A pair of houses on a single lot pave the way for similar projects under the City’s new allowances for laneway houses and garden suites. Built by Maximilian Huxley Construction, both the 1,720-square-foot main house and 600-square foot laneway counterpart pack fine craftsmanship, thoughtful design, and functional consideration into every square inch of living space. Both houses meet the standards for Built Green Gold certification and Step Code 3 energy standards.
“We removed a run down, 1,200-square-foot cottage with the idea of building one of the first house and laneway home combinations under the new rules,” says Huxley, who drew inspiration from his love of modern farmhouses, collaborating with architect Carrie Smart and interior designer Jodi Foster to create a cohesive design for both houses. “It was a learning curve for us and the City, as it was such a new concept.”
To create an urban farmhouse look, Huxley used HardiePanel board-and-batten siding, with cedar trim work, metal roofing, and black vinyl windows. Glass-paneled doors in powder blue lend vintage appeal to both front and back entry of the laneway house, while clean, simple landscaping reflect a meticulous interior.
Inside, white and black receive visual warmth from engineered oak floors, solid wood millwork, and a butcher block island countertop. Fir shiplap walls feel nostalgic, as do the porcelain backsplash tiles in the kitchen and encaustic floor tiles in the powder room.
Built-in shelving under the stairs creates extra storage, along with floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinets in the kitchen, which is open and surprisingly spacious. Lighting by Rejuvenation and Restoration Hardware adds rustic touches throughout the home, including the master bath, where a glass shower and quartz countertop add sophistication to the space.
“We wanted the homes to work for a broad demographic of potential residents,” says Huxley. From multigenerational families to retired couples who want to downsize, yet take advantage of rental income potential, the project creates exciting new possibilities for the housing market in Victoria.