Located in Darling Point, a leafy, harbour side suburb of Sydney, Australia, this Victorian cottage has been recently renovated by Alexander & CO. for a family of five. Drawing on the building’s architectural heritage, the light-filled house, which despite its compact size comfortably caters to the family’s requirements, artfully combines nostalgic grandeur with a contemporary aesthetic of understated elegance.
Faced with a compact footprint, the main challenge in renovating this historic two-storey residence was the new interiors had to accommodate “adult spaces” where the parents could enjoy privacy, as well as ample room for their three children, including separate rooms with desks, wardrobes and play areas.
In response, the architects boldly reconfigured the existing layout, including relocating the stairs and bedrooms, in order to create a sense of “measured complexity” enabling the family to operate at different time scales. Eschewing an open-plan configuration, instead the house has been conceived as a series of interconnected rooms where the noisy and public can coexist with the intimate and private.
The mute, almost monochromatic colour palette is complemented by warm, natural hues and textures, while the minimalist aesthetic is counterbalanced by a focus on hand-crafted detailing, from polished plaster and painted tidelines to ceiling lining boards and mouldings.