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Portsea house

This CHR Boyd kit home in Portsea was a special project to work on. As with Boyd's other limited edition kit homes borne from his progressive Small Homes Service, this charming beach shack had a warm humanity, embodying Boyd's design principles of restrained materiality and a sympathetic engagement with the natural landscape. Our client had made the most of the cleverly planned extendability of the design by adding a master bedroom onto the sleeping wing of the home. The kitchen, however, had been renovated by prior owners, possibly in the early 2000’s, with red cabinetry and uncomplimentary finishes. Our client had a full appreciation of the house's modernist charm with its abundant light and clever detail but the updated kitchen wasn't working as a functional area for holiday entertaining. The fact that it wasn't original gave us the opportunity to revisit the design so that the kitchen and dining areas complemented the existing areas of the house without (we hope!) destroying any Boyd design intent. By pushing the footprint out only 700mm to the south west, we were able to make the kitchen functional with space, storage and finishes that helped re-establish the beach shack feel and charm and further enhance its engagement with the outdoors. The kitchen was opened up to the dining area to improve entertaining functionality but zoning characteristic of Boyd and his modernist values – including suspended shelving and banquette seating – was used to maintain character and intimacy. Laundry and storage areas were reworked and windows and doors in the living areas replaced to improve thermal capability and to open the living area up to the deck with sliding doors used by Boyd in similar houses of the time. Original cabinetry hardware was reinstated and the 3/4 partitioning separating the kitchen and living areas was used to house a bar area and instil a sense of fun. Soft belceppo terrazzo and Boyd's much-loved lining board (the original profile sourced from the local hardware store, still in stock from Boyd's specification perhaps!) were used in the new areas make sure the fresh clean palette of white walls and original Vic Ash flooring retained plenty of personality. The original fireplace and patinaed copper flu are a stand-out feature in the living area with Jardan's luxuriously comfy Sunny sofa and Douglas & Bec's beautifully crafted RD armchairs making it all the more inviting. There was so much to learn from and be inspired by from this special home.

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Photography by Chris McConville