A new bedroom, bathroom and bigger, better kitchen and dining – this renovation adds unobtrusive upstairs spaces and internal windows to achieve an airy reworked home

Designed by SSD Studio

From the renovating architect:

The owner's brief 

The brief asked for an additional bedroom and bathroom for the young family and their children. 

The owners also wanted a better functioning kitchen and dining room that still maintained the height of the rear addition – previously added to the heritage workers cottage in the 1970s.

They were after a light filled home that felt spacious despite the very small size of the block.

Response to brief

The design achieved these requirements through the discreet addition of a second storey which was not visible from the public domain as it was designed as an attic space.

Using steel framed glass windows externally and internally allowed for a layering of the spaces and bought borrowed lights into the first floor addition with a common design language that was sympathetic to the heritage detailing of the house.

The connection to the rear courtyard garden is enhanced through the large steel framed doors from the dining room, that when opened up create essentially a garden room.

How the design responds to the context

The design of the rear addition considered how the form of the existing house impacted both the public domain and the adjacent  properties.

We worked very closely with the council’s heritage oicer to achieve the best outcome – resulting in a traditional pitched roof to the rear and the form of a single storey.

The design of the rear, while traditional in, form is highlighted by a contemporary awning, with simple, singular detailing in a dark composite material to both frame the rear opening and contrast to the heritage detailing and character of the house. 

The awning also creates a covered transition from inside to out, enabling the whole of the rear to open up in the warmer months, encouraging cross ventilation and enhanced wellbeing through the connection to nature – a vital design element for the family in the compact inner city location.

The nature of the site, being hardly visible from the public domain due to the steep topography, allowed for a very large opening from the rear living rooms to the garden without the loss of privacy.

Overall functionality and spacial design

The concept design considered the layout fundamentally – achieving a greater sense of space and flow in the house was of primary concern.

The intention of locating the formal living space within the front bedroom allowed for the creation of two living spaces at the front and rear of the house.

The addition of the first floor 'parents retreat' setback over the ground floor to create a double height void creates unique spaces within the house.

The extension of the kitchen into the dining room with a leather clad banquette seat draws the eye out into the garden while creating a flexible space that can be used for additional seating for the dining table or as a separate seating area for relaxation.

Rooms are opened up and connected, yet clearly defined through the internal forms.

The stair to the second storey addition is concealed behind a timber screen to filter the light into the living room and create a sense of privacy for the private rooms upstairs – the screen further enforces the idea of layering the spaces to enhance the character of the interiors.

Considered material palette

The aesthetics of the rear addition and the renovated front rooms is intentionally simple and elegant to – respect the existing house, to suit the owners' desires, to allow for a 'loose fit ' and to provide a practical solution for a family with young children.

While the material palette and detailing is very simple it was carefully considered as we worked closely with our homeowners to achieve a design they were happy with.

The use of natural materials – timber flooring, timber veneer, marble and tan leather provides a classic interior that is calm and timeless.

Contemporary detailing, fixtures and light fittings define the home as contemporary with a subtle contrast to the heritage details and character.

From the rear, the architecture is a modern addition within a heritage form. 

Credit list

Kitchen designer
SSD Studio
Main flooring
Engineered timber – European oak – tongue 'n groove
Dulux Whisper White; Dulux Ceiling White
Feature lighting – living and dining
Vivid Built
Composite – Mondo Clad
Window/door joinery
Steel windows – Steel Design; timber windows – builder
Bedroom flooring
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended

Designed by: SSD Studio

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Simon Whitbread

05 Nov, 2023

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