Refined Legacy — Paddington Residence by Alena Smith Interior Design

Words by Bronwyn Marshall
Photography by Anson Smart

Paddington Residence is given a contemporary overhaul by Alena Smith Interior Design – one that honours the past while ensuring the spaces reflect a more modern way of living.

With a rich history steeped in family memories, the brief for Paddington Residence was clear from the outset: to respect the past while crafting a home that catered to the needs of modern living. This meant infusing the interiors with light and warmth, transforming once dark and tired spaces into inviting havens of comfort and tranquillity. Sustainability was also a key focus throughout the renovation process, led by Alena Smith Interior Design, incorporating features that enhanced the functionality of the home while also lessening its impact. The end result is a residence marked by a flowing series of spaces that meld tradition with contemporary openness.

Located in Sydney’s Paddington, the three-level Victorian terrace home has been transformed. With the client having grown up here, retaining a connection to the past was key. As such, the interior approach blends the charm of its historical origins while integrating a new narrative throughout. That narrative has a heavy slant towards sustainability, with acoustic glazing, insulation and solar panels all integral components, elevating the thermal comfort throughout the year but also ensuring the residence does not impact the environment any more than necessary. Finding the right intersection between how the home was remembered and how it needed to evolve to fit modern daily life underpinned each new gesture.

The original heritage rooms at the front of the home retain traditional motifs and proportions but a new structure, tucked behind the original, opens up and modernises the residence. Here, a combination of earthy textures and natural materiality creates a sense of balance, while the contrast between light and dark and open and closed moments also adds to the experience. Sustainable fabrics such as vegan leather and hemp and a focus on locally produced furniture reflect Alena Smith’s passion for considered and conscious interiors.

Spilling out into its own private (and prized) outdoor space, complete with pool, Paddington Residence awakens the soul of the previous home. By channelling a path of timelessness and restraint, Alena Smith Interior Design has created a home of quiet luxury that embraces the past, present and future.