Sydney takes its terraces seriously, and for good reason. What started in the mid 1800s, these petite federation gems averaged only 3.3 metres in width and were created to offer housing respite for the working class in Sydney's densely populated neighbourhoods.
Narrow terraces continue to punctuate the inner city landscapes of cities across Australia, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. Yet despite their small stature and the passage of time, these tiny residences have only grown in popularity and price, especially for well-to-do homeowners.
Gentrification aside, (albeit still a serious concern for most major cities, Sydney being far from the exception) these heavily regulated heritage listed abodes might just serve as the perfect anecdote to the sumptuous newer McMansions that tempt so many of us in the vast outer suburbs.
This renovated Woollahra terrace clocks in at just under 170 square metres of land space, a testament to the potential that lies within these old homes. Alexandra Kidd's design team beautifully demonstrates the value in figuring out just how to unlock that potential.
With their uncompromising and diminutive footprints coupled with the heavily regulated specifics around exterior colours and fixtures, updating one of these 19th century homes is not for the faint of heart nor bank account.
In fact, in an interview with Homes to Love, the homeowners reportedly lived in the home for about five years before embarking on the renovation, which cost just under a cool million bucks to complete.
Restoring a heritage listed beauty to its original lustre, complete with all of today's necessary mod-cons for family living has an additional silver lining. Not only will you have the benefit of living in one of Sydney's architectural treasures, but the NSW government recognises this contribution and has an interest in preserving the state's architectural history and keeping it in good hands.
To help with this, the state extends its compliance experts to you throughout the process. The incentives don't stop there. Local councils offer an array of benefits, including waiving Development Application fees, helping to manage the compliance elements of the permit and even offer to reduce or eliminate your council rates altogether. These incentives, of course, vary from council to council.
Aside from all the expenses and compliance pressures, you can see that the innovative design team of Alexandra Kidd and the artistic prowess of Jessica Sorlin, the lead designer on the project, demonstrates that all the effort will more than pay off in the end.
This gorgeous restoration has given me so much inspiration for the weekend. Rain or shine, it's time to grab a coffee and maybe an umbrella and have a stroll through the iconic neighbourhoods of Woollahra, Surry Hills and Paddington. How will you celebrate your local heritage treasures? Tell us in the comments!
All photos sourced from Homes to Love and Alexandra Kidd.