WENTWORTH STREET REVEAL: TWO ERAS MEET IN HARMONY

When we first got our design hands on Wentworth Street, it was a tired federation cottage, bursting at the seams. More space to accommodate a young family of four was the top priority for our clients, which saw our studio take an architectural approach to the renovation.

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In a bid to better serve the family’s long-term needs, we introduced a first floor and restructured the floorplan, optimising the original living zones and providing plenty of room for retreat. Limited to strict council regulations that opposed a faux-federation addition, we opted for contemporary architecture in stark contrast to the original build.

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This serendipitous juxtaposition between federation and contemporary set the tone for the rest of the renovation. Embracing the narrative of old and new, we preserved the integrity of the original build by avoiding imitation, instead, introducing an assured modern aesthetic. One look at the heritage façade and you would hardly imagine the strong, clean-lined timber-screened haven at the rear.

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Inside the home, a thoroughly contemporary layout unfolds, exhibiting all the modern-day necessities, including a cleverly built-in office nook and generous kitchen island – the perfect stage for juggling family life with ease.

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Designed with long summer evenings in mind, the ground floor houses one sprawling, sun-soaked communal area, with the kitchen, dining and living area opening onto an expansive entertaining courtyard at the rear. It’s an idyllic social sanctuary, fit for hosting any manner of soiree or children’s party.

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Throughout, contemporary distinctions have been celebrated, evident in the clean lines and sleek finishes, all the while referencing what went before. Steel-framed windows and the geometric staircase are offset by dark-stained herringbone flooring and custom arched joinery, which pay homage to the traditional features of the original build.

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In the kitchen, panelled cabinetry, informed by the federation era, and a powdery white palette continue the careful dialogue between past and present.

Beyond the kitchen’s white oasis lies a more formal dining area, set for intimate, sit-down affairs. A hanging pendant by Melbourne-based designer Christopher Boots grounds the dining setting in the open-plan space, and commissioned artwork by celebrated Australian artist Kerry Armstrong further defines the area.

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The touches of luxury are undoubtedly impressive but given this is a home for a young family, our brief for a timeless interior that was not too serious or precious was our ultimate goal. Every design element is practical and has a purpose, and the result is a tangible sense of authenticity throughout.

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A contemporary sanctuary fit for a young family now resides behind the federation façade, affording a real sense of two eras meeting in harmony.

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All images ©Alexandra Kidd Design

ADA AVENUE REVEAL: WHERE THE GRASS WAS ALWAYS GREENER

There’s no denying the appeal of country living – the wide open spaces dressed in rich gowns of green and bathed in natural light. But there’s also no denying the appeal of city living – easy access to cultural hubs, cutting the commute, and an endless calendar of diverse entertainment and events.

The best of both worlds is what makes our Ada Avenue project extra special – it occupies a rare slice of sprawling green landscape in Sydney’s upper North Shore, affording its’ inhabitants the joys of both a convenient city and charming country lifestyle.

Eager to take advantage of their enviable surroundings, our client approached us with an open mind, ready to also open up his original 1970s home to the indoor-outdoor way of living. The home’s traditional timber joinery, internal red brick walls and myriad vinyl flooring were long overdue a complete design overhaul.

In a bid to better connect the house with the rambling greenery beyond, we created large, French door openings so the living spaces could flow visually and practically to the outside. We also increased the veranda’s footprint outside the family room, and added a large skylight in the kitchen, letting in an abundance of much-needed light and rekindling the home’s relationship with its surrounding garden.

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The original, compartmentalised layout, which separated the kitchen from living and work spaces, was better suited to the lifestyle of another era, so we knocked down a few walls, opening up the cramped kitchen to be part of a larger, open-plan family space.

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To complete the vision of a home that was ready to celebrate the natural world around it, we took cues from the back doorstep and chose a material palette to echo the hues of the country garden. Soft furnishings in cool greys, blues and silver have been warmed with natural tan and rich chocolate accents, whilst velvet and leather accents add textural luxury.

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We introduced natural materials wherever we could, laying a solid timber floor throughout and selecting beautiful Ayfon Grey marble for the kitchen. The effect is a nurturing environment that effortlessly extends from the outside in.

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The original space was home to two beautiful arches and curved mouldings surrounding the doors which we loved, so we introduced two more arched openings and arched decorative mirrors to echo the sculptural shapes of the built elements, and extended the curve feature to include round rugs and tables. The effect is a soft and harmonious environment that welcomes anyone who steps inside.

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The kitchen nook is similarly a play on curves, with its round shape that embraces those who come to pull up a pew. The generous pendant light that hangs above adds a beautiful glow when the evening sun begins to sink behind the trees.

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The end result is a home that honours the tranquillity and privacy of those who live within its walls, whilst appreciating the stunning outdoor space that lies within reach.

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All images via © Alexandra Kidd Design

THE REVEAL: A PICTURE PAINTS A THOUSAND WORDS

We are extremely excited to reveal this incredibly special, uniquely eclectic and stunningly photogenic home in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

The project began when our client approached us with the view to replace the carpet throughout the home with stone floors. Little did we know that this was only the beginning of what would become a fabulous full-scale renovation and a long-lasting relationship with a new client. 

The renovation extended to the kitchen, bathrooms, living areas, three bedrooms, study, dressing room, ensuite, external terrace and loggia. 

At AKD our primary aim is for our clients to emotionally connect with their space. For this project we selected textures that were not only beautiful to look at but beautiful to the touch. We selected colours that were uplifting and influenced not only by the art and objet d’art but also the incredible view. We sourced unique one-of-a-kind finishes, stone and furnishings that became an extension of the home and the extensive art collection. 

Designed in the original P&O architectural style that was popular in Sydney in the 1930s, the home is characterised by a façade of curved walls, glass bricks, porthole-shaped windows and a rendered white exterior. Renovated by Architect Phillip Cox over 25 years ago, it was once photographed by renowned Australian photographer Max Dupain. 

We were entrusted to reimagine the interiors of this iconic home, with the design being sympathetic to the architectural pedigree and paying homage to its spectacular seaside location. 

Our client’s lifelong desire to travel to Morocco set up the framework for the interior colour and fabric selections and was the inspiration for the external loggia and terrace. The client’s impressive art collection informed the interior palette, and of course there was no hiding from that view . . . it informed everything we did!

Shades of blue were selected for the bedrooms that mirror the colour of the ocean at different times of the day, producing a calming, serene atmosphere against the bold reds and cool yellows in other parts of the house. Each piece of furniture selected and accessory chosen had a unique significance and story behind it. 

The deep burnt orange in the entrance creates a bold statement and provides the ideal backdrop for many pieces in the extensive Aboriginal art collection. 

This iconic P&O style home was an enormous blank canvas, where we created layers of colour, light, texture, artwork and soft furnishings in a stunning space where the natural light changes and affects the interior throughout the day. The end result is truly an extension of our client and the original home itself. 

It is nothing short of magical.

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All images via © Alexandra Kidd Design