As an interior designer with a lot of ideas to explore, Fran Lynch was never going to do a standard villa renovation and extension.
The bay villa she bought in 2009 was destined to become a canvas for some of her favourite design and decor touches.
Removing the "ramshackle old garage" at the rear of the house allowed plenty of scope to extend the villa, and Fran has done that in dramatic fashion, adding a warehouse-style pavilion with a 5.5m stud.
"I've always loved that warehouse conversion look so we thought, 'Let's build one ourselves'," she says.
The extension - which Fran designed with the help of engineers - is an open-plan space comprising kitchen, living and dining areas, as well as a covered outdoor room with an open fire.
The exposed steel beams supporting the roof reinforce the industrial look, as well as creating a sense of symmetry. Bagged brick walls and columns provide more character and make the pavilion look as though it's always been there.
Exposed, unpainted weatherboards around the lounge's gas fireplace and wooden-framed windows also create the sense of an old building that has been revamped.
"People quite often walk in here and ask if this has always been here," says Fran.
"I like the fact that from the street it looks like a traditional villa and you wouldn't know this was here."
While Fran has decorated the space using a largely white-on-white theme, interest is created in the texture of the surfaces, whether it be the Carara marble benchtop, whitewashed American oak floors, lacquered kitchen cabinets, timber-sarked ceiling or the brick walls. "The layering of white with different textures is something I like," says Fran. "And I tried to let the materials speak for themselves, so you can see the brick, the stone, the beams and the sarking in the ceiling."
Fran's love of cooking and entertaining was also one of the major factors in the design, meaning an attractive and practical kitchen was a must, as was a covered outdoor entertaining area. The marble benchtop serves as a central workspace and a place for friends to perch and chat. A bank of kitchen cabinets creates a partition between the kitchen proper and a butler's pantry where there's another sink as well as a dishwasher and fridge. A blackboard back here is used to write grocery lists and messages on.
"It will be sad to clean that blackboard off when we leave because every night we have friends over we get them to write something on it so there's a lot of history there," says Fran. The outdoor area - accessed by stacking sliding glass doors - has been just as cleverly planned, tucked into the northeastern corner of the pavilion so that it is protected from the prevailing winds, but open to the sun. Deep eaves on the pavilion provide more protection, and Fran says the outdoor fire makes it possible to sit outside most of the year. The decking from the outdoor area continues across the back of the house and out into the flat backyard to create another seating area.
The original part of the house has been renovated with a continuation of the white-on-white theme and layering of textures. Floorboards have been whitewashed, and panelling and rails added to the hallway to create interest. Wall mouldings have also been added to the bedrooms.
Four bedrooms and a bathroom make up the front of the house, with the master having an en suite tiled in marble, as in the main bathroom.
Wide steps flanked by runway lights and with an industrial-style steel handrail on one side create a sense of arrival as you move from the original villa down to the pavilion. A separate laundry is tucked off to the right at the bottom of the stairs. Having seen this project through, Fran is selling up as she is keen to launch into another one.