Federation home low-carbon refresh

Issue 31 Words: Verity Campbell Photography: Thomas Kayser
Metro Sydney
  • From the street, the 1.5kW solar PV system gives a hint of this renovated Federation home’s new eco credentials.
  • Louise and John’s new addition comfortably accommodates their dining table, rectifying a major inconvenience of the original home.
  • An east-facing window floods the kitchen with morning light.

A lightweight, modest extension has transformed the living space of this inner Sydney house, and made entertaining much less awkward.

Louise and John had been living in their Federation home with its pokey 1970s lean-to for 14 years when they finally decided enough was enough. It was time to end the frosty bathroom winters and the need, when guests came over, to pull the table into the centre of the room right next to the bathroom. “You had to wait until everyone had moved into the lounge room after dinner so that you could use the bathroom in privacy,” recalls Louise.

It was time to replace the kitchen-dining-bathroom with something spacious, more energy-efficient and comfortable, tailor-made for entertaining.

The couple enlisted Sharon Hamilton and Darryn Parkinson from Your Abode to help them with their vision. As interior designer, Sharon worked with Louise and John on the fitout. Having an expert assist with interiors wasn’t something they had set out to do, but it made a huge difference, says Louise.

Darryn’s task was to resolve the design challenges: most importantly, to accommodate the spatial requirements of the new structure while keeping the footprint of the addition small. He also needed to bring in natural light to the south-facing addition. His solution was to create a lightweight addition with an ensuite and walk-in robe connecting back to the original part of the home, and expansive open plan living, dining and kitchen opening onto a deck.

Despite the modest size of the addition, at just 56 square metres, the home now “has a wonderful sense of space,” says Louise, “because we’ve got the large windows to look out and plenty of light coming in.” Lofty dual cathedral ceilings with north and south-facing glazed gables draw natural light deep into the extension.

Louise estimates they’re paying about the same on their utility bills as they were before the addition – despite the increase in utility prices and in the size of the home. And now, they have a table that can extend to sit 12 – with no bathroom doors in sight.

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Cover of Issue 31
You can read more about Federation home low-carbon refresh in Issue 31 of Sanctuary magazine.

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Your Abode


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West Ryde, NSW

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