More than most terraces, this Paddington home had potential to be opened up to the outdoors without losing its period charm, due to its position on a corner block. With only one immediate neighbour to the south, the property had valuable easterly, northerly and westerly aspects able to be capitalised on in an updated plan.
Designers SE DÉA were tasked with improving the functionality of the home while retaining its traditional and decorative detailing.
A key element of the project was expanding the communal areas that were poorly situated and difficult to furnish.
‘Our client had no comfortable dining area and the single sitting area at the very front of the house couldn’t properly accommodate the number of people that were using the space,’ says Samantha Birtles, director and founder of SE DÉA.
‘Our goal was to give her multiple options for sitting and dining, along with a space that was surrounded by natural light and a beautiful garden.’
The existing ground floor was restructured and extended, allowing the kitchen to move from the poky rear of the home to the middle, flanked by living areas on either side.
SE DÉA achieved these more spacious proportions by excavating the rear of the house to accommodate higher ceilings. ‘So you effectively transition through the central kitchen space, which can handle the lower ceiling, and then land in an area that opens back up into a more spacious second living space,’ explains Samantha.
Built-in furniture also works to maximise available space, including a custom banquette in the dining area, the living room sofa, and outdoor seating.
The material palette speaks to the owner’s taste and the period detailing. ‘She’s a florist, so the direction we took was very much driven by this: soft tones, hints of blush, subtle textures, warmth and calm and a curve here and there,’ says Samantha.
Soft feminine tones can be found throughout the house, from the nude coloured terrazzo in the kitchen, the blush leather dining banquette upholstery, and the creamy travertine in the bathroom.
‘We wanted to create a space that was calm and neutral—that felt really pleasant to be in,’ says Samantha. ‘It had to have elements of our client’s love of pink, without being overbearing.’
The updated house is a delight to inhabit that maximises form and function for a family of four.