Location / Malvern East, VIC, Australia
People Involved / F3 Studio
Photographer / Damien Kook
Project Courtesy of Havwoods Australia
With considered thought and meticulous detail, F3 Studio have delivered something unforgettable – converting an existing Edwardian home into one of modernity and functionality.
When embarking on a design journey, the initial client conversation often sets the tone for the remainder of the build or renovation. It is where designers and architects flex their listening muscles.
James Woodford, Director & Designer at F3 Studio, is a stalwart believer in ‘listen attentively and then speak’ and worked closely with his clients to better understand their design vision. “[Our] brief was to partially renovate an existing Edwardian home, extending the footprint to improve [the] function of the kitchen while adding a new pantry, laundry and powder room – all concealed behind secret doors,” James explains.
The second level also received the F3 Studio treatment where they “replanned an underused bathroom and en-suite to create better functioning spaces as well as add[ing] a walk-in robe to the parents retreat.”
While each space radiates charm, it’s the kitchen that achieves true MVP status. Havwoods Medio from the Venture Plank Collection was laid on a section of the floor and used as timber cladding for the ‘secret door’ and the ceiling – creating a warm timber flooring cocoon.
“In approaching this design, I wanted to create a stage. To my mind cooking is theatre and by framing the kitchen in timber we created a space that allows for audience [family + friends] participation,” James clarifies. “The brief required that the renovation have character and not be ‘precious’ – spaces to be lived in. Timber was the perfect choice as the character and imperfections offer this feeling.”
But how do you choose the right timber flooring?“Selecting the right timber for the project was a journey that the clients and I shared. Professionally I have always wanted to see Havwoods used on one of my projects as the quality of the engineered product, in my opinion, is second to none. Having visited numerous showrooms my clients were immediately taken by the Havwoods Venture Plank Medio product,” James explains.
This collaborative nature is present throughout the entire design journey, eventually resulting in a single colour instead of two separate timber products. As James highlights, “early on we considered two separate Havwoods products, one for the floor and another for the kitchen walls and ceiling. While initially on board with this idea, I encouraged us to take a step back and evaluate the composition of materials. Pulling back to one timber product was ultimately the right decision.”
It was on this collective journey that the clients quickly realised that “nothing came close to achieving the warmth and texture of the Venture Plank Medio product. Aesthetics aside, the chosen boards also have an excellent wear layer and a stable cross laminated base. The quality is obvious,” James describes.
The result is a home that stays true to the traditional idiosyncrasies of an Edwardian era home while infusing notes of modernity and functionality. The use of Venture Plank Medio creates a sense of warmth and character, making the space feel established and lived in; it complements the existing Edwardian features and the myriad materials throughout the renovation. The home is elegant, luxurious and perfectly fit for a bustling Melbourne family.
“As a young practice i am always grateful for the opportunity to work with people and products. My focus is always on quality. It is my role as a designer to guide my clients and, in this instance, they accepted that advice and are incredibly happy with the result” – James Woodford, F3 Studio, Director & Designer