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

News

Shop Zenn Design + Christopher Blank’s New, Must-Have Bedside Tables

It’s time to elevate your bedroom with this sleek new collection of solid timber tables.
Sponsored

Design Eye

Creating A Timeless Interior, With Jean-Pierre Biasol

Melbourne interior designer Jean-Pierre Biasol reveals how interior spaces can outlive trends, thanks to careful furniture selections.

Studio Visit

Di Lunedi’s Nostalgic Ceramics Serve Up A Slice Of Coastal Italy!

Step inside the Northern NSW studio of De Lunedi's Elise Eales, who creates one-off ceramic pieces inspired by her love of Italy's seaside.

On The Market

A Luxuriously Modern Home For Sale In Sydney's Forest Lodge

This new home has everything from smart-home features to solar and an electric car charger, alongside a dreamy outdoor entertaining area!
Christina Karras

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With A Rising Star In The Australian Ballet, Riley Lapham

We went behind the scenes with professional ballerina Riley Lapham as the company brings their 'Don Quixote' to the stage!
Christina Karras
  22 hours ago

Studio Visit

The Sculptural Fabric + Metal Works Of Architect-Trained Artist, Annie Paxton

Melbourne based Annie Paxton creates mesmerising sculptural works made from silk, fabric, aluminium, steel and chain mail!

Homes

A Victorian Coastal Family Home Inspired By A Famous Alpine Village

The Jan Juc family home of artist Ingrid Daniell and designer Clifton Daniell.

Stays

10 Retro-Inspired Motels To Book For Your Next Weekend Away!

Is there anything more nostalgic than a vintage motel with a dreamy pool? Here's some of the coolest ones to visit across Australia.
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Playful Renovation + Extension Of A 1910s Edwardian Weatherboard Cottage

This once lacklustre Edwardian cottage has been given new life thanks to a renovation and extension by Architect George Meek, of Studio Meek...

News

An Inspiring Photography Exhibition By Catherine Opie Is Coming To Heide

Heide Museum of Modern Art is hosting the first major Australian showcase of renown American photographer Catherine Opie.
Sponsored

Interiors

A Sunny Bondi Terrace Renovation With A Candy-Pink Bathroom!

The interiors of this family home now feature an all-pink bathroom and olive green features, inspired by the owners' personal style!
Christina Karras

Shopping

Style Meets Sustainability In Armadillo’s New Melbourne Showroom

Melbourne design lovers will be happy to hear beloved rug brand Armadillo have opened a new showroom in Fitzroy!
Christina Karras

News

Find Timeless Timber Furniture At Mark Tuckey’s Workshop Sale

Australian furniture brand Mark Tuckey are holding their biggest clearance sale yet, with up to 60% off!
Sponsored

On The Market

This Designer’s Family Home Hides A Rooftop Terrace, And It’s For Sale

The Melbourne house of owner-designer Dan Gayfer is on the market, but this Edwardian's sweeping extension is full of surprises.
Christina Karras

A ‘Little Big House’ Designed For The Whole Family

A Melbourne family home by Maike Design where the priorities of parents and children take equal billing.
Amelia Barnes
  14 hours ago

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

Shopping

Style Meets Sustainability In Armadillo’s New Melbourne Showroom

Melbourne design lovers will be happy to hear beloved rug brand Armadillo have opened a new showroom in Fitzroy!
Christina Karras

News

An Inspiring Photography Exhibition By Catherine Opie Is Coming To Heide

Heide Museum of Modern Art is hosting the first major Australian showcase of renown American photographer Catherine Opie.
Sponsored

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With A Rising Star In The Australian Ballet, Riley Lapham

We went behind the scenes with professional ballerina Riley Lapham as the company brings their 'Don Quixote' to the stage!
Christina Karras
  22 hours ago

Interiors

A Sunny Bondi Terrace Renovation With A Candy-Pink Bathroom!

The interiors of this family home now feature an all-pink bathroom and olive green features, inspired by the owners' personal style!
Christina Karras

News

Shop Zenn Design + Christopher Blank’s New, Must-Have Bedside Tables

It’s time to elevate your bedroom with this sleek new collection of solid timber tables.
Sponsored

A ‘Little Big House’ Designed For The Whole Family

A Melbourne family home by Maike Design where the priorities of parents and children take equal billing.
Amelia Barnes
  14 hours ago

On The Market

A Luxuriously Modern Home For Sale In Sydney's Forest Lodge

This new home has everything from smart-home features to solar and an electric car charger, alongside a dreamy outdoor entertaining area!
Christina Karras

Design Eye

Creating A Timeless Interior, With Jean-Pierre Biasol

Melbourne interior designer Jean-Pierre Biasol reveals how interior spaces can outlive trends, thanks to careful furniture selections.

Stays

10 Retro-Inspired Motels To Book For Your Next Weekend Away!

Is there anything more nostalgic than a vintage motel with a dreamy pool? Here's some of the coolest ones to visit across Australia.
Christina Karras

Homes

A Victorian Coastal Family Home Inspired By A Famous Alpine Village

The Jan Juc family home of artist Ingrid Daniell and designer Clifton Daniell.

On The Market

This Designer’s Family Home Hides A Rooftop Terrace, And It’s For Sale

The Melbourne house of owner-designer Dan Gayfer is on the market, but this Edwardian's sweeping extension is full of surprises.
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Di Lunedi’s Nostalgic Ceramics Serve Up A Slice Of Coastal Italy!

Step inside the Northern NSW studio of De Lunedi's Elise Eales, who creates one-off ceramic pieces inspired by her love of Italy's seaside.

Architecture

A Playful Renovation + Extension Of A 1910s Edwardian Weatherboard Cottage

This once lacklustre Edwardian cottage has been given new life thanks to a renovation and extension by Architect George Meek, of Studio Meek...

News

Find Timeless Timber Furniture At Mark Tuckey’s Workshop Sale

Australian furniture brand Mark Tuckey are holding their biggest clearance sale yet, with up to 60% off!
Sponsored

Studio Visit

The Sculptural Fabric + Metal Works Of Architect-Trained Artist, Annie Paxton

Melbourne based Annie Paxton creates mesmerising sculptural works made from silk, fabric, aluminium, steel and chain mail!

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.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net