While period homes are blessed with grand details – architraves, ceiling roses, super wide floor boards and pressed tin to name just a few – when it comes to daylight, it’s often in short supply. It’s with this in mind that we bring you a gorgeous, renovated California bungalow located on Sydney’s northern beaches – the once dim home is now flooded with natural light.
Home to a young executive family and their baby daughter, the Balgowlah home was given a fresh, coastal makeover recently and the once pokey floor plan is now a thing of the past. “The idea was to maintain the beauty and personality of the original front of the bungalow and marry it with the contemporary design of the renovation,” says Naomi Nimmo of Nimmo Nielsen Collective, one half of the design duo responsible for the project.
The new design maintained the original features of the home at the front, and the detailed ornate ceilings were restored. The back of the house was extended and opened up with a double, high vaulted ceiling creating a beautiful, large open plan area opening to the backyard and pool. “The connection from the open plan living space to the outdoors is the best feature of the home,” says Shellie Nielsen, the other half of the team.
The kitchen is at the rear of the property and features American oak and polyurethane joinery as well as composite marble bench tops. The nearby lounge room features a fireplace as the hero. “A central fireplace is the hero of the living space, with bespoke joinery designed either side, including a cosy window bench seat. Storage was also important, with the prospect of a young family so joinery included wide drawers under the benches,” says Naomi.
The new extension offers a seamless transition out to the home’s gorgeous pool and adjacent multi-use cabana that was once a garage. “The cabana is currently being used a home office, but it can also be used as guest accommodation or poolside entertaining as it is fully self-contained with a new bathroom and kitchenette,” says Shellie.
The main bedroom had an overhaul too and now features a walk-in robe and an ensuite with patterned encaustic tiles that link the space to the heritage of the home.
Photography: Benito Martin