PLAIN SAILING

Australian House & Garden
In a tightly held waterside Sydney suburb, one family’s pursuit of their dream property nets a home with all the benefits of resort-style living.

Frequent entertainers, the owners of this bayside home in southern Sydney wanted to wow their guests from the outset. Mature date palms, a granite path and immediate view of the 15m pool do the trick. PHOTOGRAPHY John Paul Urizar.

Frequent entertainers, the owners of this bayside home in southern Sydney wanted to wow their guests from the outset. Mature date palms, a granite path and immediate view of the 15m pool do the trick. PHOTOGRAPHY John Paul Urizar.

Many home journeys involve chance or good fortune; others are strewn with hurdles. In the case of this Sydney family, the dogged pursuit of location, land and an on-point home design have yielded the ultimate reward: the home of their dreams. And so it is that a decade after identifying their ideal home scenario, they are excitedly anticipating Christmas in their spectacular digs.

Their journey began when the couple, now parents to two teenagers, realised they no longer enjoyed living in their very contemporary home; the high-gloss finishes and spare details were giving them an aesthetic headache.

In 2005 they began the search for the right piece of land in their chosen location, Burraneer Bay in Sydney’s south. They had very specific criteria: it had to be a large block with an ‘estate’ feel that received morning and afternoon sun, and it needed to be on the waterfront with useable facilities. Only 40 homes fitted the bill.

‘I thought a lot about how we could create a calm and coastal feel, and came up with “Hamptons, with a touch of Palm Beach”.’

After a four-year search and year-long negotiation with the owner of one of these prized patches, the family secured a 2650m2 waterfront block and moved into the existing house. They wanted to experience it – and its wind directions in particular – through the seasons.

During that time the husband dwelt upon what their new home would look like. “I thought a lot about how we could create a calm and coastal feel, and came up with ‘Hamptons, with a touch of [Sydney’s] Palm Beach’,” he says. But – cue next challenge – his wife wasn’t convinced.

Ever practical, he took her on a ‘site visit’ to Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica; a resort known for its Hamptons aesthetic,  then on to the famed east-coast holiday location itself. Happily, it was an easy sell.

The stairs and one wall are all that remain of the original home. Furniture placement and rugs demarcate zones in this open-plan space, with the selective use of detailed panelling creating a sense of intimacy. Teenagers Declan and Taylor, with cavoodle Bolli, enjoy the build up to Christmas Day.

The stairs and one wall are all that remain of the original home. Furniture placement and rugs demarcate zones in this open-plan space, with the selective use of detailed panelling creating a sense of intimacy. Teenagers Declan and Taylor, with cavoodle Bolli, enjoy the build up to Christmas Day.

The couple hired an architectural draftsperson to draw up plans for a two-storey, four-bedroom home that paid special attention to framing the views. They requested an open-plan kitchen and living areas, a 15m pool and outdoor kitchen on the entry level, with bedrooms, each with an ensuite, on the floor below.

Interior architect Tonka Andjelkovic was brought on board to create the ‘calm coastal’ look, with interior decorator Malise Sassano briefed to fill it out.

Today, after a 19-month build and some settling in, the family couldn’t be happier. On the first floor, engineered European-oak floorboards provide a solid base and absorb light, the matt finish reducing glare. The Australian/Hamptons style comes together via details such as shiplap panelling, ceiling mouldings and a bevelled-glass front door. When furnishing the home, Tonka and Malise chose weathered timber pieces, woven rugs, linens and accessories in whites and blues with soft, beachy appeal.

With their long-held home goal realised, this family is intent on enjoying – and sharing – the spoils.

Tonka Andjelkovic Design, Bondi Junction, NSW; 0418 479 581 or www.tonkaandjelkovicdesign.com. Malise Sassano, Edgecliff, NSW; 0410 474 424.