The Loft

The Home Base blog

Rise to the Challenge

A stunning modern update transformed this federation style Mount Lawley home


The owners of this 1920’s Federation-style bungalow in leafy Mount Lawley loved the character of their home but with only two bedrooms and a sleepout, it was nowhere near big enough to accommodate the needs of their family.

Photography: Jody D’Arcy

With 10-year-old twin boys and a 13-year-old daughter, it was clear that more space was desperately needed. So they called on Nathan Watson and the team at Dlux Builders for assistance.

Nathan says these clients asked him to create a family home that could be enjoyed now and in the future, providing all the facilities to comfortably cater for teenage children.

“They needed separate spaces within the house and liveable outdoor areas so that everyone could have room to spread out, have fun and entertain,” he says.

The work had to be completed while the family remained at home and a second-storey timber addition had to be constructed during winter but Nathan says the project came together without much fuss.

The extension and renovation blends seamlessly with the original heritage style but is not lacking in modern, contemporary features.

The rear living area has windows across the entire north-facing elevation, allowing the winter sun to filter through and provide amazing views of the outdoor entertaining space and a spectacular pool.

Stacking doors with a cavity pocket provide a seamless transition from kitchen to alfresco area, making entertaining a breeze.

Nathan says he loves the jarrah balustrade, stretching along the length of the stairway and disappearing into the ceiling.

Photography: Jody D’Arcy

Photography: Jody D’Arcy

“Along with our friends at Sutton Carpentry + Construction, we came up with the idea of creating an area under the stairs that became a small cellar and storage space hidden behind a custom barn door,” he says. “To give that space an old-meets-new look, we recycled some original red bricks to create a unique backdrop for the wine storage.”

The second storey is made with lightweight framing and foam cladding, which is a versatile material and allows fast and trouble-free construction. Skylights in the stairwell and main bathroom bring more light into the home.

“We’re really happy with how this project came together,” Nathan says. “Seeing how the property starts as a Federation-style home at the street side and effortlessly flows into the modern alfresco and living areas at the back defines the whole project. Sitting in the backyard on the floating blackbutt timber bench seating by the firepit, you overlook this whole new space and you can really appreciate how cohesive it all is.”

Photography: Jody D’Arcy

Photography: Jody D’Arcy

Photography: Jody D’Arcy

Photography: Jody D’Arcy