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Detail 9 Architects Pty Ltd - Open Plan Living, Period Renovation & Energy Efficient Designers

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Our wonderful client has given us a fantastic 'pat on the back' via and we are thrilled with both the review and the opportunity of working with him to regenerate this lovely period worker's cottage.

From our client...
"The change in the house from pre-renovation to post renovation is incredible – a virtually new, light filled home with the living area opening out onto a lovely deck. The living spaces have really been maximised too by cleverly incorporating a huge amount of storage space.

After my fantastic experience of working with Detail 9 throughout the whole renovation process, I’d highly recommend them if you are considering undertaking any new build or renovation. I’m sure, like me, you’ll be more than happy with the result!" Simon

Visit Houzz to see the full review!

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The skies are grey, the leaves are turning yellow and falling from the trees, however work steadily continues at our little worker's cottage.

With the house weather proof now, insulation and plastering has been fast-paced as the kitchen installation is on the way.

A few pictures show the recent progress - not the most exciting photos, but then renovating is not always flush with fabulous images.

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Construction begins....exciting, scary or fun?

The commencement of construction is a huge milestone for home owners. You have invested hours over several months in working with your architect, who has designed the home of your dreams, be it a renovation of your existing home or creating something new.

Pinterest and Houzz have become your obsession in finding the style, which reflects your personality.

You may have visited suppliers, searching for the perfect bath, kitchen mixer, toilet and shower rose, or you have left this leg work in the hands of your architect and absolutely love the tiles, vanity, bench top and flooring proposed.

Then with the help of your architect, you have selected your builder, a tricky prospect as there are so many things to consider; price, personality, timing and ability to get the job done.

Finance is the next step, sealing the deal with your bank to finance the project, signing contracts and your architect suddenly has a building permit in hand.

This means construction…it means packing up and often moving out, if renovating. There’s lots of emotion around this time…excitement, mixed with a tinge of anxiety, it is a huge commitment. You may be renting or looking at having to share with family (and this has a whole emotional energy of its own).

Finally, after many months the day arrives, the builders move in, temporary fencing goes up, the porta-loo is in place and demolition crew hits the site hard.

This is exactly where our gorgeous Surrey Hills clients found themselves at the beginning of March. Racing to finish packing up and relocating to temporary accommodation to make way for their builder.

Then the builder sent the first picture of demolition…

The clients commented “WOW”.

We commented “Exciting…but scary”.

You see, we are as invested in this project as our clients! We have also renovated homes and understand the roller coaster of emotions as the walls come down to make way for progress. It can be a technicolour mixture!

Luckily our fantastic builder on this job responded “Never scary….Always fun!”

And that puts us all at ease, as do his regular progress pictures. Our clients are in great hands and we will take this journey with them to ensure a smooth a sailing as possible.

Want to hear more about how we can guide your journey? Let's have a coffee and chat!
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As the sun continues to shine in Melbourne, our worker’s cottage project is making wonderful progress. Framing is complete, roofing is on and now the full length rear glass doors are in place together with the highlight window. The new rear of this long and narrow gem in Fitzroy North creates a space filled with light, a great rejuvenation.

As usual during construction our builder has made some great suggestions along the way, which we have been able to easily weave into the works, improving the overall outcome for our client. Specifically, we have together with the builder and kitchen designer, found a way to utilise the space under the new staircase. The kitchen will now have a fantastic walk-in pantry!

This project is running efficiently due to great communication between ourselves, the builder and our wonderful client….of course bright, warm days are always welcomed.
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Up Up We Go! With the staircase in and the first floor framing complete the roof is now going on our lovely little worker's cottage. The first floor alterations are revealing a wonderful view, which our client will be able to really appreciate when the project is completed. Good weather is assisting the builder to keep the project moving forward.
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This restoration gem continues to take shape with framing of both storeys complete and the roof to go on in the next week or so.

It's always amazing to see the progress of construction on our jobs and the difference good weather makes to the schedule.
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Work continues and is now gathering pace on a single fronted terrace as the weather improves....more trades now on deck. First some new bearers and flooring, followed by preparation for concrete for the new, rear addition and finally the concrete is poured. A challenge for this project is access to the rear for pumping in the concrete to the new addition - a challenge overcome!
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Pretty excited that a few of the top online magazines have started featuring one of our renovation projects !
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Rachel and I are excited to be entrants in this years' ArchiTeam Cooperative Awards - in 2 categories, Residential and Community!

It is a privilege to be considered for these awards considering the amazing entries from small architectural practices across Australia.

We eagerly await the announcement of the winners in November.

Thanks so much to our clients for allowing us to enter their projects in the Awards and also to photographers Matthew Forbes and Rick Liston for providing fabulous images for us to showcase our work.

Find our entries - Habitat1 Co-shared Workplace and Clinker Charm at
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Why everyone you know thinks these ten features are essential in their home.

