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Inside the Griffith house of Marissa Christian from Wink Jewellery

Living in a restricted heritage area threw up challenges when it came to renovating, writes Jil Hogan.

THE HOME

A 1950s cottage in Griffith which has been renovated into a light-filled, three-bedroom house with a large open-plan kitchen and living area, a formal living and dining area, basement and outdoor pool.

WHO LIVES HERE

Marissa Christian, owner of Wink Jewellery, her husband Michael Capezio​, their four-year-old daughter Lucia, and their dog Daphne.

WHAT WE DID

Marissa and Michael first bought the house in 2008, and lived in it for two years planning their extension.

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"We wanted to renovate but it took a long time to do because the house is in a very restricted heritage area so we couldn't do heaps of things – we couldn't do two storeys, we couldn't change the driveway from one side to the other. But luckily the pool was already here and the house was already in a pretty good spot for us to do the extension," Marissa says. 

Working with Peter Collins, from  Collins Caddaye Architects, the original house was gutted and turned into the formal living and dining area complete with a new roof, and two new wings were added to the back of the house. 

The frames on the windows in the original house were replaced with spotted gum timber, which was also carried through into the new windows. The couple also planted a hedge around the property when they first moved in, which grew as the house did and was fully formed by the time the family moved back in, in October 2013. 

The interiors were done by Michael's sister Lisa Capezio from Capezio Copeland, and Marissa chose the furnishings.

"It took ages to furnish it because I was really obsessing about getting it right. I didn't want to just buy a whole lot of stuff for the sake of it, so it was quite empty for a while," she says.

MY FAVOURITE ROOM

For Marissa, the master bedroom with its huge windows plus walk-in-robe, which leads through to the  en suite complete with free-standing tub is her favourite part of the house. 

"I just love all the light. We get a lot of both morning and afternoon sun in different parts of the house. That's why we wanted to have really big windows because the original house was really dark and dingy and the windows were really small," she says. 

THE HOOD

"We've lived in this area pretty much our whole lives, in Narrabundah, Deakin, Griffith, and Yarralumla – so we've lived on this side of Canberra forever," Michael says.

"And we like that it's a really quiet street – no one knows how to find it."