An Intriguing Northcote Home Clad In White Pickets

Walter S. Timmons

When deciding on the material palette for a significant update of this heritage Northcote property, the team at Austin Maynard Architects looked to the precedent set by other houses on the street.

‘The picket fence, a common sight in the area, became the inspiration for the external cladding and the form of the addition,’ Austin Maynard Architects co-director, Mark Austin says.

‘As the design process went on we embraced the white pickets and adopted them throughout. Wrapping the entire first floor of the addition, they became the dominant aspect of the external form.’

Before its renovation, Picket House was an old Edwardian home that had been used as a neglected share house for years.

While the front of the house had plenty of character, there was an unsalvageable ‘wonky 1970’s lean-to’ at the back of the abode, which was in dire need of replacing.

Removing this section, including the kitchen, sunroom, bathroom, and laundry, along with a ‘rotten deck’ made way for the new two-story addition the owners had been dreaming of.

Mark says one of the project’s biggest achievements is its improved connection to the garden, which was made possible by building the addition directly on the boundary against the footpath to maximise space.

Inside, a mix of finishes contrasts the home’s all all-white exterior. A navy wall colour is paired with brass details and terrazzo, while timber details helps to blend older elements with new styles.

‘The textures and colours reflect the personality of the owners who wanted a kitchen, living, dining area that was full of warmth,’ Mark says.

You can see more projects by Austin Maynard Architects here.

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