Houses carry history. The reality is that families come and go, people age, functions change and spaces are constantly adapted and modified to meet those needs. Renovating an existing space is often more challenging than designing from a plan as you have to work within fixed parameters with existing materials and spatial layout. Our home was no exception. Purchased in 2006, this modest two-bedroom Californian bungalow in Sydney’s inner west had previously been in one family since its creation in 1927. Adaptability was essential to maximise family functionality of the space; the island bench on caster wheels, constructed from a Tasmanian oak professional butcher’s block, adds warmth and old-school charm to this foodie haven. It floats above and reflects the extendable dining table — a contemporary interpretation of a traditional drop-leaf table characteristic of 1920s furniture design. The island bench houses separate rubbish and recycling drawers and can also work independently as a breakfast bar on a busy weekday morning. It is a delight to slice, dice and serve from, and is the central preparation hub of the kitchen.


Our design needs were to create a kitchen dining space that maximised the sensation of afternoon sunlight that floods this midcentury sunroom. Incorporating passive thermal design was integral to achieving this. The 1950s windows were double-glazed,  some were replaced with frosted louvres for privacy and cross-ventilation and the original floorboards were covered with a slab of concrete and Peronda’s exceptionally delicious timber tiles.

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