Once a neglected 1906 abode on a sloping block in Sydney, architect Brian Van Der Plaat re-designed this cottage into a happy modern home.
Top of the wishlist was multiple living areas – for his clients to escape to and spaces for their children to hang out with friends. They also wanted a spacious central hub for when the whole family gathers.
The contemporary rear extension is an airy, floating pavilion with a lightwell-covered void separating the home’s two eras.
In the mushroom-hued kitchen, a Corian-topped island bench that culminates in a timber-look laminate breakfast table is the statement piece. It was made by Euro German Kitchens for Made for Living. The trio of Secto Design birch pendants and ‘ML42’ oak stools are all from Fred International.
Shared living space
The living room within the new extension is clean-lined. Glazed stacking sliders open on two sides, with an unobstructed corner. King Living’s ‘Strata’ leather sofa and chair are family favourites, softened by black-and-white cushions from West Elm, a Country Road throw, yellow cushions from Kas Australia and a rug from Designer Rugs, while a Foscarini ‘Twiggy’ ceiling lamp from Space Furniture arcs over the room. The flooring throughout the extension is polished concrete with no exposed aggregate.
Dining in old-meets-new style
This cosy dining nook is tucked into the cottage’s original downstairs kitchen, where a nearby old stove and chimney area have been transformed into a fireplace. Craig Parnaby was commissioned him to paint a beach scene for the space. The Normann Copenhagen ‘Bell’ lamp is from Top 3 By Design, while the Kartell ‘Louis Ghost’ and ‘Victoria Ghost’ chairs are from Space Furniture. For a similar round dining table with a wooden base, try Retrojan’s ‘Hayden’ design.
The cottage’s exposed brick facade serves as a texured backdrop to the new high-ceilinged kitchen-living area that demarcates the starting point of the extension.
Walk this way
Upstairs, a walkway above a void leads from the old section of the house into the modern addition The void was designed as the primary light source for the house, catching the northern daylight at roof level and directing it through the centre of the building down to the lower, southern living levels. Ironbark floorboards in the old section were stained to match the new engineered oak.
In a nod to five-star style, the main bedroom merges with the ensuite, in an open-plan design. The timber veneer king bed with matching side tables from Domayne is dressed with an Indian block-printed cotton bedspread from Haveli and chain-stitch ‘Clouds’ cushions from Ruby Star Traders. Glass pendants from Light Up Kingsford are a space-saving alternative to bedside lamps, while the chair upholstered in black and white is
a one-off bought from Cult many years ago. The artwork is Headland by Katherine Boland.
A combination of white, floaty linen curtains and a French provincial-style Maria Theresa ‘Bettina’ chandelier with crystal beading from Chandelierium brings an ethereal feel to the super-luxe ensuite. The large window with timber-lined reveal frames the tree canopy outside. The Forme ‘Plunge’ tub from Harvey Norman and freestanding ‘Aviad’ mixer is from Ram Tapware and the vanity top is Carrara marble with Flaminia ‘Twinset 425’ inset basins from Parisi.