Stately Potts Point Federation house


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In with the old and in with the new

Potts Point Renovation featured in Domain.com.au

July 17, 2010 by Stephen Craft
This Federation-style house in Potts Point is heritage listed. The original front staircase, the front entrance and side entrance retains period features.
This Federation-style house in Potts Point is heritage listed. The original front staircase, the front entrance and side entrance retains period features.

This stately house in Potts Point was originally designed as a "gentleman's residence".
  • Built in 1903 for a former lord mayor of Sydney, William McElhone, the sprawling Federation-style house overlooks the harbour and leafy streets.
  • Owner Patrick Gill bought "Heatherdene" in 1993 and regularly hosts friends visiting from Queensland, where he lived previously. "It was quite run-down when I bought it," he says. "Most of my friends thought I should just gut it and start from scratch."
  • Fortunately, the heritage-listed house, spread over 2½ levels, wasn't stripped to its fine bones. Rather, Gill lovingly restored the house himself.
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Timber treads, made from tallow-wood, lead to a new galley-style kitchen.
And to make the design appear as a part of something larger, the staircase is integrated with the joinery separating the kitchen from the entrance.
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Mindful of the house's heritage, Kennedy Associates retained all the external brickwork, including the original windows.
Even a striking arch framing the side entrance was retained - it now features a glazed door. "It was quite an economical solution," Kennedy says
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This Federation-style house in Potts Point is heritage listed.
The original front staircase, the front entrance and side entrance retains period features.
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The kitchen includes two-pack painted cupboards along one wall, concealing appliances such as the fridge as well as the pantry. "It's a much more generous space than the old scullery. And it's considerably lighter," Kennedy says. The scullery has been retained, along with the fireplace, and is now used as a breakfast and informal meals area.

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To maximise space in the kitchen, Kennedy included shelving behind a green splashback. On the opposite side of the kitchen is a built-in island bench, which includes timber draws for large pots and pans.
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This Federation-style house in Potts Point is heritage listed. The original front staircase, the front entrance and side entrance retains period features.