This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Truly Transformative Cottage Conversion

Architecture

A cottage is supposed to be cute and cosy, not bright and spacious.

Eva-Marie Prineas of Studio Prineas challenges that misconception, with this ingenious re-design of a compact dwelling in Cammeray, on Sydney’s lower North Shore. A formerly dark and disconnected residence is now a bright, airy family home – that’s astonishingly only nine square metres larger than before!

24th April, 2019

A small addition brings sweeping light and connection to landscape. Photo  Chris Warnes. Styling  Sarah Ellison.

Photo  Chris Warnes. Styling  Sarah Ellison.

Every room has a visual or physical connection to the outdoors. Photo  Chris Warnes. Styling  Sarah Ellison.

Warm timber meets minimal aesthetics. Photo  Chris Warnes. Styling  Sarah Ellison.

The new addition is only 9 square meters of additional footprint, but breathes a whole new life into the cottage. Photo  Chris Warnes. Styling  Sarah Ellison.

Photo  Chris Warnes. Styling  Sarah Ellison.

Photo  Chris Warnes. Styling  Sarah Ellison.

Photo  Chris Warnes. Styling  Sarah Ellison.

Photo  Chris Warnes. Styling  Sarah Ellison.

Photo  Chris Warnes. Styling  Sarah Ellison.

Miriam McGarry
Wednesday 24th April 2019

This compact cottage in Cammeray, New South Wales felt dark and disconnected from its surroundings when architect and studio director Eva-Marie Prineas first engaged with the site. She explains that the original cottage and previous add-on featured ‘poorly lit interiors and the separation of living spaces from the garden.’

The architects demolished a pre-existing renovation and reconsidered how to bring light and airiness to the cottage. Due to the home being located within a Heritage Conservation Area, any new additions needed to be concealed from the street view. Eva-Marie describes how this restriction helped to ‘inform the dramatic form of the addition and the dynamic interior spaces.’

The act of concealing the renovation helped direct the ‘step-down’ design, which nestles the new extension into the garden. This change in level between the old and the new maintains the existing roof-line, but creates a connection to the backyard. Eva-Marie highlights how the renovation conjures ‘dramatic internal volumes’, with a north-facing skylight that runs across the full width of the new addition, allowing for light to flood into the home.

The newly illuminated interiors are enhanced by a pared back materials palette, including white painted recycled brick, grooved joinery, natural stone and Pandomo floors. This grey-and-white minimalism is enlivened with warm timber veneer joinery, and luxe brass details in the light fittings.

The house shies away from an open-plan configuration (the dining, living and kitchen areas are all distinct but connected) – but embraces an ‘open-out’ model where every room has a physical or visual link to the outdoors. The renovation has only added nine square metres of floorplan to the original cottage, but this connection to the garden and surrounds has dramatically expanded the sense of space.

This dynamic cottage renovation was shortlisted for the 2018 Houses Awards, and won ‘Best Use of Lighting’ in the House and Garden 50 Top Rooms. Fitting accolades for a truly transformative renovation!

This Week

Art

A New Art Collaboration At Raes on Wategos

The iconic Byron Bay hotel launches its first Artist in Residence program, with French-Australian painter Stanislas (Stan) Piechaczek.

Architecture

A Stacked Home In St Kilda For Every Family Member

Matt Gibson Architecture and Design team up with clients DDB Design on a long-term living solution for multiple generations!

Architecture

Avoiding The Coastal Cliché, With Mid Century Flair

A Portsea home gets a contemporary revamp, from Studio Esteta.
Miriam McGarry
  17 hours ago

In Print

Take A Gander At Australia's Iconic Art Deco Pubs

A new book, documenting how a nation’s love of a cold beer, led to an architectural phenomenon!
Elle Murrell

Architecture

An Experiment In ‘Unfinishing’ A Home

An always evolving family home in Bondi Junction, by Alexander & Co.

Studio Visit

The Seafaring Painter Pushing The Boundaries Of Maritime Art

A sail and studio visit with one-of-a-kind artist Gemma Rasdall, as her new body of work is unveiled in Sydney.
Elle Murrell
45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Architect Penelope Seidler

This national icon reflects on her early life, working with her husband Harry in the 60s/70s, and her proudest achievement to date!

News

Moments From Nature Captured In Exquisite Detail

Following a devastating diagnosis two years ago, graphic designer Shelley Heaney embarked upon a new project encouraging us to connect to th...

Creative People

When Art Meets Music - 15 Stand-Out Album Covers Featuring Australian Art

From Ken Done to Brett Whiteley, Stephen Baker to Luke Sciberras, discover the Australian artists behind some iconic album art!
Elle Murrell

News

Humans Landed On The Moon Today!

