Blonde ambition
Belle Magazine Australia|April 2021
A deft blend of charming heritage features with a cool, contemporary edge has given this Sydney home a bright new future.
JUDY PASCOE

A Scandinavian aesthetic, by way of blonde timbers, white walls and pitch-perfect furniture, has infused this original 1900s cottage with a sense of youthful joie de vivre. Located in a desirable pocket of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs with easy access to the beaches and all facilities, it had irresistible appeal for the owners, who wished to maximise the heritage charm of the house and complement it with contemporary, open, light and flowing living spaces.

Impressed by residential projects they had seen in surrounding areas, the homeowners engaged Madeleine Blanchfield Architects. Their house had been renovated and extended in the 1980s in an unsympathetic style. “The original fabric of the home was quite lovely,” says Madeleine, “but the extension had some significant flaws.”

The starting point was to retain the heritage rooms, reinstate key detailing such as the ornate ceiling roses and cornices, and augment the appeal of the arched bay windows by painting them in a dazzling white. A new two-storey extension was added at the rear of the property to rationalise levels, open up views to the city and improve circulation. On the ground level, two bedrooms and a bathroom occupy the original part of the house, which leads to the kitchen, living and dining space and a north-facing terrace. Upstairs is the generous master suite and balcony, while a wine cellar and media lounge on the lowest level offer extra facilities.

The 1980s extension had provided a double garage – truly a boon in this location – without impinging on the generous outdoor terrace, which has been retained and enhanced with lounging and dining furniture and an array of lush planting.

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