Ballarat: A beautiful renovation transforms a 1950s ‘ruins of a house’ into a modern masterpiece

The house at 45 Gillis Street, Alfredton, was a labor of love for its owners, who are now selling it.

A ‘powerhouse’ couple in Ballarat have transformed a derelict 1950s house into a charming pad complete with a stunning leisure garden at the back.

The epic renovation project was undertaken by Janie McCrudden and her partner Mitch Walton, who purchased the ‘ruins of a house’ at 45 Gillis Street, Alfredton, in 2020.

McCrudden says she and Walton have a personal passion for architecture and interior design, as Walton also works in the construction industry.

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The couple engaged both a builder and an architect to bring their vision of a modern home with an industrial feel to life—and enough space for their adult children to stay when visiting.

Sumptuous kitchen with brick and wood accents.

The main living area has floor-to-ceiling windows.

Swimming pool and luxurious outdoor entertainment area.

They also designed and planted a lush, low-maintenance garden, with a “fantastic outdoor entertaining area”, built entirely around a central 62-year-old gum tree.

Here, a heated in-ground pool and outdoor shower join the covered dining area with a pizza oven, two wine refrigerators, a blue fireplace, an overhead electric heater, and even outdoor blinds to keep the space warm in the winter.

“We love being outside, so when we designed it there was a list of things it had to include,” McCrudden says.

What the house at 45 Gillis Street looked like before the renovation.  Photo: Supplied

What the house at 45 Gillis Street looked like before the renovation. Photo: Supplied

What the house at 45 Gillis Street looked like before the renovation.  Photo: Supplied

Before: What the kitchen looked like. Photo: Supplied

After: The kitchen got a great upgrade.

“We love going out in the morning, eating breakfast and showering outdoors…it’s a wonderful tropical green area.”

After enjoying the finished product over the past year, the couple has now put the house on the market for an asking price between $1.675 million and $1.775 million, as they prepare to complete another renovation.

One of the house’s four bedrooms.

“We’re a real powerhouse,” McCrudden says.

“We work really well together and we have a mutual understanding that if we don’t like it, we won’t pull or push each other. It’s been a great journey but it’s definitely been rewarding.”

Inside, she describes the house as having a “luxurious and moody” feel.

What the house at 45 Gillis Street looked like before the renovation.  Photo: Supplied

Behind the weatherboard facade, the front living room retains original features such as restored cornices, while woven wool carpeting and a built-in gas fireplace add to the mid-century charm.

The rear extension features an open-plan design incorporating a stylish kitchen complete with velor stone countertops, Bosch appliances and a butler’s pantry.

Bathroom with elegant basin.

Covered outside space with built-in braai.

Across the spacious family living area, vaulted ceilings, exposed steel beams and a log fire create a luxurious, rustic interior overlooking the gardens.

Additionally, there are heated wood floorboards throughout.

Jellis Craig Ballarat agent, Brooke Reynolds, says the property is in a rare location in the suburb of Alfredton, close to Lake Wendouree but offers a reasonable price.

She adds that the “prestigious outdoor living” option attracts buyers looking for a low-maintenance home with lots of green space.

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