Birchgrove House

Renovation of a worker's cottage in Sydney's inner west.

Construction commencing 2019.

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A modest weatherboard semi-detached cottage in a conservation area is to be sensitively re-worked to suit the lifestyle of a busy professional couple. A tiny compartmentalised floor plan is to be opened up so that living, sleeping, and working spaces flow seamlessly into each other, making a small haven within a dense urban setting.

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The new living space contrasts a high ceiling with the snug rooms of the historic cottage at the front. A fine grain of timber details on the ceiling and the warmth of bookshelves, as well as a dark wall colour, gives the dining space an intimate quality, set against the airiness of the living and kitchen space. This defines spaces within the open plan, and gives the room character and comfort.

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The small garden is an extension of the (also small) living space. A narrow skylight brings northern light into this south-facing room. Kitchen and laundry fittings are discreetly integrated, so that a small space remains serene and uncluttered.