We admire designs that bring in contrasting styles, finishes and even stitch together inspirations from different eras. But this becomes an even more challenging task when you wish to combine traditional Japanese style with modernity and wish to do so in a heritage setting Down Under in Sydney! That is just what you get with the Machiya House designed by Downie North Architects; a fabulous blend of the contemporary and the oriental on a budget that is not one bit extravagant. The street façade and the front rooms of this Aussie home were largely left unaltered with a new master retreat, study, dining area, kitchen and living space in the rear extension.

Heritage home in Sydney combines modernity with classic Japanese form

On the upper level that feels like an extended attic space, you have the spacious master suite along with additional storage areas and smart shelving. The flow between the interior and the exterior is enhanced using a gorgeous rear yard and the new L-shaped addition ensures that the street façade of the heritage home is left as undisturbed as possible. White and wood is the color scheme of choice inside and you have exposed brick wall sections and a bit of greenery providing lovely contrast. [Photography: Katherine Lu]

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Heritage facade of the Machiya House in Sydney
Interior in wood and white combines best of modern and Japanese styles
Ladder leads to the upper attic level of the house
Look at the revamped interior of the Machiya House in Sydney
New addition feels like a smart attic extension
Street facade of the Machiya House
White and wood kitchen and dining area of the Machiya House

From the main street, the new first-floor appears no more conspicuous than an attic extension, its walls, and roof wrapped in standing seam metal cladding. From the laneway, the addition is screened with a veil of hardwood battens and framed in galvanized steel – a nod to Balmain’s industrial past. At night the cedar framed windows glow, lantern-like, signaling occupation.

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White attic level bedroom of the house with modern minimal style
Discover the magic of exposed brick walls in the living room
Gorgeous kitchen in wood and white with lovely lighting
Ground floor plan of Machiya House in Australia
Upper level floor plan with bedrooms

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