From Issue 4- Old Meets New

Articles / Design / Life

A modern home renovation, successfully maintains the heart and soul of its historic past.

It was the 100-year-old Subiaco home that was destined for demolition – the ceilings and roof were collapsing; the floor was uneven and the plaster was peeling off the walls. The historic home was in dire need of a renovation and luckily, owners Jon and Paige Miles of Innerspace furniture store, saw the beauty underneath the crumbling shell and accepted the challenge.

“There wasn’t really any choice not to renovate, as it was in a state of complete disrepair when we found it,” says Paige Miles. “Despite the bad bits and the mistreatment, there was something magical about it and the desire to bring it back to life was too tempting. It was probably a bigger project than we had thought we’d take on, but once we committed, it was all or nothing.”

The couple were determined that their next home would be a renovation project and were on the hunt for the perfect house, when they came across the Subiaco home. Their love of the home’s character features and the suburb’s tight-knit community, resulted in them purchasing the 670sqm corner block in a quiet cul-de-sac.

“It had unusually big rooms that had been so badly neglected over the years that they were almost all eradicated,” says Jon Miles. “The tin roof had been tiled over with pressed tin roof tiles, the verandah was bricked in and closed up with hardy board, all the fireplaces had been pulled out and boarded over, and the less said about the kitchen and bathroom the better.”

One of the biggest challenges was the awkward configuration of the block. Due to sub-division over the years, a large percentage of the land was at the front and sides of the block. The lack of a backyard meant that the renovation couldn’t be “added” to the back of the historic home, a style more commonly associated with modern renovations.

Greg Davies, of Greg Davies Architects, worked with the couple to design the renovation. The brief was to give the family more space, with kids’ bedrooms and adjoining bathrooms, a new kitchen, bathrooms, pool area and to inject life into the old house, while seamlessly connecting the living areas.

“Greg was fantastic at understanding that we wanted the house to flow as one – rather than the old and the new, which was challenging. That’s not to say that we wanted a ‘pretend old’ house we just wanted it all to look fresh and timeless,” says Paige.

It was a priority to maintain as many original features possible. The original jarrah floorboards were salvaged and blended into the new jarrah flooring, with a stained coat of Japanese black and an overall matte finish.

“We also kept the original wooden windows where possible, matched them with wooden frames on most of the new windows and paired them with the white shutters and new hardware again for consistency,” explains Jon.

Glass corridors between the bedrooms add to the spacious aesthetic of the home and allow natural light to flood the living areas, while high-ceilings throughout the home create an incredible feeling of space.

While there were many highs and lows throughout the renovation, the result is a spacious, inviting and harmonious family home that welcomes the new, while respecting the old.


“Honestly though there were so many times we wondered if we were crazy and wouldn’t have been better off bulldozing it and starting again. In the end, we are so happy that we stuck with it and loved the old girl back to glory,” says Paige.

Visit – Greg Davies Architects

Visit – Innerspace