Residential Design—Hopetoun, Sydney

Inner-West Victorian

The clients, Ben and Sophie, bought their double fronted Victorian brick house that, as usual, was gracious at the front but dysfunctional at the back. Their brief was to create a functional and contemporary layout at the back and to connect to the garden while respecting and enhancing the heritage value of the house as a whole. The result is a beautiful, holistically considered house that now has the space to breathe and bring up a family of 4 plus poodle.

The generous-sized kitchen with separate, tucked away laundry and pantry connects to an oversized and covered verandah with a relaxed, country feel. Upstairs is a secluded, cosy master bedroom suite with a walk in robe and ensuite meticulously carved into the sloped roof space.

The great thing about a double fronted house is that the roof is large enough to fit a bedroom wing without having to build up to add an obvious extra level. This master suite is fitted with walk-in robe, marble clad ensuite and heavenly soft carpet. The existing heritage living room was retained and received a large new opening and revived with fresh paint, lighting and a new floor which continued from the entrance, wide transitional stair and open-plan living and kitchen. The broad zigzagging stairs allows both the new and old space to talk to each other while still defining their unique space. The kitchen in the same way is defined as a space in its own right while connecting to the dining room. In this way we reinforced the spatial compartments that 19th century buildings have while still providing a functionally, modern lifestyle. The lush backyard is still an important feature of the property and the open carport doubles as a shaded play area at kids parties.

The palette is an elegant mix of grey blues, whites, Carrara marble and honey-hued hardwood timber, which creates a calm and chic open plan. The front of the house was lovingly restored with an injection of colour and the reinstatement of old English tessellated veranda tiles. We designed and built a new traditional, wrought-iron, hand painted front fence that appears to be the original. This was the approach of the entire renovation. As a whole It feels calm, timeless and meant to be.

Services: Partial-service interior design, spatial planning, material and finishes selection, technical drawings, lighting design.

Furniture: Clients own

Architect: Danny Broe Architects

Builder: Midon Constructions

Photographer: Karina Illovska