Playfully Responsive – Soft Serve by YSG
Rozelle, NSW, Australia

Photography Prue Ruscoe
Interior Design YSG
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Whipping a traditional store front heritage building into a comfortable and connected family home sees Soft Serve injected with a series of unexpected insertions. YSG combine an eclectic series of influences in restoring and reimagining the challenging space into a considered and playfully responsive home.

 Nestled into the established and tightly packed heritage urban fabric of Rozelle, in one of Sydney’s oldest suburbs, Soft Serve is the transformation of an existing store front into a home of delightful proportions. Retaining and restoring its original sandstone walls and thickened openings, the home captures the essence of its past, and combines with new elements to become an aptly conjured home for its family of four. Spread over three levels, the inherited bones and formality of planning formed the majority of the challenges, and through a replanning and opening up of internal volumes, a newly discovered openness flows from one zone to the next. In their own uniquely eclectic way, YSG bring a curiosity of both colour and texture, layering in pattern and contrast to animate the home.

In their own uniquely eclectic way, YSG bring a curiosity of both colour and texture, layering in pattern and contrast to animate the home.

Like many heritage buildings, receiving iterations and updates, reflecting the many eras that pass over them through time, Soft Serve needed to peel back the layers, to its origins. From this starting point, the new could be imagined and subsequently layered in. Originally built in the 19th Century, the Victorian Georgian corner shop boasted an open ground floor retail space, and upper levels as ancillary support spaces. Softening the thick and heavy masonry of the architecture, soft layers add a welcomed buffering and weave in an artisanal focus. A flesh inspired base palette offers a dewy suppleness, and inspires its name, tying back into the colours found in the restored sandstone.

Throughout, the personalities of its owners are expressed through the curation of furniture, artwork and lighting, bold and contrasting in their composition. The inspired muse for selections comes from Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work and the Art Nouveau era, and that of traditional Japanese interior spaces – controlled and rhythmic. Both a restoration and renovation effort, the project took over three years to complete, adhering to relevant heritage compliance and the want to modernise through convenience. While inspired by the natural and texturally interesting sandstone, the material and colour palette is inspired by a softness and originality – creating unique and individualised spaces as a result.

Softening the thick and heavy masonry of the architecture, soft layers add a welcomed buffering and weave in an artisanal focus.

Founded on exploration and experimentation, Soft Serve beautifully combines the history of the building with a modern edge, where YSG enliven and reprogram through a newfound purpose.

Published 9 August, 2021
Photography  Prue Ruscoe
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