Upscaling to ultra modern luxury

Bucking the empty nester trend, retired Hawthorn couple Sam and Liz Emerson are upscaling, not downsizing, replacing their outdated cottage with a larger, luxury modern double-storey home.

A rebuild for luxury living the home will feature C-Bus automation and security systems, integrated sustainability, a lift and off-street parking for up to six cars.

Soon to be completed, the 367square metre home will include open-plan living opening to outdoor living and entertainment spaces on the ground level, and three bedroom/bathroom suites with a guest living area and kitchenette upstairs.

The couple say when they realised that their 1915 cottage wasn’t worth renovating again, they joined the growing tide of home owners opting to knock down and rebuild.


“It was a developer’s cottage we had renovated 30 years ago and the house was becoming very high maintenance,” Liz Emerson says.

The couple recognised there was a lot they wanted that another renovation would struggle to provide – sustainable building materials and fixtures; a double garage and off-street parking; and the latest technologies to control the home and provide security.

Their two-page wish list also featured a city-view balcony from their bedroom, a kitchen connected to the living area, outdoor living/entertainment areas to take advantage of morning and afternoon sun, guest accommodation, an office, a cellar and a lift.

“We wanted a highly practical house that would be easy to live in, where people could come and stay, park their car off the street and have their own private space,” Liz says.

Armed with their wish list Liz and Sam reviewed their options and decided to go with a custom builder instead of an architect. They selected Comdain Homes for our design, craftsmanship and service.

“Comdain’s people are good to deal with and have been very accommodating,” the couple says. “They are building us a bespoke, easy-to-live-in home that matches our brief exactly. “We are getting the same quality as a bespoke architect-designed home, but at a reasonable price with certainty and transparency on costs.”

The couple have been thoroughly involved in the design and specification for their home. They added a range of extras including sliding windows that slide back within concealed wall cavities, a top-end solar system with a Tesla battery and an automated pergola that closes when it rains. “We added about 10 per cent to our original budget and we were very happy to do that because we knew that was part of building the home to our high specifications.”

Comdain Homes managing director John Coen says the company offers a happy medium between volume building and architectural practices. “We run a professional business where we collaborate with clients and meet their budgets. We can provide accuracy on costs because all of our services are under one roof,” he says. “We custom-build highly specified architect designed homes that optimise their sites. ‘‘Our homes are tailored to their owners’ requirements and we only use high quality materials and experienced craftspeople,” Coen explains. 

Are you done with renovating? Find out more here.


Categories: Architecture | Building Expertise | Design Features | Knock Down Rebuild

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Bucking the empty nester trend, retired Hawthorn couple Sam and Liz Emerson are upscaling, not downsizing, replacing their outdated cottage with a larger, luxury modern double-storey home. Read more…