Why this Wembley transformation is still one of our favourites

We love transforming homes, so it’s not surprising that we also love looking back through the photo album at some of the projects that captured our imagination – and our hearts.

Over the next few weeks, we’re revisiting one of our favourites; walking you through the amazing transformation of Essex Street in Wembley from start to finish. From the initial design concept, right through to the big reveal.

Home to the same family for 70 years, this simple 2x1 was ripe for renovation, but it demanded to be renovated sympathetically, with love and the utmost respect.

What this 1930s home lacked in space and modern convenience, it more than made up for in character, a rich sense of history and really, really good bones.

We knew the home had to suit a family, so adding space was a must. A non-negotiable. But how could we do that without sacrificing the home’s existing personality and features?


Over the years, we’ve renovated thousands of Perth homes so we knew we could have the best of both worlds. We could keep all the character, and we could add all the space and modern functionality that a family needs.

Yes, the tiny house had been largely untouched since the ’30s, but with our head designer Steve Kemp looking after the design, it was in good hands.

Here are some of the things we took into account when we started drawing up plans for this amazing renovation:

  • Original character: As there was so much character in the original home, we looked for ways to extend this through into the ‘new’ rooms – without detracting from the more up-to-date, open-plan living space we were incorporating
  • Neighbourhood: With a variety of tasteful older homes in Wembley, we wanted Essex Street to be in perfect harmony with the existing street appeal.
  • Orientation: We thought carefully about the position of the house on the block in relation to the morning and afternoon sun, to make sure the rooms were as comfortable as possible, and to save on heating, cooling and lighting bills.
  • Zoning: We wanted a thoughtful sense of separation between parents, kids and everyday living.
  • Functionality: How was the home going to work for a busy modern family? Where were the main areas of foot traffic and where would key pieces of furniture go in relation to doors and windows? Each piece of the puzzle was carefully considered as part of the design.



Our plan to turn the 2x1 into a 4x2 included a new kitchen, open-plan living space, an alfresco, two additional bedrooms and a library or study nook, plus a double carport.

Knowing how much parents appreciate having their own space, the large new master bedroom became part of a dedicated parents’ wing, complete with dressing room, ensuite and the new library.

With the design concept drawn up, it was time to transform our two-dimensional floor plan into an impressive three-dimensional digital illustration that gave an even better understanding of how the finished house would look and feel.

Then, with the design locked in, it was time to start selecting colours, materials, fixtures and fittings ready for construction to begin.

Sign up to our newsletter and keep an eye on your inbox for Chapter Two in the story of Essex Street, including a show-and-tell about the products and features we picked to bring this special home back to life.

Want to set us your home renovation challenge? Call us today on 6555 7558​.