of businesses, including a hairdresser, real estate agency and fruit shop," says Eve, who notes that it was running as a bookshop when she and Matt purchased the property.

The couple had extensive discussions with local council planning and heritage advisors before signing on the dotted line, to ensure they were permitted to demolish the shop front and restore the house back to its original heritage state.

In keeping with the heritage regulations, Eve and Matt restored the facade, returning the front bedroom and hallway back to its original Victorian glory. The remainder of the property was then demolished, upgraded with a new, modern extension, adjoining the original front of the house.

WONDER WALL: Gyprock Superchek plasterboard was used throughout the house, which helps to ensure the house is as soundproof as possible.

WONDER WALL: Gyprock Superchek plasterboard was used throughout the house, which helps to ensure the house is as soundproof as possible.

A central courtyard joins the house to the garage, boasting a second-story studio, complete with two bedrooms and one bathroom. The garage and studio design is an exact mirror of the main house extension, both internally and on the outside.

The couple state one of their biggest challenges to have been the corner block location of the property itself. Not only does the full length of the boundary wall run down the public street, but the front of the house faces a road with a tram, meaning outside noise was a concern. To minimise noise inside the house, Eve and Matt used CSR Gyprock Superchek plasterboard throughout the house, accompanied by acoustic insulation in the front rooms and double-glazed all windows and doors to ensure the house is as soundproof as possible.

"Gyprock's Superchek plasterboard has made a huge difference in sound proofing our home due to its density," says Eve. The specially formulated plasterboard has enhanced resistance to dents, scuffs and scrapes from everyday living, making it the ideal plasterboard for a young family.

When it came to the home's design, Eve and Matt opted for a clean, modern and minimal aesthetic. "We chose neutral tones, natural materials and sleek finishes, with an overall feeling of 'less is more'," says Eve. "As the property sits on a corner block, we had the opportunity to design something that that has real street appeal, which we have never been able to do before when renovating single-fronted Victorians, as they usually sit side by side with adjoining boundary walls."

To establish continuity throughout the design, the couple had to ensure the materials they chose for the external and boundary walls would reflect and also complement the interior design scheme.

BABY LOVE: The completion of the home was just in time for Eve and Matt welcoming their first child into the world.

BABY LOVE: The completion of the home was just in time for Eve and Matt welcoming their first child into the world.