Ballarat at Home: an ideal project for an architect

LUKE Stanley bought a Mair Street house and transformed it into a perfect family home three years ago.

The Ballarat architect was living in Melbourne and was keen to move to Ballarat. 

“We looked at the house online. The pictures didn’t sell it very well,” Mr Stanley said. 

“All the curtains were down, it was dark, but we thought we may as well have a look.”

He said although it wasn’t a great house when he and his partner viewed the property, they saw the potential. 

“The auction was at 11am and we saw it for the first time at 10.30am. By 11.20am it was ours.”

Along with his partner, the location and size of the block appealed to them straight away even though it wasn’t their original plan to renovate. 

“We kept the original features, like the ceiling and worked within the main framework of the building,” Mr Stanley said. 

“We wanted to give it a new lease of life. It hadn’t been properly looked after for a good 20 to 30 years. We just wanted to make it our own.”

Being a new architect in town and starting his own practice, he was able to meet many builders and contractors. “It wasn’t my intention to have a project, but it ended up being the ideal scenario.”

Mr Stanley said the layout followed a fairly traditional plan of four bedrooms and a bathroom towards the front of the house, and kitchen and living areas at the back, with a laundry at the very rear. 

“We wanted to make the most of the spaces it has, without doing any big extensions or building works,” he said. “We resisted the temptation to bulldoze the back of the house and rebuild.”

The fourth bedroom was turned into a main bathroom with a walk-in wardrobe, and the original bathroom became an en suite – making it a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. 

The laundry was relocated to the centre of the house, opening up the living area and making it larger, along with creating a north-facing glass wall at the back of the house allowing light in. 

“That simple change has allowed this area to be a bit bigger and made it a light area that connects through to the garden,” Mr Stanley said.

A deck was added off the living area to further connect the garden to the house. 

“With the kitchen we wanted to make something simple, something that doesn’t date and should look and feel good.

“We haven’t done something that’s necessarily fashionable, but it’s good architecture.”

Mr Stanley said they had succeeded in making a home that worked for them. 

“We’ve got a great living area. It’s still a nice place to come home to,” he said.

Want to see your house featured in The Courier? Email

PERFECT: Luke Stanley and his partner have transformed their Mair Street home since buying it three years ago. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

PERFECT: Luke Stanley and his partner have transformed their Mair Street home since buying it three years ago. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK


Discuss "Ballarat at Home: an ideal project for an architect"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.