Two century-old commercial buildings in the heart of Sydney’s Newtown have been magically – and sustainably – reimagined to create a welcoming home by Anna Carin Design Studio, for a family of four intent on the best of modern living.
The Bakery, comprising a small corner shop built in 1909 and a bigger warehouse property that served as a bakery from 1922, was reconfigured, restored and redesigned to fit a very particular brief: create an unexpected city oasis with an emphasis on light and nature.
Fine workmanship and a high attention to detail were key to the realisation of the vision – the project was a celebration of talented trades. Metal-framed windows and doors were custom-made, joinery was hand-painted and all demolished bricks were hand-scraped and reused for new walls.
The colour palette was key to its overall success and was very much inspired by the courtyard, where the pebbles were the inspiration for the wall colours and the olive trees informed the choice of green marble in the bathroom and ensuite.
“Nothing could be too crisp, it had to be aged and raw to sit within this industrial setting,” said Anna-Carin McNamara, founder of Anna Carin Design Studio. “We opted for hand-painted kitchen cabinets (Wattyl Black Hole) so you can see each brush stroke, and the painted red brick walls of the courtyard were stripped and then carefully sealed with Wattyl Granosite to preserve and showcase their raw texture.”
The final palette comprised a subtle mix of whites and warm stone hues along with black and a beautiful forest green (Wattyl Rainforest Fern) on the front door.
“A wall in one of the bedrooms in the cottage featured multiple layers of weathered paint – much loved by the client – so we retained this, in its original condition, by sealing it with Wattyl GranoGlaze Satin.”
The mix of aged and degraded surfaces, both interior and exterior, from timber and exposed brick to rendered masonry and steel, required careful and painstaking attention to preparation and preservation. Wattyl’s technical team was on-site to advise on the best products to use, both for aesthetics and durability.
External painted brickwork, in both the internal courtyard and the street façade, was primed and then finished with Wattyl GranoSahara in Smoke Pearl to create a fine sand texture. All window frames, both timber and steel, were finished in Wattyl Black Hole semi gloss.
“The Bakery is testament to the beauty that can be created with passion and integrity along with a team of trades that value authenticity and sustainability,” says Anna-Carin. “But with all projects of this kind, the secret ingredient is always love.”
The Wattyl paint finishes are ultra-low VOC and 95% of the Wattyl products are GBCA (Green Building Council of Australia) compliant. The Wattyl I.D. Advanced and Aqua Trim interior finishes are also GECA certified.
Photography: Justin Alexander