Before & After: A Rundown Brisbane Cottage Turns Into a Ravishing, Modern Home



A design duo transform an 1871 Australian cottage into a bright and breezy home with a vibrant kitchen at its core.

When design blogger Geneva Vanderzeil and her partner, architect and interior designer Ben McCarthy, purchased their first house together in Brisbane, Australia, there was no denying the property needed a lot of work. Amped for the challenge, the design duo rolled up their sleeves and conducted an extensive DIY renovation, remodeling the rundown 1871 cottage into a charming, open-plan home with a versatile kitchen.

“More so than ever, the kitchen is an area for gathering and socializing, so when we started planning the renovation for this cottage, I knew that we needed to turn the kitchen into a focal point for the whole project,” says Vanderzeil. Scroll ahead to learn more about the revamp.

Before: 

Before: The original kitchen was small and only featured one tiny window.

Before: The original kitchen was small and only featured one tiny window.

Courtesy of Geneva Vanderzeil

The original floor plan featured only a few small rooms which were all a bit dark, so the couple worked on opening up the home to bring in more natural light while also retaining as much of the property’s historic character as possible. 

Before: A look at the exterior of the 1871 cottage.

Before: A look at the exterior of the 1871 cottage.

Courtesy of Geneva Vanderzeil

“Creating this space required a lot of changes at the back of the house,” explains Vanderzeil. “First the house was raised and the existing deck was removed. Then, we took out the back wall of the house. Once that was done, and an extension was added, we had a big, open space to play with. We connected the outdoor patio area, the kitchen, dining, and the living lounge into one big room, so the house [now] feels a lot bigger.”

Before: Sections of the existing interior walls were retained to help the new space retain some of the home's original character.

Before: Sections of the existing interior walls were retained to help the new space retain some of the home’s original character.

Courtesy of Geneva Vanderzeil

See the full story on Dwell.com: Before & After: A Rundown Brisbane Cottage Turns Into a Ravishing, Modern Home

©