Single storeyness – The floorplan conundrum

Leave a comment
General, Sydney House - Original

It’s been a while since my last post, but I wanted to update on the ruminations we’ve had while working on the floor plan, various issues presented by the modern house, and our challenges and solutions so far.

Key things we love about modernist design, which led us to our home, are:

  • Single storey bliss – laundry has never been easier, among other things
  • An efficient floor plan – every space is used in our 1964 model Pettit & Sevitt Lowline
  • Beautiful Oregon beams – affordable houses simply aren’t built with beautiful materials like this today
  • Great light, and reasonably good thermal properties. Easy to heat and cool and rarely needing the airconditioning
  • Clean lines, of course!

Key challenges we’ve encountered with our house:

  • It’s small at 114 square metres, and this was typical of the size of home for the 1960s
  • The original owner didn’t opt for a family room in our layout (although Pettit & Sevitt’s were highly modular so it was possible if budgets permitted), so we have one living/dining where we all hang out (or crash into each other)
  • The laundry was rubbish, nothing more than a sink poorly positioned, although it was (smartly) positioned near the back door, steps from the washing line (yay)
  • The original owner never got around to putting in a back deck, another excellent extra ‘living’ area if it existed
  • The bedrooms are cosy-tight. We’ve had a King bed for years, which looks oversized in this house. And the kids rooms are perfectly set for a single bed, but little more. As our kids head to teenage years, just the presence of a friend in the house makes us feel like they are busting out of the room/s
  • Our ceilings are 2.4 metres, so a little low by contemporary standards but by no means unworkable.

All this feels like boo hoo ‘first world problems’. Which is true. Which is why this site exists, and why so many of us choose to extend and/or renovate. Here’s a plan of what it looks like now:


Brochure, ‘Pettit Sevitt & Partners…Lowline’, 1964. 2008/205/1, Design archive, Pettit & Sevitt project homes.  Copywork: Designer suburbs.

Brochure, ‘Pettit Sevitt & Partners…Lowline’, 1964. 2008/205/1, Design archive, Pettit & Sevitt project homes. Copywork: Designer suburbs.

Through the concept process with our Architect, our major concerns are:

1/ Will we get the extra living areas into a single level? and;

2/ If we added a 2nd level would we be bastardising this beautiful Lowline? And how?

Add a Comment...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s