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The perfect solution for creating a lifestyle area in an older home

The perfect solution for creating a lifestyle area in an older home

Does reading the property section of the weekend papers make you envious?

Do you look longingly at the fabulous indoor-outdoor living spaces featured in new homes and wish you could trade in your old home?

Even if you have the funds to move, there are other barriers to take into consideration when it comes to changing homes. It can be a time-consuming, nerve-wracking and inconvenient process, which sees you spending your weekends at open homes and auctions instead of enjoying time with the family. 

If you are lucky enough to find a place you can afford, it may mean leaving the neighbourhood you’ve come to love and make accessing your work or your children’s schools more difficult.

The good news is you might not need to change homes to acquire your own fabulous lifestyle area. For a fraction of the cost and stress, your older home may be able to be transformed into something bigger and brighter that all the family can enjoy.

So how can it be done?

Looking at what other people have done is a great way to start thinking about the potential in your home. Take the example of this older house in Cherrybrook, Sydney (pictured). The owners liked where they lived, and the internal layout, but didn’t like their outdoor area so it was rarely used. The cause?

The perfect solution for creating a lifestyle area in an older homeA brick wall on one side and a sliding door with dense security mesh on the other effectively isolated the space from the indoor living areas. Anyone outside was completely disconnected from what was happening indoors and those same walls and doors ensured minimal light reached the indoor kitchen and living areas most of the day.

However, in just six short weeks, the family now has an outdoor area they love. The key to their transformation – retrofitting stylish Carinya bi-fold doors. As you can see from the result, the once dull area has become the perfect place for family living and entertaining.  The indoor and outdoor areas can be easily united to provide a larger entertaining space and all day long the interior is brighter and more welcoming.

So what did it take?

Working with their builder, they assessed the existing building structure and identified what would be required to accommodate the new doors. Following advice from their Carinya dealer, it was determined "bottom rolling" bi-fold doors were the solution. Bi-folds come in either top or bottom rolling – top rolling is most often used in new builds where the appropriate support can be incorporated into the building design, while bottom rolling is ideal for retrofits.

The bottom-rolling doors have no need for a structural overhead beam as all the weight is transferred to the bottom of the door. The replacement of old sliding doors (as is this case) is the perfect application. The bottom-rolling solutions offers cost and time savings, with no need to install potentially expensive new structural support.

Completing the solution

The perfect solution for creating a lifestyle area in an older homeWhile replacing the walls and sliding screen door with bi-folds created a lighter brighter space inside, it did raise the question of how to keep out unwanted pests in the summer months. Here the solution identified was the addition of Centor S1E screens. Not only do these screens disappear completely into the door frame when not in use, but they can double as a movie projection screen at night. Being opaque, they also provide privacy, without comprising light levels.

The combination of the bi-fold doors and the Centor screens means the two areas are now easily integrated or separated, depending on the current use.

Final touches

While installing the new doors, the occupants took the opportunity to add a new pergola roof with opaque panelling to enhance daylight levels, and to repave with travertine to give a modern look. Topped off with a new dining setting, the transformation was complete.

Now all the family has to do is sit back and enjoy their beautiful new lifestyle area, knowing they have saved time and money and haven’t had to move away from the area they know and love.

See more pictures and read more about this outstanding transformation on our Feature Projects page.