Bayside, Sydney

Set inside a 1970’s building and untouched for 50 years, Nicholas Gurney and his clients wanted to create something open, light and airy whilst retaining the 1960’s and early 1970’s retro sensibility.

This stunning 26sqm/280sqft apartment in Sydney’s gorgeous Rushcutters Bay is home to a young couple with a passion for minimalism. Untouched for 50 years, the apartment had a strong mid-century sensibility that the owners wanted architect Nick Gurney to retain. Additionally, in line with modern expectations, the apartment needed to be open, light, and airy. 

Being largely untouched for 50 years, the apartment was in need of updated materials throughout. The updated materials heavily referenced the mid-century build, cork floors replaced carpet, laminate benches were attached to ply and rebuilt, brass is introduced throughout, mirrors are prevalent to bounce the light, and reference mid-century mirrored room dividers, even the brown tiles in the bathroom resemble the original tiles used. 

It all works nicely together, upon entering the apartment,  a warm, almost honeyed light bounces off the timber walls, cork flooring, and warm colours in the apartment with a concealed cupboard to the lift for umbrellas, bags, shoes, and folding wall seat that makes use of the space that is otherwise void. 

The living area makes up the majority of the floor space and converts to a bedroom at night. This is made possible by the custom sofa which sits in front of a Murphy bed, that when the residents are ready to rest utilises the ottoman from the sofa for support. One side of the queen-sized bed has a fold-down bedside table, while a recessed niche provides a small amount of storage for the resident sleeping on the other side. 

Next to the bed is a custom wardrobe that is at least 1.5x deeper than a standard-size wardrobe to match the depth of the sofa. The striking mustard finish provides a pop of colour that plays nicely with the blackwood timber used in the kitchen. The very same timber is used for handles on the wardrobe too. 

Together with his clients, Gurney has taken a restorative approach to the renovation. It hadn’t been touched in 50 years and this renovation has ensured comfortable occupation for at least another 50.

Upgraded with modern technology and new services, custom furniture, and overlapping functions to achieve an extremely tailored space, the apartment has been given a second lease of life.

Images by NeverTooSmall