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A Contemporary Update For This California Bungalow In Sydney

Interiors

Californian bungalows were a favourite form of residential architecture in Australia from 1913 onwards, a popularity that endured well into the 70s and even 80s. Whilst still an adored Australian residential archetype, many of these homes now require modernising, some with the challenges of a heritage overlay. This home in the Sydney suburb of Concord is one of them!

For Leah and Fliss Pitman of Bone Made, their challenge was to fuse the ornate style of the original heritage home, with the contemporary subtleties of a newly renovated addition. The secret? Seamless interior design!

21st August, 2020

This original California bungalow in the Sydney suburb of Concord is protected by a heritage listing. Photo – Nat Spada at The Palm Co.

Clean, crisp finishes and attention to detailing makes all the difference in this family kitchen. Photo – Nat Spada at The Palm Co.

The dining room is spacious and glowing with light. Photo – Nat Spada at The Palm Co.

The rear extension was completed by a draftsman, Leah and Fliss were charged with designing the interior layout! Photo – Nat Spada at The Palm Co.

Aged brass detailing was opted for to maintain continuity between the old and new spaces. Photo – Nat Spada at The Palm Co.

French doors open out onto the external entertaining area, and flood the living space with light! Photo – Nat Spada at The Palm Co.

‘We absolutely love the gas fireplace with the exposed flue which was built into our custom designed rattan and oak veneer joinery,’ gush Leah and Fliss. Photo – Nat Spada at The Palm Co.

Custom rattan and oak joinery lines the wall of the living room. Photo – Nat Spada at The Palm Co.

The master ensuite is tucked behind the central doors of the built-in cabinetry – a nifty trick! Photo – Nat Spada at The Palm Co.

The mudroom greets inhabitants from the carport. Photo – Nat Spada at The Palm Co.

The generous family bathroom is fitted with brass detailing and a restrained material palette. Photo – Nat Spada at The Palm Co.

The outdoor entertaining area Photo – Nat Spada at The Palm Co.

Sasha Gattermayr
Friday 21st August 2020

‘We were instantly drawn to the beautiful classic and ornate details of the Californian Bungalow style home.’ – Interior designers Leah and Fliss Pitman

The first step in any interiors project is (usually) an on-site consultation between clients and designers to get a feel for the location. But in the case of this California bungalow in the Sydney suburb of Concord, Leah and Fliss Pitman of Bone Made arrived at the address for the first time to see the house in the midst of demolition.

‘We were engaged by the client at quite a unique time, so we essentially worked in a backwards order,’ the pair explain. With renovations to the back of the property already underway with the assistance of a draftsman, Leah and Fliss were enlisted on a tight timeline to formulate an interior layout for the new extension, which included a rumpus room, kitchen, two separate living rooms, bathroom and master ensuite.

In order to align with the requirements for a young family of six (and adhere to heritage overlay mandates), the front of the house retained its original heritage bones, while the extension was transformed with contemporary flair. The challenge was to keep the interiors cohesive between these two distinct zones.

Installing herringbone oak floorboards was the first step to maintaining continuity throughout the house. The ornate heritage ceilings were kept intact through the front bedrooms, and Leah and Fliss paid homage to these classic details, by incorporating aged brass detailing into the new materials palette, alongside natural stone and textural rattan.

Moving through the house to the rear, the discrete layout of the original bungalow opens up to a generous contemporary open-plan space, housed below a pitched ceiling. Here, Fliss and Leah were given a fresh slate to design upon from the ground up. Clean, crisp finishes are complemented by custom oak joinery line the boundary wall. Classic French doors open to the external entertaining area, allowing light to flood in from the garden!

With its refined materials palette, and careful balance of modern details and heritage details, this house achieves the perfect marriage of classic and contemporary Australian style.

See more interior projects by Bone Made here.

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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