When Chris Bosse of international architects LAVA bought this Tivoli terrace in Paddington it’s 80s makeover was evident – internal walls had been removed, two Greek columns and an arch separated the living rooms, terracotta kitchen tiles and exposed clinker bricks were the highlights.
The very tight space was maximised fully by Bosse, using every bit of it for everyday living, with no unused spaces. Opening the courtyard to extend the living area, the heart of the plan was to bring the outdoor in, the concept of borrowed landscape. Sliding doors and custom made screens that disappear magically achieve the indoor/outdoor transition, whilst timber screens give endless variations of shading and privacy and reconﬁgure spaces.
Existing features such as ﬁreplaces and cornices to merge with contemporary elements are kept in place keepings its whimsical character. Iconic mid-century furniture and contemporary designer lighting add a 21st century coolness to the space. Storage is created at every possible surface, using ﬂoor to ceiling shelves in the dining/living area, with some open to display treasure possessions, creating a harmonious streamlined provision of storage necessary in a small terrace.
The 1980s terracotta style kitchen is redesigned with a custom-made island bench, with extra deep drawers and also a four metre long Corian bench. A glass splashback is luminous reﬂecting light making the space feel bigger, which continues onto the concealed glass door to the bathroom and laundry. Every detail was carefully thought out, such as obscuring powerpoints by mounting them under cupboards.
Despite the small scale, Bosse found the whole process very interesting. He views a house like a city: “The challenge was working out how to translate design principles on a small-scale, on a domestic budget within a heritage structure. It’s about compact inner city living.”