Located in Sydney’s inner west, the Hurlstone Park House by Carla Middleton explores the invigorating push and pull of contrasts. In reinventing the existing cottage with a polished modern extension, the accomplished architect plays with natural light and shadow, the crisp white interiors providing a beautiful template for tactile decorative touches.
Styling by Claire Delmar
Photography by Tom Ferguson
Tell us a bit about your career path. How did you end up where you are today?
I always wanted to be a painter of portraiture. I studied art at school, and my final HSC artwork (a self-portrait) was selected and hung on exhibition. I had always been very creative and remember from a very young age going furniture shopping with my mother and helping her style the home. I remember at 14 years old my mum taking advice from me about which pieces to buy, textures of fabrics and styling. When I finished school, I loved art and really loved mathematics, so architecture became a great fit.
Whilst studying at university I worked for both a large firm doing hotels and then a residential architecture practice and just knew the residential side was my passion. I loved the personal relationship between architecture and a family home. My parents still live in the family home that I was brought up in and it is such a happy place. So many happy memories, beautiful natural light and a grounding place to grow up in.
I worked for three great residential practices before starting up my own practice, each teaching me different parts of an architectural practice. One practice taught me the importance of a concept, another the importance of understanding how to build and document, and the third practice taught me how to run a business within architecture. All three experiences were so different but vital to where I am today.
I took maternity leave to have my first baby and, before I knew it, I was flooded with commissions. It was a very daunting time but exciting. I spent years juggling work and motherhood, furiously working whilst my kids napped. Now that my kids are older, I have a practice based in Bronte and love working full-time. The time I now spend with my kids is cherished. The practice is rapidly growing, and I just love my job!