Merivale 3

Still Life.

The elegant simplicity and sculptural quality of this Merivale renovation by DJ Hewitt Builders with Detail by Davinia Sutton creates a calming, serene space with a subtle wow factor.


  • Detail by Davinia Sutton
  • Boyd Chamberlain Architecture

Words Anna Scaife for Avenues Magazine

Photography Stephen Goodenough


The clients behind this stunning revamp of an architecturally designed home in Merivale embarked on a renovation project designed to open and up and maximise the usability of the existing spaces and replace the kitchen, powder room, master ensuite, and laundry. The results are a stunning mix of clean lines, harmonious finishes, and exquisite details.
Managing the project from a build perspective was the team from architectural build specialist D J Hewitt Builders. They worked alongside award-winning kitchen and bathroom expert Davinia Sutton from Detail by Davinia Sutton to transform this home.
Amongst a slew of other prizes, Davinia’s dual-use powder room and guest bathroom design for this home took out the Creative Small Spaces Design Award at this years’ National Kitchen & Bathroom Awards.
“Davinia’s work is outstanding, and the results speak for themselves. It’s no wonder she won an award for this home,” says Darryl Hewitt.
In the kitchen, the client brief was to ‘open up the existing space, creating a functional cooking zone and add a subtle wow factor’.
The renovation included the removal of several walls creating a rectangular space to work with.

“The design needed to have a strong presence and be well-grounded with its layout and detail, it was imperative to utilise complimentary materials, colour and texture within the design, to establish and reinforce the kitchen’s strength and presence within the newly open plan living space.
The kitchen space is set out in a galley format. The island is grounded by the use of a dark grey stone with a solid mitred waterfall leg detail at the end, adding strength and defining the kitchen zone from the living and adjacent dining,” says Davinia.
In the award-winning powder room, which does double duty as a guest ensuite, the clients requested a spacious, sanctuary-like feel for their guests – a considerable challenge within a confined internal space.
The small space meant the bathroom layout was restricted to a practical solution. The chosen finishes add special touches to create a sense of luxury for guests to rest and restore. The crowning glory is the sculptural addition of the Glass Design Spazio Freestanding washbasin.
“The custom-made timber-clad veneer wall acts as a natural backdrop and forms a solid juxtaposition for the feature vanity bowl, positioned as an art piece. This adds a sharp contrast to the dark and moodiness of the background walls,” says Davinia.

On closer inspection, it’s the little things that count in this compact space, and Davinia worked with Oakley’s Plumbing Supplies to source the perfect fittings to realise her vision for the room. The touches of fine detail that take this bathroom to the next level include a custom-made black steel soap stand pinned next to the vanity space and moody aged liquid metal set into the timber wall in a negative detail, plus a glass cut out handle detail to the shower door.
The design includes subtle use of lighting to bring life and that desired wow factor to the space.
“We added a recessed strip light set behind the vanity wall; running the length of the space, it adds a subtle warm glow and features as a sensor light at night to add drama. The hidden light detail to the shower recesses highlights the volume of the space and plays on the moodiness of the dark palette,” says Davinia.
The overall effect of this collaboration between DJ Hewitt Builders and Davinia Sutton is a superb transformation pairing thoughtful design, faultless practicality, and elegant detailing for a stunning result.

Daryl Hewitt

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