Inside Out (Australia)
With an eye-catching use of timber cladding inside and out, the design team behind the rework of this Sydney terrace proves good things can come in small packages
Who lives here: Renovation team Kinwolf, made up of friends Casey Scott, Scott Ligertwood and Matt Crocker, transformed the home. They are currently renting it out.
Style of home: A tiny terrace in Sydney’s inner west on a 126-square-metre block has been reinvented as a three-bedroom home, thanks to a contemporary addition that is positioned discreetly out of sight but reclaims space – both real and imagined. A six-week design period was followed by a seven-month trip through council. The build took nine months.
Renovating homes is a way of life for Casey Scott. As a child, he moved from house to house watching his parents renovate, and he was hooked. “The houses would start out as pretty terrible and turn out to be amazing,” says Casey. As a young man, the Sydneysider and his sister would join in, working with their parents on projects. His sister created her own reno company with friends, Three Birds Renovations, and soon after Casey and two mates, Scott Ligertwood and Matt Crocker, started their company, Kinwolf. “We are all mad for design,” says Casey. “It’s pretty awesome to do what you love for a living with your mates.”
Their first project is this terrace in the Sydney suburb of Birchgrove. “It’s a 126-square-metre block, so we had to be smart with the space and let light in,” says Casey. Only the front facade stayed the same. At the back, architect Michael Dawson of Dawsonvu balanced a timber box on top of a linear living zone that opens to the garden and sky.
The original two-bedroom terrace held little allure – but the location more than made up for it. A stone’s throw from the harbour and in-demand Balmain, Birchgrove is one of Sydney’s hidden gems. “The home itself was pretty rubbish – it had very low ceilings and was very skinny and dark,” says Casey. “But it ticked all the other boxes in terms of the area, a nice view and a good street.”
The architect’s priority was to have light penetrate into the core of the building. “A glazed roof was positioned over the staircase and across the living area to define both the living and dining zones, which resulted in a suspended cubist form, or box shape,” says Michael.
While light and bright, it was important that the house still felt like home to a potential buyer. “We certainly didn’t want it to feel sterile or look like a gallery,” says Casey.