In a nod to its extraordinary functionality and diminutive proportions, Sally Timmins of boutique firm Timmins + Whyte christened this inner-city renovation ‘Pocket Rocket’.
The clients – a busy couple with a high-school-age son – loved the nickname: after living quietly in the suburbs for many years, they were ready for blast-off. The brief was to reimagine the dark, poky terrace as a zen-like environment, with welcoming communal areas plus privacy for a teenager.
Sally was tasked not only with the architecture but also the interior design and landscaping, which allowed her to develop a holistic response to the building’s core problem: a near-total lack of natural light.
Sally knew a two-storey extension would be needed to accommodate a new kitchen/living zone, an upstairs bathroom and an internal laundry. But instead of building out the entire width of the block, she added a small courtyard on the eastern side of the extension.
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With light and space top of mind, Sally devised a colour palette of soft wood tones and neutrals that expands each room. Pale grey soon emerged as a great unifier. “It’s a neutral that works with everything,” she says.
Sally opted for natural-looking surfaces with visual texture, including veined porcelain bathroom tiling, a white and grey terrazzo kitchen island and engineered wood flooring. “The subtle variations induce calm, more so than surfaces that are polished and stark,” she notes. In the kitchen, a mirrored splashback reflects the garden’s greenery while amplifying daylight.