When Victoria D’Alisa, interior architect and co-director at Porebski Architects purchased this 1890s Paddingto terrace house several years ago, she was drawn to the beautiful heritage facade, but had plans for the awkward layout at the rear of the dark and narrow home. The renovations were focused on opening up the space and maximizing natural light, whilst simultaneously complementing the heritage architecture and existing interior detailing.
Victoria cheerfully notes ‘rarely does an architect get to design their own home, so luckily this was the case!’ The (self-directed) brief was to re-zone the property and provide all the essential amenities (kitchen, laundry, powder room, and study nook) in the rear extension. Cleverly designed joinery makes use of every inch of space, ensuring this small area delivers maximum functional punch. With a family of four, the design also provides lots of storage space, to tidy away all of the paraphernalia of daily life and create a sense of ‘calm and order.’
A pared back material palette of timber floors, marble, white polyurethane joinery and white walls creates a sleek, modern aesthetic that settles well into the heritage shell. The muted tones also offer a clean backdrop for the family’s collection of furniture and artwork. Victoria highlights that a concealed door to the powder room provides a moment of intrigue and unexpected delight.
The heritage facade of the home has been sensitively restored over the years, and the original sandstone steps welcome visitors to the ‘prudently selected blue front door.’ Victoria describes ‘it’s nice to see people’s reactions when they enter, and note their surprise!’