Renovating terrace homes

The distinctive long and narrow architectural layout of a terrace home will always face the challenge of becoming a spacious, open-plan and welcoming space that feels light and bright for family living. We take a look at some popular home renovations for terrace homes.

A row of terrace homes

The terraced home originated in Europe, and was introduced to Australia in the 1850s during the reign of Queen Victoria. During this era, gold was discovered in Australia, and the population boomed – particularly in Victoria and New South Wales. Consequently, there was a need to build homes that were economical and allowed a larger number of people to live close to each other, hence the terrace’s distinctive architectural style of being long, narrow, and built side-by-side.
Row of typical terrace homes found in Australia

The characteristics

This style of home can be many storeys high, and is usually two rooms deep on each level. This classic design distinguishes the terrace as a two-up, two-down home that is connected to other terraces to form a row of homes.
Some key features of terrace homes are:
- A double-pitched gable roof
- Arched windows at the front and rear of the home
- Stucco facades
- Verandas adorned in cast iron lacework
- Simple yet elegant styling
- Situated in the inner-city, close to public transport
Terraces homes were built initially with no toilet or plumbing, so during the late 1800s, they became known as slums, with many demolished to make way for larger homes that were becoming more sought after. By the 1920s, terrace home building was banned, as they began to attract lower-classed citizens. Slowly terrace homes across Australia fell into disrepair, and their numbers dwindled.

The revival of terrace homes

As Australian housing trends shifted towards smaller, more compact living that was lifestyle-driven, the humble terrace made a resurgence in popularity. Now considered as scarce, terrace homes are heritage listed, are sought after real estate, and often lovingly restored by owners looking to preserve their historic look.
This new popularity of terrace homes is due to more people wanting a maintenance-free lifestyle. Many are also seeking an affordable home with community spirit.
Renovated galley style kitchen in terrace home

Popular terrace home renovations

There are a number of changes and improvements that the owners of terrace homes have elected to do to their property. Most homeowners will hire a renovation specialist to carry out the work for project guidance and complete management from design to completion; maximising space and bringing out the best in a terrace home.
Some of the most popular terrace home renovations include:

Creating a feeling of space and light

It’s important that the high ceilings in the terrace are preserved, along with their features. To make this style of home feel spacious, and to accentuate its architectural design, it’s recommended to paint the interior in a white or light coloured paint. The addition of floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights, increases the light in a terrace home, while folding glass doors opens the property up.

Using existing attic space

Many terraces have a large attic space that can be converted into a bedroom, home office, or even a retreat. This area may also give the homeowner that million-dollar view that they’ve been craving. However, opening up the attic space means that you have to comply with building regulations, plus it’s important to not overcapitalise. This conversion is not easy, therefore hiring a renovation specialist will help you to maximise the space cost-effectively, while complying with building regulations.
Attic renovated to create an additional room

Flexible layout

Clever interior design can be utilised for flexibility. For example, temporary dividing walls that can be shifted to open the property up, and garaging that can be utilised as an extra room if needed. These additions allow the home to be practical and aesthetically pleasing.

Contemporary kitchens

Most terrace homes have a galley-styled kitchen, which can seem small and overcrowded. However, with thoughtful planning, use of colour and a mixture of materials, this space can look and feel luxurious. Timber floors, stainless steel appliances and glass splashbacks are all popular choices for the terrace home kitchen.

Get in touch with Refresh to discuss your home renovation project

If you would like to talk to our home renovations specialist’s for more design ideas on maximising space, letting in light and creating stylish yet practical living for your home renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.

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