A Narrow House Renovation in Sydney for Two Retired Teachers

This long narrow house is home to two retired high-school teachers. The property is set in Sydney’s inner west district, among a row of terrace houses. The owners enlisted the help of local firm Adriano Pupilli Architects to renovate and transform the property into a comfortable home that embraced their interests.


Petersham Courtyard House - Adriano Pupilli - Australia - Exterior - Humble Homes

The owners have a passion for theatre, travel, cats, their quiet rear garden and the jacaranda tree that takes pride of place in that small garden. Given what the architects deemed to be a modest budget (no mention of how much), they had a rather large undertaking, with one of the primary objectives being to re-build the back of the home.


Petersham Courtyard House - Adriano Pupilli - Australia - Living Room - Humble Homes

The rear of the property now features a light filled living area that flows seamlessly into the garden. The original roof structure was removed and replaced with a floating skillion roof that permitted more natural light to enter the space through its awning windows.


Petersham Courtyard House - Adriano Pupilli - Australia - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The awning windows also act as an exhaust on hot summer days, helping to maintain a comfortable interior temperature. Given its narrow width, it’s no surprise they’ve opted (or were forced) to use a linear layout for the rooms. The front, left-hand-side of the home features a small porch that leads into an entrance hallway.

Petersham Courtyard House - Adriano Pupilli - Australia - Corridor - Humble Homes

The entryway is flanked by a guest bedroom and leads into a dining room. A short laundry area separates the kitchen and dining room. The kitchen is followed by a downstairs bathroom, a small square external courtyard and the living room. The living room leads out to an exterior deck, with the garden beyond.

Petersham Courtyard House - Adriano Pupilli - Australia - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

There’s – presumably – a small upper floor level containing the main bathroom and master bedroom. As it was beyond the scope of the architects work, it hasn’t been included in the floor plans. The renovation was completed in 2015 and the home now contains a total area of 1,227 square feet (114 square meters).

For more small houses check out this 7.5 foot wide stable that was converted into a tiny home in London. Or, this living area that’s been designed by Ruetemple in Russia for children and adults alike. See all small houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Simon Whitbread

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. This article is scant on details including the cost of the renovation. The photographs also don’t really show much detail. I am none the wiser from reading this article. If owners are not forthcoming with detail then why publish a story that really doesn’t say very much at all?

  2. FrancescaA: If you go to the architects’ site (which Mr. Burke kindly included), you will find a super schematic as well as construction pix before and after to peruse. In the context of the larger house, these renovations make sense. And the page states that the owners requested privacy for their project.

    Here are some worthy enhancements to lighten what looked like a dreary row house. The floor elevation change adds interest as it rises from the kitchen. The kitchen could have additional prep surfaces, but the owners may not be cooks. My only dislike is the use of what are called awning windows herein (and I call louvered windows). I have found they neither seal well to keep out dust, nor are they easy to clean. Though I have seen them used often in new Australian residences, they appear dated, and suitable only for 1940-50s workers’ housing: perhaps they represent something nostalgic to Down Under which I fail to grasp.

  3. Not only that FrancescaA, but Niall also has a life outside of this website. Don’t like it? Move on to a different website then.

  4. Bebe, louvered windows are very practical in Australian houses as they generate airflow. Lots, and I mean LOTS, of Australia is very very hot for most of the year. Practicality wins out over aesthetics every time.

  5. For me, if nothing else, for this line in the article at ArchDaily, “…a place to linger, gather and tell lies.”