A Family-Friendly Sydney Cottage Renovation (With A Stylish Outhouse!)

This period cottage in Sydney’s inner-west had plenty of charm but was lacking qualities required for young family living.

Folk Studio reworked the home without extending it, adding more generous proportions, storage space, custom journey, and even a stylish outhouse.

The updated home has a sweet and youthful energy that respects its historic features.

Amelia Barnes

Custom dining table and seating nook.

American oak timber joinery.

‘We designed custom integrated timber handles on all the timber cabinet fronts so that tiny fingerprints wouldn’t be as visible,’ said Folk Studio director Mariah Burton.

Kids can easily access all drawers themselves.

Study nook.

Minty green tiles in the main bathroom.

The shed turned stylish outhouse.

Amelia Barnes
8th of June 2023
Interior design

Croydon, NSW

No space has been added to this Croydon, Sydney cottage, but the interiors have been transformed through thoughtful reconfiguration.

The owners engaged Folk Studio to renovate the period cottage to suit their young family lifestyle. They wanted the house to have an abundance of storage space, with the ability for the family to ‘grow’ into the home.

Aesthetically, they required a durable home with usability for kids and pops of colour throughout.

‘Our clients are young and we wanted the house to feel youthful and energetic, so we wanted to include colour where we could and make sure the house had a nice balance between feeling tranquil and playful,’ said Folk Studio director Mariah Burton. ‘We also drew inspiration from the cottage itself, so the material selection complemented the original historic features of the cottage.’

The renovation was completed in nine months (four months of design, five of construction) creating a lighter, more functional, and generous home.

Folk Studio achieved this through custom joinery that maximises space and storage in the relatively compact floor plan. ‘The kitchen angles were really difficult to work through as the joinery needed to mimic the various angles,’ said Mariah. ‘There were dips in the ceiling height, a very tight entrance into the kitchen, and no walls were straight — the joys of a historic home!’

A custom dining table and seating nook perfectly navigates these restrictions, and is easy for the kids to slip in and out of.

The designers selected a creamy brick and American oak as the hero materials of the project. These bricks are a contemporary nod to the original bricks in the property, while the timber is durable and hides fingerprints.

Colour is introduced through the bathroom that features a minty green tile. A backyard shed was meanwhile repurposed into a stylish outhouse, adding a valuable second toilet to the property.

‘The outhouse was a surprising feature of this project. It wasn’t on the original scope, but we thought it would be silly if we didn’t design a beautiful space here as this family of five only has one bathroom and the outhouse was used as a shed,’ says Mariah. ‘We created a beautiful mini outhouse that has the same materials as the main bathroom. This space turned out so beautiful and the clients are thrilled at the result.’

The finished project is picture perfect and ready for another generation of family living!

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