Much like the familiar saying — ‘you’ll find love when you’re not looking for it’ — Paddy Williams, director of PW Architecture Office, found himself falling for, and purchasing, this mid-century gem in Orange, NSW, without any pre-conceived intention to do so.
‘We inspected this property… purely as sticky beakers,’ he says. ‘But we then fell in love with it, after being blown away by the plans and gardens’.
Later, Paddy learnt the home was originally designed by late Australian architect Neville Gruzman for the 1962 Carlington Homes Fair. At the time it was also listed in the Women’s Weekly as ‘plan no. 205, “House Linked by Pergolas”’.
‘This gave us a real sense of responsibility to retain the elements of the plan and materials as they were intended,’ he says.
As he soon discovered, there was plenty more to do than met the eye. ‘It was meant to be a small renovation,’ Paddy explains. ‘However, at every corner of the process an opportunity to improve and restore presented itself, and we couldn’t help but spend everything we had to do it justice.’
PW Architecture Office left the plan of the house untouched, as it was ‘perfect’, but the ‘tired’ and ‘unsympathetically renovated’ inside desperately needed attention.
They removed the false ceilings to expose Oregon beams in the living room and replaced the timber-look vinyl flooring with micro-cement; original floorboards in the living room were revealed when the carpet was pulled up, and have since been sanded and polished; and the sagging horse-hair ceilings were fixed and square set cornices added in.
Paddy and his team have also re-introduced a beautiful palette of burnt red, rich brown and soft white to pay homage to the home’s past.
‘We love the house for its original architecture and the way the pergolas and gardens frame your approach and experience of the different exterior spaces,’ Paddy says. ‘We hope we have added a little excitement back into the mid-century marvel as it would have done when it was first built.’