Paddington Townhouse Renovation
This existing inner city three bedroom house was a simple 1980's concrete and brick terrace that had been built by a developer on a budget. The interior was outdated and felt dark and depressing. It also had unresolved design issues. There were ugly bulkheads in the ceiling hiding plumbing, a dining area that was too narrow to fit a table and a kitchen space that was too small to be functional. The clients wanted a closer connection to the garden and a more contemporary feel to the kitchen and living spaces.
CLIENT BRIEF / PLANNING STRATEGY
The architect consulted closely with the owners, engineers and builders and as a team they came up with a renovation plan the owners were happy with. This included designing a new kitchen opening out to the garden, redesigning the bathroom and ensuite and integrating the lounge, dining and kitchen areas into a unified space.
A structural brick pier at the rear of the house between the kitchen and garden was removed, leaving the kitchen opened up to the outdoors. The kitchen benches were transformed to an L shape in attractive light-coloured marble, wrapping around the dining table. The benches are extra deep for storage and the kitchen is now highly functional. The dramatic gesture was made to run the outside window and door track along the middle of the kitchen bench so that half of the kitchen is now literally outside. This is the most unique feature of the house, completely removing the barrier between inside and outside. A new pergola was added and the sloping terrace was levelled to provide an additional entertainment area. The kitchen, now integrated into the living space and opened up to the outdoors, is no longer merely a functional service support space; it is a place of arrival and celebration.
New, carefully designed joinery was used to modernise and unify the living spaces while remaining highly functional. A long timber bench now runs the full length of the house, transforming cleverly from an elegant kitchen shelf to a spacious bookcase with attractive white shelving and then to a stylish television shelf. The owners wanted natural colours and textures, so materials like marble and timber were used for the new fittings.
The stair balustrade is a sculptural addition to the house, winding like a snake up the three levels. The formerly big, chunky timber handrail was replaced by glass framed by a striking solid timber border. The glass and elegant frame showcase the existing concrete steps, providing an attractive contrast of light and dark and a contemporary feel.
The bathroom and ensuite have been updated using integrated fittings and continuous shelves that run into the shower areas. The mirrored cabinets provide ample discreet storage space. A natural feel is created through the light-coloured marble floor and shelving and large off-white tiles.
Wall lights and LED lights under cupboards cast a subtle and novel light throughout the space, highlighting the owner’s attractive artwork. The functional areas such as the kitchen and cupboards are present without dominating the living and dining rooms. The joinery is intricate and holistic and it is impossible to tell where the joinery stops and the walls begin, creating a feeling of simplicity. The house is contemporary and stylish and yet is a warm, welcoming space where the occupants can enjoy their garden while cooking and dining.