Balmain Residence

NSW Australia
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This period home in Balmain, Sydney is a fine example of the Federation style. Built in 1908, the double-front brick house has a picket fence, iron lacework veranda and a tuck-pointed façade. Purchased in original condition, the house featured a series of dark enclosed rooms. The formal lounge and dining areas at the front of the house were restored, with the timber floors sanded and polished, fortunately, the original  fireplace surrounds, skirting boards and architraves were all intact. While SJB restored most features, they also reconfigured some of the original spaces. One of the two bedrooms was reduced in size to allow for a new bathroom. Fully lined in travertine, both walls and floor, this bathroom has a distinctively carved, almost ‘chiselled’, appearance.

To provide sufficient natural light, SJB designed floor to ceiling windows and doors to the courtyard, allowing both the kitchen and formal living areas to have unimpeded views of the garden. The owners like to entertain larger groups of people and one solution was the inclusion of a built-in travertine bench on the edge of the kitchen, extending to the end of the terrace. When the three metre high sliding glass doors are left open, this bench functions as additional seating and also creates a level of informality for family gatherings.

Renovating period homes is about achieving balance, respecting the context of these homes, but also ensuring the spaces embrace contemporary living.

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