A rear house extension does not have to be a slave to the original architecture of the dwelling.
This is the advice we offered our lovely clients when we visited their Tudor-style home on acreage at the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges. They were keen to extend and create a private poolside oasis. They didn’t love their large, ageing home and were daunted by how best to extend it given its “dated” styling.
A mullet house is “business at the front and a party out back”. We have implemented this “mullet design” approach many times, particularly on homes of heritage value. Our Malvern Extension project is one such example.
If you apply good architectural principles, you may be able to design a modern extension behind something “old world” without compromising the heritage value of the original masterpiece. The are many benefits to this approach. Firstly, you can respect the heritage, enjoying the front formal rooms whilst “letting your hair down” in the modern, light-filled, open rear extension. The window cleaner will attest to one of the obvious benefits of a streamlined approach. Also, mimicking heritage just because you feel compelled is generally a bad idea as it does not really serve the old or the new.
While this particular home was by no means a heritage home, it was very loud and proud in its Tudor style. Most people would reasonably conclude that any extension to this home was obliged to follow suit and invest in such trimmings to match. However, we felt that if we could get the “transition point” working, then a modern home extension with colour references to the original would be an amazing choice. Our photos show that the extension was a total success. We created a brilliant transition point where the old meets the new, as seen in the photo showing timber-lined walls and grassed areas meeting the old brickwork. We offered further advice that any changes to the existing dwelling should be carefully chosen to reference the extension, further “knitting” old & new cohesively.
Of course, we implemented our sustainable design strategies to ensure a light-filled, open space was created, as seen in the photos. Selecting a great builder is always an important part of a successful extension.