A modern love story
An old terrace is restored with a modern twist, writes
hen Chris and Sarah Ellis were looking for a property in the inner west, they weren’t looking for a freshly-minted home they could move in to.
Instead, they wanted to be able to stamp their own personality on their “forever” home.
After missing out at several auctions, they found what they were looking for — a Victorian terrace in Newtown.
“It was on a 234sq m block, had some original features and we were both excited by the amount of space there was,” says Chris.
The couple, who are originally from the UK, saw the potential for more living space with a modern addition that would respectfully work around its original features.
The property over the years had lost some of its traditional features, but the couple were keen to pay homage to its past, starting by restoring its original 1874 name, Brookside, at the entrance.
The local council had very specific rules about how the facade should be reinvigorated, which Chris says resulted in a much more complex and costly build, but ultimately “breathed life” back in to the old property.
“They requested a clear differentiation between the old and new work,” he says . “We also had to replace any trees we removed, and ensure the garage was set back from the street to allow the natural flow of the streetscape.”
Internally though, the couple agreed the old and new should flow.
“We wanted to ensure there was a smooth transition from the original house to the modern extension,” Chris says. “We tried to do this by keeping the original archway and having wooden flooring through the hallway and then repeated on the stairs and landing.”