A New Life for a Well-Loved Bungalow – Light House by SSD Studio
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Photography Simon Whitbread
Words Thida Sachathep

Tasked with the responsibility of restoring and transforming this single-storey residence, Sophie Solomon Design (SSD) Studio achieves a light-filled interior for owners who have lived in the home for over 23 years.

Sophie Solomon, principal of SSD Studio, takes her design cues from works of Axel Vervoordt and the Japanese concept of ‘wabi-sabi’. The design philosophies of both these concepts often lead Sophie to achieve a design that is a personal expression of the client and their lifestyles. Based on this approach, Light House comprises calm spaces and a warm minimalism that subtly balances old and new architecture.

The bespoke bi-folding doors at the rear of the house act as a frame to the exterior.

Although the home was well-loved, the dark and cold interior needed to be given better connections between each space and for natural light to be brought into the house through the rear garden. The intricate attention to detail and finishes ensured that all the changes made to the residence are two-fold. For example, the addition of oversized black steel framed bi-folding doors and floor-to-ceiling windows attains a light-filled and tranquil retreat that directly caters for the residents’ needs.

Although simple, the kitchen is layered with various textured materials, while the windows add a warm glow.

Conceived as a sympathetic intervention, the inclusion of a second floor was made possible through the introduction of an open central staircase as a structural feature of the ground floor living space. The stairs also connect the kitchen and living room, enabling the dining space to flow into the open floor plan. The existing large brick column with a fireplace was removed to open up space and let northern natural light softly filter through the house.

The central staircase acts as a void, providing natural light throughout the living and kitchen area.

Additionally, the material palette was meticulously chosen to enhance the light in the space. The new soft timber flooring achieves a naturalistic finish with a subtly aged and elegant appearance. Likewise, the staircase also matches the flooring to encourage flow and simplicity to the upper levels. Oak engineered veneer was specified for the joinery, providing a classical and contemporary contrast to the lighter timber floor.

Each material was meticulously chosen to enhance a sense of light, space and calm.

With a touch of the modernist in the lighting fixtures and furniture, Light House by SSD Studio is a transformation that utilises holistic design solutions to respond directly to the client’s objectives and needs.

Sophie Solomon, principal of SSD Studio, takes her design cues from works of Axel Vervoordt and the Japanese concept of ‘wabi-sabi’.

Although the home was well-loved, the dark and cold interior needed to be given better connections between each space and for natural light to be brought into the house through the rear garden.

Ssd 18gipps L 045
Published 9 February, 2020
Photography  Simon Whitbread
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