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Dubbed the 5X50 House for its site dimensions of five metres wide by 50 metres long, this Victorian Georgian style property in North Fremantle, Perth was an old worker’s cottage, circa 1897, in need of a whole lot of love. At some point in its history it had undergone a renovation to the kitchen and dining area, but, in addition to the dated decor, it was sadly lacking in natural light and functionality.
Many homeowners might have been tempted to get stuck into a renewal project straight away but graphic designer Ryan Lobik and his fiancé Rhyanna lived in the home first, acquiring a good understanding of what worked and what didn’t. Tapping into his creative background Ryan became deeply involved in the design, where the new kitchen and living space was envisaged as the home’s epicenter.
After translating his ideas into a series of sketches for a modern industrial remake of character architecture, Slavin Architects was brought on to refine and draft the details. It was then the couple approached HIA members Nulook Homes to take the construction lead – for both practical and personal reasons, since one of the owners, Brent Lobik, happened to be Ryan’s brother.
‘We enjoy building different types of homes and using different materials, always challenging the envelope for what you can do,’ says Brent, a carpenter and builder by trade. The former HIA Apprentice formed the Perth-based building firm with business partner Peter Edwards in 2007 after a number of years working together for a project builder. ‘Nulook Homes completes a small number of projects each year, where we have a hands-on approach to building, site supervision and run through the whole process from start to finish with the owners directly.’
Specialising in unique custom ‘one-off’ builds and renovations meant Brent’s business was an obvious choice for tackling this creative brief. ‘Ryan had a vision of what he wanted to achieve. Being on board with that, and seeing his passion to not only restore the existing part of the home but acquire that connection [to the modernised renovation], was the really fun part of building for me.’