Cnr Virginia by Studio Prineas

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    This classic contemporary Cnr Virginia home in Sydney’s Kensington highlights Studio Prineas’ ever-evolving ability to transform a home through alteration and addition.

    When we met with Studio Prineas founder and director Eva Marie Prineas, she shared her mission to ‘adapt and understand places that are already special’; a philosophy that governs Studio Prineas’ renovation of the Cnr Virginia home.

    An original federation-era home located in Kensington, Cnr Virginia’s rework retains the home’s original, authentic charm while becoming an exemplar of modern living. The home carries a lightness which is both inviting and modest, as conventions of old and new envelop each other. Through a simple and elegant palette, Studio Prineas have introduced an addition which compliments the home’s historic value, rather than overpower it.

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    A deep island bench encourages groups of family and friends to gather informally, with a fine linear pendant floating weightlessly above. The kitchen features the Nerd Bar Stool by Muuto.

    The project’s brief was to ‘conjure the dream’ while remaining within the strict heritage regulations of the area. The client requested additional space for modern living, including entertainment, overnight guests, as well as relaxation and rest. This is done through retaining the home’s traditional front façade, concealing the contemporary features within. The single-fronted residence sets an inviting tone from the front door which carries throughout the interior to the native courtyard garden.

    The updated floor plan includes a new ensuite and study nook, as well as a master bedroom which overlooks the lawn, native garden and pool below. The original structure maintains its character with ornate pressed tin ceilings, timber flooring and cast iron fireplaces downstairs within its classic white-walled bedrooms and sitting room.

    The new addition is exaggerated with a glazed walkway toward the contemporary kitchen, complete with a generous butler’s pantry. Preserving the home’s historic bones from front to back, the open-plan living area features the structure’s recycled face red brick while powder-coated aluminium monument windows immerse the inhabitants in the backyard.

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    The kitchen features black Paperock joinery and Platinum honed grey marble.

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    The sitting area features the Mark Tuckey and Project 82 Coffee Table as well as a curated selection of pieces from Koskela and the Eames House Bird by Charles and Ray Eames for Vitra.

    Studio Prineas combined new and old textures in order to complete Cnr Virginia’s transformation. Fresh white walls in the lower level bedrooms and sitting room maintain the integrity of the original structure, allowing the intricate ceiling details and traditional fireplaces speak for themselves. The bathrooms, with a monochrome palette, exude a modern Australian nature in both style and practicality. Bathroom floors and walls feature Ceramic Mosaic tiles, juxtaposing with matt black Astrawalker tapware and Rogerseller accessories. The kitchen nods to the original blackened timber details with black Paperock; a sustainable building material combining condensed layers of renewable paper bonded with resin. Platinum honed grey marble lines the benchtop and splashback, complimenting the black fixtures, joinery and light timber flooring.

    Studio Prineas kept to a ‘lean’ collection of furniture in order to honour the heritage pedigree of the home. Cnr Virginia’s palette uses minimal colour, to not only maintain a focus on structural personality but also to highlight the beauty of Kensington’s flora and fauna which surrounds the house. The sitting room features the Nook sofa from Jardan as well as the Quadrant sofa, the Brolga Armchairs and Ames Vibrant living rug from Koskela. Their muted colours work seamlessly to flatter the existing cornices.

    Cnr Virginia is a modern Australian family home which pays authentic tribute to its heritage through Studio Prineas’ careful weaving of old and new features. The home’s exterior conceals the generously modern living spaces inside, creating an escape for its inhabitants every day of the week.

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    The traditional front facade was faithfully restored, retaining a strong streetscape presence.

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