Norman House

Project Details
Echuca VIC
Janita Norman
Finnegan's Fine Building
Cindy Power

Built in 1905, Norman House is grand in proportion and scale and is a beautiful example of Queen Anne Federation style architecture. When Gary and Lara engaged us to create additional functional space within the home, it was important to tread carefully, limiting the impact of any changes on the underlying fabric of the house.

Janita Norman, Lead Building Designer & Qualified Heritage Designer

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Owners Gary and Lara love their home, relishing its many original period features. The renovation required careful restraint and minimal intrusion at all points.

Fabulous period features like these leadlight windows are enhanced by a softer pastel interior colour palette. The gorgeous original floorboards freshly sanded and finished in a high gloss to make them, literally, shine.

Soft whites and neutral greys showcase the client's interior bold coloured furniture and vibrant artwork and furnishings.

A respectful bathroom renovation ensures that period attributes are retained, while providing modern levels of amenity.

Heritage building design should be a celebration of the original building’s design and history, whilst breathing new life into the space.


Norman House was built in 1905 by the manager of the nearby Redgum sawmill.

The house is of grand proportion and scale and is a beautiful example of Queen Anne Federation style architecture. Echuca has a collection of homes from this period that are characteristically Queen Anne in style which articulates the affluence of the time within the township of Echuca.

The house has undergone little change since it was built in 1905 and most of the original features are still in place. In the early 2000s, extensive renovation works were undertaken, including structural improvements, new interior and exterior paintwork, polished floorboards, and enclosing a small area at the rear of the house that was once the rear porch, and transforming it into a dining, family room and kitchen.

The house was purchased by Gary and Lara in 2012, who have undertaken several small projects to further align the home with their taste and their way of living. A new front fence encloses the front garden creating more private open space for their enjoyment, a concrete pool, and a small addition to the rear of the house to create a study and utility space.

This has always been a lovely home and it was time to make some changes to put the clients’ own stamp on the home to reflect their taste.

We are in love with these original leadlight windows.

Designer’s Thoughts

This home is beautifully designed and ‘perfect’ in its layout, with minimal changes over the years making any additions or changes particularly difficult to execute tastefully.

Gary and Lara love their home and were very realistic in their expectations and how we could create some additional functional space to meet their needs yet minimise the changes to the home to achieve this.

It is refreshing to work with clients who want to embrace their home, love its attributes and it’s features and do not want to create something that is diametrically different to what is essentially a fabulous home to start with. This project was an exercise in restraint and minimal intrusion – in a home like this there is nowhere to hide!

The stamped ceilings are in immaculate condition, a feature that is often overlooked.

The Solution

Our solution to creating more functional space in this home was to work within the geometry of the existing verandah to create a new utility space and an office area at the rear of the house.

The new room connects to the kitchen – the hub of the home – by creating a wide link with double doors from the kitchen. The new room also commands a view over the swimming pool to the rear garden.

Gary and Lara run their business from the new space, freeing up the third bedroom for their daughter Hannah.

The interior colour scheme was updated to a softer pastel palette more suited to showcasing the client's bold coloured furniture and vibrant artwork and furnishings. The timber floors were been sanded and refinished in high gloss to increase their impact.

Tasteful additions like these subway tiles in a sage green can really lift a space.

Final Thoughts

It makes us so happy is when we can see the positive impact of a new space on our clients, their family and the way they live.

Every project is a journey that we travel with our clients; our role is to extend their thinking, challenge their ideas, and perhaps move them out of their comfort zone—just a little!

Services Delivered

Design, project management, coordination of consultants, plans & documentation, heritage consultancy, town planning & building permits, interior design.