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Sometimes codes and laws help save priceless historic properties. Still, try telling that to a homeowner who wishes to remodel or expand their residence, like the folks who live in this mid-1800s timber cottage.

From the front,?Carter Williamson Architects had to leave the building largely alone per local protections in Sydney, Australia.

Viewed from the rear, however, the structure looks as different as can be – square concrete frames a series of large windows and an adjustable system of marble louvers.

Framed in between, the old home is linked to a newly-added kitchen, living and dining room on the main floor. Upstairs: a reconstructed bedroom, study and library space.

All in all, designers have to work with the hand they are dealt. On the upside, though, the front facade provides an interior surprise to guests, who never expect to step foot into such contemporary spaces upon entering the front door.