The Charm of Old and the Convenience of New

The Charm of Old and the Convenience of New


This charming cottage has maintained its 19th century charm while benefiting from a major renovation

Prior to the extensive renovations carried out by Fingerprint Designer Spaces, the house was, according to Sean, “a run-down 19th century-style cottage”. The client’s brief for the project, states Sean, was “to keep the era and charm of the original house but also to have as many modern technologies required to create a convenient home to live in.

“The majority of work commenced with the removal of structural walls,” explained Sean. “This allowed for an open-plan design for the house. There were several elements to this project that were quite unique as it was such an old house. Special design considerations included the use of recycled materials where possible to keep the well-worn charm to the house, but at the same time, an up-to-the-minute designer kitchen was requested by the owner. It really does combine the best of both worlds.

“One of the main inspirations for this renovation came from a trip I took last year through Europe. There was one particular amazing place in Monte Carlo, a 15th-century French provincial chateau that really left an impression on me. The chateau had design and architectural details that were incredible, such as ornate ceilings that were at least 2.7 metres high and beautiful deep skirtings.

“This project is an old home, at least by Australian standards, and there were elements of craftsmanship and design details that I wanted to either retain or introduce. It was important to the client and to me, however, that although we were to renovate this house and introduce new elements, we wanted to keep the charm of this old cottage intact.

“My favourite part of the renovation is the new kitchen and the addition of the third bathroom. There were many unusual challenges in this project that we had to overcome. Working with such an aged home you come across a few hurdles with materials used in the past. The way a house was put together 150 years ago is very different. Most of the timber used was hardwood, and all the work was done by hand. We even found some of the timberwork in the ceiling that was bolted. Today those joins are just done with nails. You could not build today the way they used to. It would take too long and it would cost too much. The craftsmanship was amazing and I’m really happy how our work has blended in with the old work. There isn’t any area of this job that I am unhappy with. The finished product, in my view, is perfect.”

Project particulars

THE PROJECT WAS DESIGNED BY: Fingerprint Designer Spaces
ADDRESS: 1/10 Stafford St, Double Bay
PHONE: 0405 089 533

THE PROJECT WAS BUILT BY: Fingerprint Designer Spaces
PHONE: 0405 089 533
FLOORING: Kitchen: Tasmanian oak. Dining: Tasmanian oak. Bedroom: Plush-pile carpet. Stair: Painted with carpet. Outdoor: Sandstone slabs
WALLS: Kitchen: Tiled. Dining: Sandstone. Living: Rendered with white set. Bedroom: Rendered with white set. Stair: Rendered with white set. Outdoor: Cladding & sandstone blocks
OTHER: Painted bricks external
ENTRY DOOR: Painted cedar
KITCHEN: Benchtop: 40mm CaesarStone. Splashback: 100 x 100mm ceramic tiles. Cabinetry: Satin finish poly with channels. Oven: Miele. Exhaust Fan: Miele. Other: Cooktop BBQ Miele
SANITARY FIXTURES + BATHROOM FITTINGS: Bath: Corner Spa. Tapware: Imported Italian
LIGHTING: Meals & hallway: Stair lighting. Formal dining: Imported from Denmark