A century old weatherboard cottage is renovated into a modern classic
Pictures: Robert Duncan

Beyond the lime-green front door you'll find a world of colour, character and whimsy inside Suzanne and Kirk Bellerby's Shenton Park cottage.

The pair make the perfect team for tackling a renovation.

Ms Bellerby, who runs styling business Une Petit Pomme, and Mr Bellerby, owner of Bellcourt Property Group, share the home with their busy family - Jackson, Portland, Elizabeth, Grace, and Nellie the black labrador.

Mr Bellerby bought the early-1900s weatherboard cottage five years ago as a rental investment but saw its potential to become a perfect family home. He oversaw the structural plans with builder Norm Sims.

The facade and four original front rooms were restored to nurture their period features, while the back end of the house was demolished. Here a two-storey wing now houses a new kitchen, living and dining room, laundry and bathroom and two bedrooms above.

"The house is an original weatherboard 1908 worker's cottage and this worked so well with our renovations - the ease, cost and quickness of putting up timber walls against brick certainly helped," Ms Bellerby said.

Creating a seamless look from the old house to the new addition was also a priority.

"The biggest challenge was ensuring we kept to the original features as closely as possible," Ms Bellerby said. "This meant having skirting boards and ceiling roses made up.

"The age of the property is reflected in most of our choices, and I love that the home looks just as good in summer as winter."

Ms Bellerby said the house primarily had to be a home for the children, with a clean look that was still comforting.

"My personal style is a typical Gemini, some days I just love the casual look and the next very tailored," she said.

"Our home reflects this in that it is meant for comfort and to be lived in but at the same time I have several antique pieces that are to be admired rather than used."

Ms Bellerby got to work sourcing the eclectic blend of fixtures, fittings and finishes, including an array of stunning wallpapers, one of which she carried in her luggage on the way back from the UK for a two-storey feature wall in the lounge.

Wallpaper also forms the backdrop for a study nook under the staircase. "I love that I can work without being too far away from kids and kitchen," Ms Bellerby said of the area.

To create light, Ms Bellerby chose to replace the original dark jarrah flooring with lime-washed 200mm Tasmanian oak boards. She also replicated the timber panelling from the original front room in the hallway.

The children helped clean all the bricks that were pulled up from the original front path and subsequently reused in the feature rear boundary wall.

While the Bellerbys took the reins throughout the renovation process, they had the assistance of some experts.

"We needed help with the garden design as the block sloped up, so our friend and designer Elizabeth at Elizabeth Malcolm Garden Design stepped in for the landscaping element," Ms Bellerby said. "She also sourced 20-year-old white wisteria from a winery down south, which instantly gave the garden an established look."

The outdoor area, with its old wood stove, has become a favourite spot for family breakfasts, and the kitchen for gatherings to debrief the day.

The handsome kitchen, featuring classic subway tiles, (which are used in all the home's wet areas), marble and slick black cabinetry, was created by cabinetmaker Clint Novotny.

The Bellerbys agree that one of their favourite elements of the home is the bathroom.

"It's our constant in our crazy world and is so spacious and indulgent," Ms Bellerby said.

The West Australian

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