Over the course of a year, we speak to a lot of people about the elements they want to incorporate into their homes. Here is the wrap up, of the ten most desirable features as requested by Detail 9 clients ……

1. A Pantry
Sounds kind of like a pretty small and reasonable requirement, but believe it or not, around 50% of homes that we see pre-renovation don’t actually have a decent cupboard to store their food in. Many people use laundry cupboards, and others squirrel food away in tiny cupboards all over their kitchen. It seems that before about 1970, people didn’t need much space to store their food in their kitchens, because the majority of homes built before this time really don’t include pantries in their kitchens (or places to store cookware or appliances, but we’ll get to that one later).

2. Butler's Pantry
So, following on from the previous feature, the majority of people are looking, not just for somewhere to store their food, but also, if space permits, somewhere to keep their bulky kitchen equipment, and all the items that need to sit out on the bench, but make the kitchen look cluttered. A butler’s pantry is the perfect addition to any kitchen, doing all of the hard work by being the hub of the day to day preparation as well as offering loads of potential for additional storage. Many people select a slightly more cost effective finish in their butler’s pantry, like laminate, which means that the finishes in the main part of the kitchen can really be featured, without getting covered over in the everyday clutter.

3. Ensuite
Sick of fighting for space in front of the mirror in the morning with your kids ? Hooray ! You’re not alone ! We estimate that around 98% of our clients request that we include an ensuite into their renovation. Not only does it give you that peaceful haven that you need in the craziness of the morning get to work rush, but it adds value to your home. Sounds like a Win / Win to me !

4. Powder room (a.k.a. visitor toilet)
Many people these days are moving away from including a toilet in the main bathroom of the house, and are favouring the idea of a “powder room” – which is a separate toilet located in the home, ideal for use by visitors. A powder room is particularly useful in a two-storey house where bathrooms are located upstairs, meaning that no-ne has to hike upstairs each time nature calls. Another positive is that if you know your family have left the bath room a mess, visitors have no need to venture into the land of wet towels and dirty jocks – one less room in the home to keep pristine ! Now, that just bought 20 more mins of free time for you per day ….

5. Open plan living spaces (kitchen, meals, living)
This one is a bit of a no-brainer – 100% of our clients want to bust out of the separate kitchen, lounge, dining room scenario so common in older houses and embrace a more vibrant, family oriented lifestyle lending itself to outdoor entertaining and bringing the outdoors in. Usually, though, people do like to retain a smaller, quiet lounge space as well, meaning that people really can have the best of both worlds. This one really speaks for itself, so rather than waffle on about how great open plan living is, use your time more wisely by checking out the photos below and see what everyone is getting !

6. Outdoor entertaining
Maybe it’s because our climate is great for around nine months of the year (excepting the flies !), but most of our clients are looking to incorporate space in their home or backyard which makes outdoor dining relaxing and easy. Step one is to locate the space in an area of the garden which is pleasant to sit in, and then the rest is about providing that space with all the comfort and amenity that we want in our indoor entertaining spaces. Space enough for a large table and chairs, shade, sun, a great outlook, benches to put food down, a BBQ … the list is endless.

7. Feature pendant lighting
OK, this one is less of a space, and more of a feature that EVERYBODY asks for. Maybe it’s a trend that we’ll all groan about in years to come, but everyone we work with (and this includes everyone who works at Detail 9 too !) wants pendant lighting over their kitchen island bench, and or over their dining table. Sometimes we even get to add it to a staircase or to a front entry ! Feature pendants can add a touch of class to a pretty boring space, not to mention additional light to work areas. Personally, I’m loving what Bunnings has in their in store range right now ( , believe it or not, but here some of the pendants we’ve used on recent projects – knock yourself out !

8. A Drying cupboard
Drying cupboards are not necessarily a new invention, but are a feature which is becoming increasingly more popular. In a nutshell, a drying cupboard is a full height cupboard, generally located in the laundry. Not unlike a wardrobe, with hanging rails, generally at two heights, a drying cupboard also features a heating vent – often connected into your existing heating system). It means that as you take items like shirts, and pants out of the washing machine, you can hand them directly in the drying cupboard, and like a clothes dryer, the clothing will come out an hour or so later, not only dry, but 98% crease free ! A drying cupboard can be a huge time saver, and also solve the issue of clothing getting creased in the washing basket between washing and drying.

9. Bench space
Following on from the #1 feature on our list, which really highlighted the lack of space afforded to the kitchens of the past, “more bench space” is another highly sought after commodity for our clients.
It can be too easy to design a kitchen that doesn’t provide for big slabs of nothingness in the bench department, but it’s super important that ample bench space is provided in the kitchen for food preparation, homework to be done and wine to be drunk !
Of course, having a butler’s pantry can lend a hand in this department too – but you already knew that after reading #2 Butler’s Pantry !

10. More storage !!
Overwhelmingly, everyone on the planet wants more storage in their home. Be it, attic storage, a hall cupboard for coats and shoes, a linen cupboard, somewhere to store kids school bags, storage for paperwork, a bike store, workshop or just a huge wall of bookcase – the #1 requested feature in a house is storage. Here are some of the great storage ideas we’ve been able to slip into some of the homes we’ve renovated over the years. Enjoy !

Check out our website at for these and hundreds of other design ideas.
Detail 9 Architects - home
Detail 9 Architects - home
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