Design Brief

The dwelling was required to showcase two main elements, the past and the present.

The Façade needed to be restored to its original 1870 appearance, the old external bathroom had to be included somehow in the new design concept and the interior to incorporate a contemporary theme reflecting today’s modern designs.

All existing materials had to be assessed to minimise wastage, maximise recycling and to enhance the sustainability of the development in a holistic fashion.

Natural light and ventilation were other important elements to the client who also had a limited budget.

Design Solution

Designer Constructions’ transformation of this abandoned house has created a smooth, seamless link internally and externally that transitioned between the past and present of the house.

Original components of the dwelling, including the bricks, sandstone, and old Oregon beam were reused, breathing new life into the old.

The old bricks were transformed into an internal feature wall complimenting the hand-crafted staircase. The remaining sandstone was exposed internally, bringing the past into the modern internals. The Oregon beams were made into furniture.

The front façade was restored, and an abundance of natural light flow was created through a combination of full height rear windows and skylights.

Large opaque glass wall panels were also incorporated into each bedroom, which had oversized doors, expanding the flow of light further.

Every nook and cranny of the dwelling was aesthetically assessed during the planning stage to maximize storage space, natural light and ventilation.

An ultra modern white kitchen with integrated fridge, dishwasher and laundry was designed to blend in with the interior walls and a wine rack and under stairs drawers with black end panels were incorporated to allow the kitchen to blend seamlessly into the open staircase.

A roof top garden, visible from the 2nd bedroom, enabled the floor space ratio to be maximised.

Material Considerations

Kilplock roof sheets - were used for the main roof instead of corrugated roof sheets, because a kliplock roof can bet set at a lower degree roof pitch. The extra couple of degrees gave Designer Constructions the advantage of increasing the wall height in the 2nd bedroom by approximately 200mm.  

Glass full height wall panels were incorporated in the bedroom walls to allow maximum light penetration throughout the bedrooms and hallway.

Recessed horizontal mirror panels - were installed along the internal walls throughout the house creating the illusion of a larger space and reflecting further light flow.

There was a minimum landscape area required by the council for the block. To maximize the outdoor entertaining area, a green roof was incorporated on the external bathroom roof, which was designed and installed on by “Code Green”.

Product Choice

BRICKS - Reused old bricks, additional required bricks were sourced from over orders by other builders to be as sustainable as possible.

SANDSTONE FACADE - Used the old foundation slabs which were removed when excavating to replace damaged facade pieces and step treads. 

METAL ROOFING - Lysaght Klip Lock & Custom Orb,  Ridgeway Roofing Supplies

INTERIOR PAINTS - Taubmans Endure "Dulux White on White"

ALUMINIUM DOOR AND WINDOWS -  Langford Windows - Colour Satin Black

WALL PAPER - Eye Candy - "Flock"

TIMBER FLOORING - North Shore Timber - Select grade blackbutt T&G

BENCH TOPS - Affordable Granite - Caesar Stone "Ocean Foam"

KITCHEN - CMG Joinery - High Gloss White Polyurethane

BATHROOM ACCESSORIES - Renovation D - "Normandy"


BATHROOM TILES - Exclusive Tiles Brookvale

AIR CONDITIONING - LG - All Climates Air Conditioning


PAVING - Original house bricks reused,  R&L Gorry Paving P/L

RENDER - Concrete Colour Systems "Desret Sand" P & F Rendering

SHOWER SCREENS - Phantom Glass

GLASS - Sydney Glass

GREEN ROOF - Code Green P/L

Consultants & Contractors

Surveyor - Lynton Surveys

Structural Engineer - Cam Consulting

Town Planner - Damian O'Toole Town Planning Pty Ltd

Certifying Authority - City Of Sydney Council

Design & Construction - Designer Constructions Group P/L

Interior Design - Designer Constructions Group P/L

Green Roof - Code Green P/L

Photographer - Belinda Mason Photography



This article was written with the assistance of Building Designers Australia.