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