LAVA director Chris Bosse gives his Sydney townhouse a contemporary makeover

The interior renovation
Chris Bosse, director of Australian architecture firm LAVA has overseen the interior renovation of his 1880’s Paddington townhouse
(Image credit: Brett Boardman)

When the director of Australian architecture practice LAVA, Chris Bosse, acquired a new Sydney townhouse in desperate need of a renovation, he decided to personally tackle the challenge of transforming it into his new home. 

The property, named Tivoli Terrace and located within Paddington, a historic inner city district of Sydney, is coined by Bosse as a ‘21st century reinterpretation of a 1880s terrace house’. Bosse’s aim was to merge the house's existing structural features with the firm’s signature clean and contemporary style, in order to create his personal vision of a modern but effortlessly timeless living space. 

Bosse used a calming tonal range of neutral colours and natural wood that delightfully contrasts with his selection of furnishings, which feature sporadic and vibrant pops of colour. Pale French oak timber floors were carefully laid out over the original wood flooring and old terracotta tiles to add a sense of unity and flow throughout the open plan dining, living, and kitchen areas on the ground level. 

A large opening on the ground floor, protected by a sliding system of slatted timber frames creates, when open, a seamless transition between outdoor and indoor environments. It also supplies the house with a generous amount of light and gives the inhabitants complete control of privacy, heat and airflow. 

The kitchen, which Bosse envisioned as the ‘heart of the property’ features a glass splashback lining to reflect light and a striking custom-made CNC milled ‘surfboard shaped’ island bench - its flowing, curvy form brings to mind the firm's other, larger scale designs.

Bosse incorporated local craftsmanship with high tech manufacturing methods to create the property’s warm but minimal and unmistakably contemporary atmosphere, a symbiosis of old and new that anyone would be happy to call home. 

White laminated solid plywood kitchen

Bosse’s home features a considered combination of classic joinery and modern manufacturing techniques. Pictured here; a custom-made white laminated solid plywood kitchen and pale French oak timber floors

(Image credit: Brett Boardman)

Floor to ceiling in-built cabinets

Each room of the house features a series of floor to ceiling in-built cabinets, adding a generous amount of concealed storage space throughout the property

(Image credit: Brett Boardman)

The pale French oak floors

The pale French oak floors cover the house’s existing flooring and tiles; the addition of uniform flooring adds a sense of flow and unity within the dining, living and kitchen areas

(Image credit: Brett Boardman)

A warm and serene environment

All the rooms in the property feature accents of natural wood and use only neutral colour tones to create a warm and serene environment

(Image credit: Brett Boardman)

The kitchen-adjacent courtyard

The kitchen-adjacent courtyard is used as a central feature, seamlessly adjoined to the interior of the house by the large sliding timber slatted doors

(Image credit: Brett Boardman)

Outdoor and indoor living space

These sliding doors were added to blur the boundary between outdoor and indoor living space, enabling the inhabitants to have careful control over privacy, heat and airflow

(Image credit: Brett Boardman)

Surfboard shaped kitchen bar

The key element of the kitchen - and Bosse’s favourite feature of the home - is the custom-built CNC milled ‘surfboard shaped’ kitchen bar

(Image credit: Brett Boardman)

The structure's minimal colour palette

Flashes of colourful in strategically placed furniture throughout the property contrast with the structure's minimal colour palette, adding an element of vibrancy to the space

(Image credit: Brett Boardman)


For more information visit LAVA’s website

Photography: Brett Boardman