A modern extension was built to add more space to the existing cottage, with bricks used to add a contemporary twist as well as complement the heritage character of the house.

The owners had moved into the small bungalow located in Willoughby, NSW but didn’t want to move out of the suburban neighbourhood when they started a family. Instead, they decided to renovate and add an extension to their existing home to create more space.

Designed by Ed and Nora Dieppe of Dieppe Design, the family-friendly extension to the Willoughby home respects the original heritage; the back has been opened up to create a modern open-plan living area and kitchen.

“Like a lot of post-war bungalows, it wasn't very ornate, it was quite basic,” Ed explained. “So it's not like you had a whole lot of character such as you have with the Edwardian style houses or the Federation style.”

The new extension was built with Espresso from the PGH Bricks Alfresco range – a dramatic and contemporary choice that offsets the light grey front of the original cottage; white mortar is used to emphasise the dark shade of brick.

Bricks were chosen for the extension because of their low maintenance and enduring style, complementing the heritage of the cottage, but providing a modern twist.

“The extension maintained that character, but the idea was that as you come through to where it opens up and go down to the ground floor there was a contrast of quite a modern space,” Ed said.

“So the front part of the house is all painted a light grey and then you've got the dark black bricks, which define the extension.”

Nora’s design for the interior gave the project a cohesive element –the open floor plan connects the inside and outside spaces, and allows a generous flow to the design.

“We much prefer to do the whole package, because it needs to tie the inside and out to work in conjunction with each other,” Ed says.

A Juliet balcony on the first floor of the new building overlooks the outdoor area and swimming pool, and provides the contemporary twist to the project.

“That was my little feature to make it a bit more modern and a bit more interesting,” says Ed. “I think the way that complements the large awning over the deck area is probably my favourite part of the project.

“That bedroom upstairs has a lovely feel to it; it's a very bright space. There is a floating bedhead and then there are louvres on the rear side. You can open those doors up and get a natural breeze. It's just a view over roofs, but because you're up high, you get that nice sense of the sky, light and the trees. It creates a really nice master bedroom.”

Architect and photographer: Dieppe Design