Old Workers Cottage to Beach Home


When it comes to houses, bigger isn't always better.  There is increased talk about first world problems. Constantly having to pick up too many toys, or spending your days attending to a myriad of washing.  Sundays laboring in the garden, or slaving away cleaning that all consuming BIG house.  The bigger the house, the more stuff we accumulate and the more we complain about the cleaning and clutter.  It's a vicious cycle.

There is an emerging trend towards downsizing and de-cluttering our lives.  Downsizing doesn't have to mean compromising on lifestyle.  Sanctuary 28's recently completed renovation of an old worker's cottage in Palm Beach is a prime example of having a smaller home but maintaining a high level of comfort.

Situated on a 432 sqm block in Palm Beach, the old worker's cottage was run down and riddled with asbestos; however the original foundation and frame were structurally sound.  The existing house's footprint also provided a workable design to modify.

Building designer, Amore's design brief was to bring this home into modern times and provide more useable space.  He achieved this by the addition of a generous sized master suite and outdoor entertaining area.  The original dwelling had no street presence; we improved on this by the construction of an enclosed block-work carport and providing a defined entry.  As a tribute to the home's original roots, the building has been clad in weather board and the old sitting porch has been retained. 

Once inside, you are welcomed into the main living area.  To your immediate left is the intimate study and library.  The original dwelling was dark and cramped, not worthy of spending time in. The renovation has seen this area transformed into a functional space, a perfect balance of light and warmth.  The original timber floors have been retained and restored.   A low lying raw concrete shelf, spans the length of this room and is an ideal spot for décor or magazines.   The wood burner fireplace, built into an exposed brick wall adds character.  The dining room wall is broken up by rectangular windows.  Rays of light filter in and bathe this area in sunshine.  Glass light bulb pendants hanging over the dining table add interest.

Inspired by its seaside location, three beacon shaped lights hanging over the kitchen evoke a nautical feel.  Neutral earthy tones have been used in the new functional kitchen.

The kitchen and master suite are part of the new addition and construction allowed for the ceiling height to be increased and raked. Aluminum stacker doors open the kitchen onto the undercover timber deck, providing perfect access for outdoor entertaining. 

The master suite is a large light filled room and private oasis complete with reading corner.  Windows on both walls of the room allow for ocean breezes and cross flow ventilation.  Substantial designer wardrobe space is positioned between room and ensuite. The ensuite's clever design, hides away the toilet and shower behind a mirrored wall.

The end result is a seamless renovation and a home that has functional proportions.  Maximum comfort, no wasted space.