Geelong Gallery is celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘mankind’s giant leap’ with a captivating exhibition, bringing together...
Elle Murrell
  14 hours ago

Homes

A Home With A Warm Hart

The eclectic and soothing home of doula Sunni Hart and family.
2:22

We, The Brave

Turning A Passion For Photography Into A Career, With Eve Wilson

Eve Wilson shares her courageous career journey, from photographer’s assistant, to leading lifestyle photographer. In partnership with MYO...

News

Sunday Life Drawing Classes In Seriously Lush Surrounds

Fitzroy-based creatives Ladies of Leisure team up with artist Lani Mitchell for a dreamy life drawing series in July!
Miriam McGarry
  19 hours ago

News

Time Travel To The Quintessential 1970s Motel In Melbourne

Tim Ross and Kit Warhurst bring their hilarious, nostalgia-infused live show to a classic Melbourne motel next month.

Architecture

The Best Of The Island – Here Are The 2019 Tasmanian Architecture Award Winners!

Our southernmost state may be small, but it packs a big architectural punch.
Miriam McGarry

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

An Understated, Architectural Home That 'Isn’t Up Itself'

The unassuming Pleated House by Megowan Architectural in Highett, Victoria.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

An Anti Open-Plan Home

The 'Light Corridor House' by Figr Architects in Cremorne proves that bigger isn't always better.

Architecture

A Playful + Reorienting Renovation

Austin Maynard Architects joyfully reconfigure the Grant House in Fitzroy, Melbourne.

This Week

Architecture

An Experiment In ‘Unfinishing’ A Home

An always evolving family home in Bondi Junction, by Alexander & Co.

News

Humans Landed On The Moon Today!

Geelong Gallery is celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘mankind’s giant leap’ with a captivating exhibition, bringing together...
Elle Murrell
  14 hours ago

Architecture

Avoiding The Coastal Cliché, With Mid Century Flair

A Portsea home gets a contemporary revamp, from Studio Esteta.
Miriam McGarry
  17 hours ago
45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Architect Penelope Seidler

This national icon reflects on her early life, working with her husband Harry in the 60s/70s, and her proudest achievement to date!

News

Sunday Life Drawing Classes In Seriously Lush Surrounds

Fitzroy-based creatives Ladies of Leisure team up with artist Lani Mitchell for a dreamy life drawing series in July!
Miriam McGarry
  19 hours ago
2:22

We, The Brave

Turning A Passion For Photography Into A Career, With Eve Wilson

Eve Wilson shares her courageous career journey, from photographer’s assistant, to leading lifestyle photographer. In partnership with MYO...

Homes

A Home With A Warm Hart

The eclectic and soothing home of doula Sunni Hart and family.

News

Time Travel To The Quintessential 1970s Motel In Melbourne

Tim Ross and Kit Warhurst bring their hilarious, nostalgia-infused live show to a classic Melbourne motel next month.

Creative People

When Art Meets Music - 15 Stand-Out Album Covers Featuring Australian Art

From Ken Done to Brett Whiteley, Stephen Baker to Luke Sciberras, discover the Australian artists behind some iconic album art!
Elle Murrell

Art

A New Art Collaboration At Raes on Wategos

The iconic Byron Bay hotel launches its first Artist in Residence program, with French-Australian painter Stanislas (Stan) Piechaczek.

Architecture

A Stacked Home In St Kilda For Every Family Member

Matt Gibson Architecture and Design team up with clients DDB Design on a long-term living solution for multiple generations!

Studio Visit

The Seafaring Painter Pushing The Boundaries Of Maritime Art

A sail and studio visit with one-of-a-kind artist Gemma Rasdall, as her new body of work is unveiled in Sydney.
Elle Murrell

In Print

Take A Gander At Australia's Iconic Art Deco Pubs

A new book, documenting how a nation’s love of a cold beer, led to an architectural phenomenon!
Elle Murrell

Architecture

The Best Of The Island – Here Are The 2019 Tasmanian Architecture Award Winners!

Our southernmost state may be small, but it packs a big architectural punch.
Miriam McGarry

News

Moments From Nature Captured In Exquisite Detail

Following a devastating diagnosis two years ago, graphic designer Shelley Heaney embarked upon a new project encouraging us to connect to th...

Similar Stories

Architecture

An Understated, Architectural Home That 'Isn’t Up Itself'

The unassuming Pleated House by Megowan Architectural in Highett, Victoria.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

An Anti Open-Plan Home

The 'Light Corridor House' by Figr Architects in Cremorne proves that bigger isn't always better.

Architecture

A Playful + Reorienting Renovation

Austin Maynard Architects joyfully reconfigure the Grant House in Fitzroy, Melbourne.