Sur­prise Pack­age

The ren­o­va­tion of this 1870s home in Syd­ney was bumpy but beau­ti­ful.

Australian House & Garden - - News - STORY Rosa Se­nese | STYLING Sarah Maloney | PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Si­mon Whit­bread

This 19th-cen­tury Syd­ney har­bour­side gem has been given a fam­ily-friendly makeover.

Some­times, suc­cess hinges on seiz­ing an op­por­tu­nity when it arises, as Natalie and Mark Braund know well.TheSyd­n­ey­cou­ple­hadal­readyse­curedap­proval for an ex­ten­sion of their pre­vi­ous house in the inner west, which was prov­ing a squeeze for their fam­ily of five. Yet when this prop­erty came up for sale a few sub­urbs away, they fol­lowed their hearts and snapped it up. The grandly scaled home, built in the 1870s, was a her­itage gem, sit­u­ated near the har­bour and green park­lands.

“I loved the high ceil­ings, the light in the main bed­room and the over­all char­ac­ter of the house,” says Natalie.

The Braunds were keen to bring it into the 21st cen­tury by ex­pand­ing the ca­sual so­cial spa­ces and pro­vid­ing play space for their sons: Luke, now 11, An­gus, nine, and Char­lie, seven. Also on their to-do list was the kid­ney-shaped pool. “It en­gulfed the whole back­yard,” says Natalie. “I hated it.”

In­re­spon­se­tothe­brief,ar­chi­tec­tSi­monVaugh­anex­tended and re­con­fig­ured the rear ground floor, in­stalling a gen­er­ous kitchen and ca­sual din­ing space, plus an out­door ter­race for mod­ern indoor-out­door living. A newly ex­ca­vated base­ment level houses a gym, cel­lar and ex­tra bath­room.

Up­stairs, two over­sized rooms were con­verted into three still-gen­er­ous bed­rooms. A new balcony off the up­graded main suite now brings the own­ers closer to their har­bour and bridge views, and ceil­ings in all four bed­rooms have been lifted for a greater sense of space.

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