Sydney-based architects Studio Prineas take a human-centric approach to design a Northern Beaches home, cultivating a deep sense of place and wellbeing.
When we hear the word ‘home’, a few sensations come to mind; cosiness, ease, comfort, and togetherness. It just so happens that there is a Dutch word that encompasses all of these sensations: gezellig. When Studio Prineas were tasked with renovating a mid-century brick home on Sydney’s upper north shore, they chose this word as their north star. Influenced in part by the ethos of Californian Modernism, the final result mirrors exactly what one would imagine gezellig to feel like.
Linen curtains create a soft transition from inside to outside. Studio Prineas seized any opportunity to bring the interiors back to the client’s much-loved garden. The dining space features the iconic Fritz Hansen Series 7 chairs.
Instead of your typical marble or stone, the kitchen features a hard-wearing stainless steel benchtop and splashback, complementing the recurrent use of walnut and timber throughout the home.
Before moving to the east coast of Australia, House Gezellig’s owners lived in The Netherlands for many years; hence, their affiliation with the concept of gezellig. Realising a sense of gezellig required removing any extraneous additions to the existing home and reconfiguring the floor plan to improve spatial clarity. A new central entryway framed by breezeblock walls forms the foundation of these renditions while gracefully setting the tone for the rest of the home.
The entryway unfolds into a warm, inviting foyer, leading into an open-plan living space anchored by a mid-century-inspired stone fireplace. Marking this transitional passage is a south-facing courtyard – establishing a connection to the outdoors from the onset. The home’s original asymmetric roofline made room for the addition of an over-scaled dormer window, which, in conjunction with the light drawn from the courtyard, forms an uplifting introduction to House Gezellig.
The Louis Poulsen PH5 pendant floats above the dining table, while a glass cabinet floats on the adjacent wall; both tap into the home’s mid-century aesthetic.
In chasing gezellig, Studio Prineas leapt to a very different corner of the world: California. “Turning to the history of the home for guidance, the work of Californian modernists Craig Ellwood and Pierre Koenig inspired us to develop a contemporary design language harnessed by modernist principles,” founder Eva-Marie Prineas says. A natural feeling of connection to the outdoors was one of these principles; honest, bespoke materials were another.
When we hear the word ‘home’, we can now pair it with the word ‘gezellig’ – a feeling that Studio Prineas embedded throughout this entire project.
Custom joinery is the red thread throughout House Gezellig.
The primary bedroom (one of three bedrooms in total) features a nostalgic palette of walnut, green, and orange, accentuated by the Marset Dipping Light table lamp.
House Gezellig was designed with the client’s love of art and collecting in mind.