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A Heritage Sydney Home, Redesigned For Dining Among The Treetops

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A series of unsympathetic renovations had left this family home in Woollahra, Sydney, in a confused state. The successive ‘mish mash’ of styles had stripped the home of many of its original features, leaving the pokey living and kitchen areas with limited natural light and – most frustratingly – hadn’t taken advantage of the sweeping views over the park. 

When Caitlin Parker-Brown, director of interior design firm Parker Studio, was brought on to the project, she was tasked with creating a new ground floor layout within the home’s new footprint, including a new rear extension designed by Chris Kokkinis of Ergo Architecture

The new addition to the Victorian-style home now embraces the setting it’s in, with a strong focus on nature and the surrounding treescape, along with a dreamy muted colour palette. 

‘We didn’t want to over design or over decorate the space as it has such a striking view,’ explains Caitlin. ‘It wasn’t necessary to take away from that.’ 

So, rather than design an inward-focussed space, she switched the focus to the surrounding treetops, and created a space that would act as a backdrop to the leafy canopy beyond. 

‘It’s all in the colour palette and materials,’ she says. Natural oak floorboards and crisp white walls created a contemporary and elegant design base, upon which textural and subtle paint and material finishes for the kitchen joinery and benchtop were overlaid.

The kitchen island, which sweeps around in an arc at one end is a micro-cement finish, while the kitchen joinery is a white-washed timber veneer with a very subtle wood grain. ‘This gives a lovely hand-finished look and feel, which was in line with our vision to create an interior that is sympathetic to the landscape,’ Caitlin says. ‘We used muted colours, bushy pinks and blues throughout the spaces to balance out the natural backdrop.’ 

In the original part of the house, Caitlin worked on retaining and reinstating heritage character.  Nowhere is this more obvious than the powder room and mudroom – Caitlin’s favourite spaces in the home. ‘We went wild with colour and pattern and the end result really paid off,’ she says. ‘It’s such a rich and inviting space to be in.’ 

The tumbled checkerboard marble floor tiles are a highlight in these rooms; ‘It gives the entry of the house that old world charm it once had before you step into the light and airy contemporary extension at the back of the house,’ Caitlin explains. ‘It’s a fun contrast.’

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