Being a real estate and architectural photographer means that most of the time, we suffer from extreme house envy. If you are one of those people that cannot go past an SA Life or Home Design magazine; imagine yourself actually walking into one of those properties!

We had EXTREME house envy when award-winning builders, Bailey Homes of Victor Harbor sent us to photograph a recently completed house extension in Willunga, South Australia. So we decided to sit down with Bailey Homes project consultant, Jacki Cornish and managing director, Don Bailey, to ask some questions about the process, concept and design of the extension.

We were quite taken aback that the frontage of this home is a heritage-listed building cottage built in the 1920s. When Bailey Homes was approached to undertake this home extension, what were your first thoughts?

A: We were excited at the opportunity to honour what was very historical building, but were also daunted by what was obviously going to be a complicated project. At first glance, we knew the original building, the incredible slope and a creek below would all add further layers of thinking and planning to the build.

We just love everything about this home; especially the architectural design. In some areas, the design is sculptural, but flows seamlessly and fluidly; in particular, the roof design in the main living area. What was the idea behind this?

A: The owners always wanted new and old to coexist in harmony, hence their decision to keep the kitchen in the original cottage. Installing a series of Velux windows along the join between old and new helped flood the area with light; showcasing what was once the exterior wall of the cottage.

The original cottage was built on a very steep slope, what considerations were taken when designing the extension?

A: We were always thinking about creating something that was visually impressive but still possible to construct within the clients budget.
We took the original concepts provided by the clients and worked hard on the practical elements. One major issue to be worked out was dealing with the water run off/ seepage against the retaining wall that holds up the extension and stops the cottage slipping down the hill.

In some areas of the exterior, you have used stone and in others wood. What was the reason for doing this?

A: The clients choose a beautiful stone and it was important to showcase this. The exterior finishes of the Kanmantoo Blue Stone and a mixture of Scyon “Linea” and “Stria” claddings worked really well together and softened the overall look, helping the cottage to also match in against the feature stone.

The master bathroom is very unique and creative. The focal point is a luxurious spa, surrounded by large windows that bring in a lot of natural sunlight, but also look out onto stunning views. In addition, the texture of the walls and floor is both warm and castle-like. What was the idea behind designing the bathroom?

A: The owners wanted a unique space for them to retreat to. They choose a Travertine tile to create that high class hotel feel, but still matching in with a heritage feel. Castle like is a good description of this room. The client certainly did not want the typical bathroom layout, and the spa is a lovely feature along with the walk around shower.

Lastly, the homes verandah is very impressive and quite a large extension to the home. We noticed that it serves as a grand entrance, a large outdoor entertainment area and a place to unwind. There is even a secluded section away from the house where you can sit back and breathe deeply! Was it intentional to have such a multiple-purpose area?

A: In a home like this in a location like this it’s very important that the outdoor space is of an appropriate scale to the inside of the home. Having a young family it was imperative to have a space large enough to entertain big groups, but important to have a more intimate place to sit with a great view over the creek and garden (to keep an eye on the kids).

The stairs up to the deck serve as a second entrance to the home so it worked well that these landed at a lovely feature window wrapped in the blue stone.