Durham House

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Caroline Novinc and Mark Roderick are the Brisbane couple responsible for reviving this once dilapidated 1920s worker’s cottage. Originally intended to be a family home for six, the family soon outgrew the residence, and have since opened the doors to their home as boutique accommodation.

Durham House is located in Brisbane’s West End. Our Brisbane team of photographer Mindi Cooke, stylist Lyndel Miller and writer Jo Hoban recently visited Caroline to get the low down!

When Caroline Novinc and Mark Roderick purchased this 1920s worker’s cottage in Brisbane’s West End, the house was a run-down timber and tin cottage, consisting of four rooms and a verandah. ‘We were adamant about retaining the traditional elements of the existing dwelling, and ensuring that any addition would be respectful to the original character’ Caroline says. The couple engaged architects, Vokes & Peters, who planned an extensive but sympathetic renovation, designed to accommodate Caroline and Mark’s family of six.

The existing cottage and verandah at the front of the home were completely restored. On one side of the original home is a master bedroom with ensuite, and a separate living (or media room). The other side offers the main sitting room and dining area with kitchen. A new extension extends the original cottage into a scullery kitchen. And a staircase leads down into the charming internal courtyard, featuring a brick fireplace and towering chimney.

An internal walkway wraps around one side of the courtyard, leading to wet areas and two more bedrooms. On the other side of the courtyard, exterior masonry stairs flow into the spacious, shaded garden. The house offers numerous functional indoor and outdoor living spaces, and excellent privacy from all aspects.

‘The quality of light, clever spatial planning and warm functionality make the house so enjoyable to be in,’ says Caroline. The family also really enjoy the strong connection with the outdoors.

Caroline documented the entire renovation process through her popular ‘West End Cottage’ blog, and the house has since received many accolades, including the 2015 Houses Award for best Alteration & Addition under 200m². Amid all this, the family had been contemplating a move to the Byron Hinterland for some time, and after a year of living in the newly renovated home, they made the shift. Keen to hold onto their lovingly renovated Brisbane home, Caroline and Mark decided to take advantage of a gap in the market for holiday accommodation in Brisbane’s inner-south, offering their home as a boutique rental property, now known as Durham House.

Caroline describes her home as Scandi-Australian in style. ‘It combines contemporary Scandinavian sensibility and style with the more traditional Queensland vernacular,’ she says. ‘It is pure and pared back and centred around functionality, clean lines and flawless craftsmanship.’ Durham House has casual luxury down pat – the hard design yards have been done, so all that’s left to do is enjoy your stay!