The Capertree Valley Cottage by Studio Esteta is a residential architecture project located in the stunning Capertree Valley in rural New South Wales.
The Capertee Valley Cottage presented as a stunning 100-acre rural property of regenerated farmland three hours’ drive from Sydney, complete with its original sandstone farmers cottage dating back to the late 19th century. The client brief was to apply an interior renovation harmonious to the surrounding untouched landscape of the Capertee Valley, yet reflective of today’s modern living approach. This was addressed through a detailed and thorough process that was highly collaborative with the client. The interiors were carefully considered and sensitively implemented into the existing farmhouse to retain the period charm of the residence, whilst culminating in a space that is ultimately a calming respite from city life.
The result has been a fully resolved rural cottage that is both effortlessly timeless in its aesthetic whilst being highly sympathetic to the context and history of the site. To manage budgetary constraints, the existing spatial layout of the cottage remained unchanged, however significant modifications were made to the kitchen and central bathroom.
A light and bright layered material palette with accents of sandstone, neutral tones, and soft white hues reflect the surrounding cliffs and golden paddocks. The unique Australian light has been harnessed so it spills onto warm timber floors and slants to the rendered walls and handmade tiles. Sandstone has been further used in the wet areas to reference the cottage’s facade whilst aged brass hardware and window shutters have been incorporated for both their humble period reference.
Linen curtains hang against the perimeter walls within the combined living space, softening and framing the views to the landscape beyond. A new wood burning fireplace becomes the focus of the living area. Adjacent to the living/dining is the generous central kitchen. Its layout is simple yet effective and with the use of pure and light finishes, stands as if it was always there. It is tempered by warm timber elements including a tall pantry unit and fixed timber shelf, as well as aged brass detailing.
The new antique smoked and limed timber floor throughout links the spaces together, and allows for a fluid and seamless spatial flow, where previously the spaces were quite disjointed with differing floor finishes and junctions between. New operable solid timber shutters have been designed for each room to allow flexibility with privacy whilst not taking up the wall space of a curtain.
Facilitating a project with the designer, client and site all geographically separate proved challenging, but ultimately informed the scope and overall result. The remote site location provided for the opportunity to utilise local trades and develop creative means of accessing the site whilst considering the specification of materials, not only in relation to the design intent, but which were also economically viable. In turn, this meant that the fulfilment of the Capertee Valley cottage brief came down to process and communication as much as the development of a design concept.
There is a sense of luxury when entering the bathroom with its purposely placed skylight sitting directly above the shower, dramatically increasing the flood of natural light and creating an alternate connection with the surrounding environment. Located immediately adjacent to the open plan dining, kitchen and living areas, the timber bookshelf forms a portal through to the central bathroom beyond and provides for an unassuming solution to display books and household objects.
The Capertee Valley cottage demonstrates a sophisticated and careful interpretation of the Client’s brief. A deep conceptual & site analysis has provided for a design response that celebrates the existing site, its context and history. Further, it shows a holistic approach to the overall design aesthetic including a deep understanding of process and communication.
With a desire to respect the site’s context and its history, each and every design decision by Studio Esteta incorporated within the cottage’s interior was carefully considered in a way that inspires honest, relaxed and conscious living.
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