A con­tem­po­rary ad­di­tion gives new life to an 1860s sand­stone cot­tage.

Belle - - Belle Promotion - Pho­to­graphs WILL HORNER Words JAN­ICE JONES

Buy­ing this his­toric cot­tage with­out see­ing inside it didn’t faze this de­signer, who has made it her­fam­ily home.

This page From the street, the orig­i­nal sand­stone cot­tage re­tains its her­itage appeal. Within, a glass breeze­way wraps around a north-east fac­ing court­yard and links the orig­i­nal cot­tage to a two-storey mod­ern ad­di­tion. Op­po­site page The tex­tured rammed-earth wall, sourced to match the cot­tage’s dis­tinc­tive pink sand­stone, runs the full length of the liv­ing space and cre­ates a back-of-house ser­vices area. ‘Tier’ con­sole from Fan­uli. Framed sketch by Amer­i­can il­lus­tra­tor Bernie Fuchs. ‘Mi­lan’ arm­chair by Arthur G up­hol­stered in Set­tler Tapa leather.

From the day she spot­ted it in the 1990s just around the cor­ner from her home, in­te­rior de­signer An­drea Killen loved this cot­tage in Hunters Hill. Built in 1861 it was one of the rst res­i­dences con­structed in the dis­tinc­tive pink sand­stone quar­ried in the area. She was so smit­ten with the cot­tage that she scrib­bled a note to put in the let­ter­box say­ing, ‘If you ever sell this cot­tage, please sell it to me’. There was no re­sponse. Fast for­ward 15 years and An­drea and hus­band Hugh and their two chil­dren were about to re­turn to Syd­ney from the US af­ter years of liv­ing over­seas. Pre­par­ing for the move, An­drea went on­line to search for prop­er­ties they could buy and was as­tounded to see the cot­tage she loved had just been posted for sale as a de­ceased es­tate.

The cou­ple pounced on the chance to pur­chase the largely un­touched prop­erty. “We called ar­chi­tect John Rose, of Tan­ner Kib­ble Den­ton Ar­chi­tects, who was rec­om­mended to us. We had six weeks from when the cot­tage was listed un­til it went to auc­tion,” says An­drea. Brie ng John on their wish­list, they asked him to go to the open home and come up with a de­sign to ac­com­mo­date the fam­ily of four. Suc­cess­ful in pur­chas­ing the prop­erty from afar and, de­lighted with the ar­chi­tect’s con­cept for their new home, they gave him the go-ahead.

“We ar­rived back from the States as the DA was go­ing through coun­cil and rented a place around the cor­ner for the du­ra­tion of the build. From the mo­ment they broke ground, I was on site ev­ery day and in­volved with ev­ery­thing to do with the in­ter­nal side of things,” says An­drea, who has her own in­te­rior de­sign busi­ness, AK De­signs.

The pro­ject re­in­stated the orig­i­nal ve­ran­dah and the cot­tage’s in­te­ri­ors were re­stored to serve as the en­try hall and a cosy sit­ting room with a re­place the fam­ily en­joys in win­ter. A glass breeze­way with an in­ter­nal court­yard links the cot­tage with the new liv­ing spa­ces, formed with the rammed earth wall care­fully matched to the sand­stone, and a cov­ered deck be­hind. Above is the cedar-clad bed­room wing and at the rear is a garden, swim­ming pool and ca­bana for their teenaged chil­dren.

Hunters Hill Coun­cil was par­tic­u­lar about re­tain­ing the look of the street frontage so the black box for the up­per-storey bed­room wing is set back and gives the impression of some­thing sub­tle and mod­ern with­out over­shad­ow­ing the streetscape.

“With the tra­di­tional cot­tage at the front I wanted the back to be con­tem­po­rary in its prac­ti­cal­ity but not in its look. I re­ally wanted a lived-in space and that it be a home not a house. We loved that earthy, warm Colorado ranch style and all those lay­ered tex­tures,” says An­drea. Apart from the cus­tom din­ing chairs, the bar stools and the ot­toman in the win­ter sit­ting room, much of the fur­ni­ture has been in the fam­ily for years.

In the sleek kitchen stands one of An­drea’s favourite pieces. “I’m not the cook; my hus­band is the chef at home,” she says. “But a must for me was the deep-green mar­ble bench­top – some­thing I’ve tried to sug­gest with clients but no one was brave enough to do it. Green is one of my favourite colours and is lit­tered through­out the house. I was de­lighted with how it turned out with the white join­ery, oak oors and sim­ple sub­way tiles.”

“Ev­ery­thing that we wanted is in­cluded,” says An­drea of her 155-year-old cot­tage in which the tra­di­tional links har­mo­niously with the con­tem­po­rary to cre­ate an ul­tra-com­fort­able home. “And ev­ery­thing inside is a re ec­tion of where we’ve been and who we are as a fam­ily.”

“With the tra­di­tional cot­tage at the front I wanted the back to be con­tem­po­rary in its prac­ti­cal­ity but not in its look.”


» An Aus­tralian cou­ple liv­ing in the US but plan­ning to re­turn to Syd­ney bought an his­toric sand­stone cot­tage with­out hav­ing seen inside. » The cou­ple, one of whom is in­te­rior de­signer An­drea Killen, en­listed ar­chi­tect John Rose to cre­ate a de­sign to ren­o­vate the cot­tage and build a re­spect­ful ex­ten­sion to ac­com­mo­date the fam­ily of four. » The orig­i­nal cot­tage in­te­ri­ors were re­stored and re­freshed and a new ground oor liv­ing, din­ing and en­ter­tain­ing space and an up­per bed­room wing were con­structed. » Ma­te­ri­als for the new struc­ture in­cluded a rammed earth wall in har­mony with the orig­i­nal pink-coloured Hunters Hill sand­stone. In­te­ri­ors are in a warm and earthy Colorado style. This page The fam­ily uses the out­door din­ing area on the cov­ered deck all year round. In the new liv­ing room Arthur G ‘Mi­lan’ arm­chairs in Set­tler Tapa leather. Op­po­site page Court­yard ta­ble set­ting from Parterre. In the main bed­room, par­quetry bed from And So To Bed, Lon­don, and bed­li­nen from Cologne & Cot­ton, Lon­don. Art­work by Michaye Boul­ter. Mi­unn ‘La Palma’ bar stools from ECC Light­ing+Fur­ni­ture. Is­land bench­top in ‘Gu­atemala Verde’ mar­ble from Ne†ko Mar­ble. Ar­mand ‘Riviera’ pen­dant lights from Ar­te­ri­ors. Art­work by Michaye Boul­ter.

For more go to; akde­

This page The up­per storey bed­room wing is set back from the tra­di­tional street frontage. Op­po­site page top In the ‘win­ter’ liv­ing room, ‘Mod­ern Me­trop­o­lis’ club chair by Ralph Lau­ren. Ot­toman by Orig­i­nal Fin­ish in An­drew Martin ‘Men­doza’ fab­ric. Be­low Orig­i­nal Eames chair and stool. Side ta­ble by Za‚ero. ‘Haiku’ fan from Big Ass fans.

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