Parmelia Street House

by Philip Stejskal Architecture

This tiny workers cottage in South Freo has been renovated and extended by Philip Stejskal Architects, for its long-term owners. It featured in Houses 117 and you can read the full article - including Gillian's reluctance to even consider renovating - here.

When I interviewed the owners for the story, Gillian told me about her 'list'. I've been writing about houses for 15+ years, and I've never known an owner to put pen to paper to detail all the things they love about their new home, so Gillian's list is a unique record of the power of architecture to provide unexpected delight. 

Things I love, by Gillian

  • vast expanse of sky from north side of upstairs balcony, stars and moon…
  • the floor lights on the upstairs balcony
  • the stair lights, even with everything turned off upstairs there is a gorgeous light in the area from the stair lights
  • the light over the outdoor shower
  • the view through to the courtyard plants from the long window at the foot of the stair
  • the view from drinks fridge area looking through battens down into staircase when lights are on
  • amazing kitchen lighting
  • the cross breezes available in all directions due to the windows and doors
  • fantastic light everywhere, especially now in the old cottage
  • all the floors downstairs: the cottage, the oak in the new area and the bathrooms
  • the lime washed white plywood floors are looking great
  • outside lights and timers for entry in the dark
  • the cupboard handles are fantastic: neat, interesting and don’t show finger marks
  • those fabulous shutters in those winter ocean colours, and they work well too
  • the look of the house when we walk back to it in the dark with some lights on – it is stunning
  • the view from sitting in bed with a coffee through the battens and into the light staircase area, interesting rather than a blank wall
  • great natural light in all the rooms but especially our room and Katie’s room, which I didn’t expect
  • the feel of the sliding doors: nice and solid
  • the negative detail on the eastern roof line as the sun rises
  • the shadows of the battens that show on the eastern wall of the cottage as the sun rises
  • privacy in our bedroom from the battens on the south of the south courtyard
  • view from the kitchen is wonderful: the corner window a highlight
  • the amount of wood in the house: feels so good
  • the porcelain benchtop and surrounds
  • the spaces to put treasures and the soft colours behind the spaces, as well as all their different shapes and depths
  • the storage spaces: I am just so delighted
  • the huge long northern window upstairs
  • the huge and useful garage
  • the breezeway and how it works for drying washing as well as connecting the garage to the house and being secure
  • the courtyard, I call it the utility courtyard: it is a nice space and looks quirky now
  • the laundry skylight and the lighting: nice to work in, great storage and useful flat area for folding washing
  • long straight corridor and the glass window to see if anyone is there
  • the amount of outdoor space in both garden and courtyards
  • view from my desk in the cottage’s second room, towards the east, over the south courtyard and up to the coloured shutters: a happy view
  • the entire restoration/rebuild of the original cottage

Wouldn't it be great if every happy client wrote a list, at the end of a project? It would make it so easy to promote the value of architecture.

Photography by Bo Wong.