Darlinghurst Terrace

Gadi Country / Darlinghurst, NSW

A sensory oasis from the hustle and bustle of inner city living. Read how we synthesised our clients ideas so the house reads as a whole.

Darlinghurst Terrace

2022 Gadi Country / Darlinghurst, NSW

An artist and musician updating their terrace in inner Sydney had bought some hexagonal grey tiles. They had an eclectic collection of art, a love of heritage and a wealth of bold ideas.

Bringing together these disparate elements drove the design of the alterations and restoration of their 19th century two storey Victorian terrace house in a heritage conservation area. The alterations include a new open plan kitchen, dining area, hidden laundry, bathrooms on both levels and a new courtyard garden.

They wanted to live well in their home for as long as possible, open up the house to bring in light, with good connection to their garden, improve functionality of the bathrooms and the kitchen, and provide storage for their collection of art, toys, books and records.

The hexagonal tiles, in various shades of grey, were the starting point for a play with different materials. A mix of geometries and textures was chosen to respond to the clients’ love of colour and shape and to stitch together the different ideas into a whole.

Sliding timber doors in the dining room and kitchen and a large tilt up door at the rear enhance the connection between interior and exterior. Inside, the open plan space features a patterned floor of tiles and timber to delineate the different zones, whilst a sliding hardwood screen separates kitchen from dining. The hexagonal tiles appear in the kitchen splash back and floor, whilst the brass kitchen bench top folds down into a trapezoidal shape mirroring the form of the tiles. Different timber colours – spotted gum and blackbutt – add to the mix. The hexagonal tiles are also used in the flooring and walls in the bathrooms, combined with white gloss subway tiles and basins, hardwood timber and brass and Corian textures.

Upstairs four new vaulted skylights draw natural light into the darkest areas of the terrace. A ‘cabinet of curiosities’ was customised for different sized collectibles. The joinery features sliding glass fronts, LED lighting, and beaten brass face panels.

A contemporary version of a Victorian fernery, the courtyard garden increases privacy and reduces the visual and audial impact from neighbours and a two storey studio at the back. It features a bold coloured 12 metre long geometrical mural, a cantilevered steel step, a pond, and a poppy red-coloured circular steel staircase.

The original fabric of the terrace was restored – fireplaces, ceilings and cornices, timber floorboards and stairs.


2023 IDEA Awards – Residential Single shortlist
2023 Inde Awards – The Interior Space shortlist
2023 Australian Interior Design Awards – Shortlist for Residential Design
2023 Master Builders Association – SQ Projects – Winner, House Alterations & Additions $1-1.1m
2023 Master Builders Association – Dave Petersen, Hoffmans Interiors – Winner, Specialist Contractor of the Year
2023 Resene Total Colour Landscape Colour Maestro Award – Warm Vessel by Lymesmith


Grand Designs Australia – issue 12.4
The Local Project
Architecture AU
Habitus Living – May 2023
Houses Kitchens and Bathrooms – issue 18

Project Team

Sam Crawford, Justine Anderson, Ken Warr, Allen Huang


SQ Projects

Consultant Team

Structural Engineer: Partridge
Hydraulic Engineer: InLine Hydraulic Services
Town Planner + Heritage Consultant: Damian O’Toole Town Planning
Private Certifier: Residential Certifying Specialists
Landscape Architect: Sue Barnsley Design
Surveyor: Geometra Consulting
Artist: Sonia van de Haar, Lymesmith


City of Sydney Council


Brett Boardman