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David Parsons Breaths New Life into a Sydney Terrace

Darlington Residence, New South Wales, AUS / David Parsons

Tucked away among a row of charming Sydney terraces, this Darlington home was in desperate need of a makeover. With unsightly additions and the effects of time taking their toll, the two-storey dwelling posed a unique challenge for David Parsons, an architect at the Sydney-based firm, David Parsons Architect. “My client approached me with a modest terrace house that was in dire need of an upgrade,” David explains, “situated on a compact site where the layout simply didn’t suit modern living.”

Darlington Residence, New South Wales, AUS / David Parsons

The project called for a new upstairs bathroom to accompany the existing bedrooms, as well as a ground floor kitchen that seamlessly connected with the rear garden. The solution involved a delicate balance of restoration and reinvention. The outdated rear extension was demolished, making way for a meticulously designed two-storey addition that maximized the available floor space within council regulations, ultimately extending the usable living area.

Darlington Residence, New South Wales, AUS / David Parsons

“Given the limited space, every square meter was crucial,” David emphasizes. This led to a reconfiguration of the upper level, resulting in a well-appointed bathroom while preserving the functionality of the bedrooms, complete with the addition of an integrated study nook.

Darlington Residence, New South Wales, AUS / David Parsons

On the ground floor, the focus was on creating a light-filled, open living space that effortlessly flowed into the backyard, providing a warm and inviting environment for entertaining family and friends.

Darlington Residence, New South Wales, AUS / David Parsons

This seamless flow was achieved through the clever use of different levels and custom-built joinery, creating a sense of openness and continuity between the living, kitchen, and entertaining areas. A floating benchtop extended from the kitchen into the living room, serving as both a media unit and the first step of the exquisitely crafted steel and timber staircase.

Darlington Residence, New South Wales, AUS / David Parsons

The staircase, suspended from the upper floor, not only grants access to the new bathroom and bedrooms but also serves as a central design element that draws attention upwards. Natural light floods the upper level through skylights, enhancing the feeling of spaciousness and volume.

Darlington Residence, New South Wales, AUS / David Parsons

The home’s design philosophy revolves around multifunctionality, as every element was carefully chosen to serve multiple purposes. David explains that space was limited, so maximizing functionality was crucial. For instance, the dining banquette doubles as a fireplace hearth and storage, while the kitchen joinery cleverly conceals a small powder room. David emphasizes that every aspect of the design and construction was meticulously considered to optimize space utilization.

Darlington Residence, New South Wales, AUS / David Parsons

The material palette chosen for the home is both timeless and light. White walls, ceilings, joinery, and marble benchtops not only exude elegance but also offer durability and practicality. The dark timber floors and staircase provide a striking contrast and establish a sense of balance while harmonizing with the existing upper level floors.

This Darlington terrace stands as a testament to thoughtful design, transforming a previously cramped and dim space into a bright, interconnected home where beauty and practicality seamlessly coexist.

Image courtesy of Katherine Lu