Victorian terrace-lined streets are synonymous with Sydney’s sought-after suburb of Surry Hills - known for its vibrant culture, and contemporary hospitality and retail scene.

Their homes’ period facades are an ode to times long past – but inside, the interiors are like the suburb – current, contemporary, and full of life.

before collage
before collage

progress collage

The installation process was seamless, thanks to the informative support from the team at Stoke Fireplace Studio Sydney.


One such terrace house became home to a young family who had outgrown their previous house and were looking forward to having more space – particularly in the outdoor courtyard.

They engaged landscape architect, Kev Quelch from Inovasis Design to reimagine the outdoor area– optimising on the space that was there and creating two living zones that would give the courtyard increased functionality.

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Loved for their heritage facades, the interior living spaces of these Victorian Terrace homes make a great canvas for present-day design.

The courtyard is accessed via the main living area through two French doors which open out to reveal a bright, clean sophisticated al fresco area, frequented by dappled sunlight.

“The clients wanted a contemporary space for the family to enjoy, and to maximise the relatively small space. An area to eat was key along with a space to sit and relax. A priority was having an outdoor fireplace”

"I designed a raised garden bed to define two spaces – one for dining with a cantilevered L-shaped polished concrete bench off the garden bed wall – and the opposite side with a small lawn area with the flexibility of two Tio Easy Chairs to enjoy the new fireplace."  – Kev Quelch. 

surrey hills ew lo res
surrey hills ew lo res

The fireplace is an Escea EW5000 Outdoor Wood Fire, set into a dramatic chimney stack - a dual-function wood fire which can be used for both cooking and relaxing. Frameless, the fire has a refined design while also being reminiscent of the Victorian-era of the home.

Custom designed powder coated steel boxes for wood storage flank the fireplace on either side, balancing the design and providing visual symmetry.

“Having a fireplace was always going to be central to the design. We definitely wanted a ‘real’ flame along with the ambience and mood it facilitates so gas was eliminated from the equation almost immediately. And to have the ability to cook meant the Escea EW5000 was really the only choice for myself and my clients.”

The new courtyard pays homage to the period of the property – but with a contemporary edge that reflects the current design era – a balancing act between old and new, past and present, then and now.

Take a closer look at the Escea EW5000 here.