The renovation of this historic Perth cottage includes a modern extension that captures all the beachside charm of its coastal setting.

When Bacic Group’s clients first purchased this 1920s cottage in Perth’s picturesque coastal suburb of Swanbourne they had every intention of knocking it down. But over time, the couple and their two adult daughters grew to appreciate the home’s historical character and chose instead to lovingly restore it. The ensuing renovation retained the interior’s original ornate detailing and juxtaposed it with a bold contemporary extension that wraps the house on three sides. It’s a fresh study in old-world charm meets modern-day living, perfect for a multi-generational family.

Living room cabinetry: Laminex Sublime Teak | Photography: Dion Robeson

“We were inspired by the relaxed coastal environment,” says Elvira Nuic, Director and interior designer at Bacic Group. “And we not only wanted to create a home that contributes to the suburb’s distinct architecture, but that also provides the family with a balance between private spaces and areas to come together.”

The layout comprises two wings that allow parents and daughters room for quiet retreat, while outdoor areas on opposite sides of the house support separate social gatherings. However, both wings have direct access to an elevated outdoor swimming pool and entertainment deck, and also to living areas shared by all. These spaces are light, bright and airy, featuring polished concrete flooring, crisp white walls and generously sized windows. Laminex Sublime Teak is used extensively, on the kitchen’s island bench and under-sink joinery, and on the lounge room’s TV cabinet. It’s also used on entry panelling and the bathrooms’ vanity units, giving the overall scheme a sense of cohesion and emphasising the design’s modern beach house aesthetic.

Upper Kitchen cabinetry: Laminex AbsoluteMatte Black. Lower Kitchen cabinetry: Laminex Sublime Teak | Photography: Dion Robeson

Laminex laminate is Bacic Group’s go-to surface material and Nuic favours Sublime Teak because she believes it’s the most realistic timber-look laminate on the market. “The quality, durability and cost effectiveness of this laminate gives it distinct advantage over veneer,” she says. “Its oversized 3.6-metre lengths also allowed us to eliminate horizontal joints in the entry panelling, which conceals a hidden door to the main bedroom.”

Bathroom Vanity: Laminex Sublime Teak. Upper Kitchen cabinetry: Laminex AbsoluteMatte Black. Lower Kitchen cabinetry: Laminex Sublime Teak | Photography: Dion Robeson

Nuic also used Laminex AbsoluteMatte Black in the kitchen, applying it to the full-height joinery and cabinetry above the sink. The clients love black and using this decor so liberally highlights the rest of the kitchen’s material palette to great effect. “As far as I’m concerned, not all black laminates are created equally, but Laminex’s AbsoluteMatte Black is ultra-matte as well as fingerprint-resistant, which makes it the ideal choice for a busy kitchen,” Nuic says. And that sentiment captures the success of this project quite neatly, because it’s at once effortlessly elegant and eminently functional, a beautiful place that will comfortably accommodate each family member at all stages of life.


Design, Build & Interiors: Bacic Group
Photography: Dion Robeson
Styling: Anna Flanders
Cabinetmaker: Optima Interiors