RESIDENTIAL CHURCH CONVERSIONContemporary Bedroom, Melbourne
What Houzz contributors are saying:
Architect Dominic Bagnato of Bagnato Architects: One of my favourite design rules to break stems from a piece of advice I received from an experienced architect. He once told me that if you have something ugly like an existing pipe or steel beam in your design, or if your client has a particularly odd-shaped room or structure that you know is going to be difficult to hide, do the complete opposite and show it off. Don’t hide a ‘problem’ – simply turn a negative into a positive. It’s a great (anti-)rule because it opens up your mind to endless possibilities for a design solution. Imagine being in a room with a steel beam flying through the air, for instance. Temptation would say that you box the steel beam in with plaster or drop the ceiling to hide it. However, this will have the negative effect of lowering your ceiling height. Instead, paint it red in an all-white room and it looks as if you deliberately set out to create a showstopper.
Magic wallYou’re probably looking at this one trying to figure out where the mirror is. It’s positioned at the top of the wall above the bed. This clever trick reflects the ceiling, making it appear to continue much further past the wall. It also looks like the wall doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling. This adds to the feeling of space and openness in this room.
To create an endless ceilingTransforming this former church into a luxurious home was a challenge for my own architectural practice, and more so was the dilemma of how to retain the form of the original vast timber ceiling while simultaneously creating private rooms within. We didn’t want to destroy the continuity of the timber structure by chopping it up with room dividers. Our solution was the use of mirrors. The bedhead plaster wall appears to stop short of the ceiling, revealing the room beyond. In fact, mirrors were installed across the entire width of the room at the ceiling junction, reflecting the ceiling as it exactly appears on the other side of the room. This technique was so successful that very few people visiting the home realised the existence of the mirrors and often asked how the privacy of each room was retained. Deception and trickery, that’s how.
Heaven sent. This church conversion makes the most of the existing windows in the upper-level bedroom and is certain to remind the occupants of the building’s former life.
White with woodWhite and timber are another classic match for each other. An all-white room can be transformed – and enhanced – by a beautiful timber ceiling or floor. A white ceiling here could have created an overly stark look but the timber adds an inviting warmth for a bedroom.
The original Gothic windows rise through floor level in the two church bedrooms. An original truss cuts a striking scene, as does a mirror near the ceiling above the bed that makes the hundred-year-old wood roof appear to hover.