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Double Bay

Double Bay, Sydney, Australia

Situated on the water’s edge in Double Bay, an exclusive suburb located along Sydney’s vast natural harbour, this two storey family home was designed by South African architects SAOTA, and takes maximum advantage of the scenic views over the pristine beach and bay in front of the house. Adhering to the client’s brief, the home perfectly balances family living and social entertaining with the architectural layout and décor allowing for small family gatherings and big functions in equal measure. The ground floor houses the kitchen and the main living and entertainment areas, while the upper level comprises five bedrooms and an additional intimate lounge for the family.

An architectural metal mesh screen that is illuminated at night, wraps the entrance to the home – a feature designed as aesthetic element but also to functionally provide the client with additional privacy when lights are on inside the house. The metal and timber panelling on the outside create interesting textures and, in small parts, influenced the décor chosen for the interior. When entering the home, a double volume lobby reveals touches of the sophisticated décor that ARRCC so passionately curated. An OKHA Hits and Misses server grounds the expansive two storey wall, with the metal detailed base adding warmth to the colour palette. Custom beaten brass discs, imagined by ARRCC and executed by local Sydney craftsman Andrew Earp, are spaced across the full expanse of the double volume wall concealing the private lift core. The vision was that the changing light and shadows cast by this installation would mimic the play of the reflections across the bay. Contrasting the openness of the house, shaped wooden slats frame the staircase. It is visible from the street outside and reveals itself further when you enter the home, softening the architectural lines and adding interest from the minute you set foot inside the house. Visually, it forms a private core that circles up to the private area of the home that houses the bedrooms. The lobby opens up to an internal courtyard that was included as additional entertainment space. A mirrored sculpture by Arik Levy serves as focal point and leads the eye to the open courtyard when entering the home. A vast exterior white wall on the upper level out the courtyard doubles as screen for lazy outdoor movie nights. A kids’ informal lounge also opens up to this courtyard garden.

The ground floor living level is transparent with full height glass elevations allowing the living and entertainment spaces to flow into each other and to enjoy the magnificent views. The private upper level are solid zones for privacy.

The living and entertainment spaces on the ground floor were conceptualised and furnished in close collaboration with the clients – the result being a bespoke collection of international brands and South African designed custom made pieces. A Polygonal Ring pendant light by the Italian studio Henge hangs above the formal dining table – the specific design chosen to not obstruct any views and for its playful, abstract shapes. Bespoke hand tufted rugs with wool and bamboo silk include various tones of blue as extension of the colour palette chosen.

The open design of the ground floor means that the views over the bay are visible from most areas, providing a beautiful backdrop for any social occasion. The client’s favourite colour, blue, was added to the mostly neutral palette to provide little bursts of colour to capture and reflect the hues of the waterfront. A variety of finishes were chosen for the formal lounge to add interest to the interior. An OKHA marble coffee table is combined with a custom designed brass coffee table (also executed by Andrew Earp) repeating the brass texture found in the entrance hall. An eclectic mix of side tables are positioned next to the Minotti sofas, including Galata & Taksim black marble tables and the mirror clad Cube side tables.

The oversized artwork by Pae White includes images of foil, woven together in cotton and polyester, adding interesting textures and echoing the colour palette of the entertainment space. The artwork was sourced on behalf of the client after she noticed it in a store on Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles and immediately fell in love with the piece.

The kitchen is partially screened off from the entrance by vertical timber slats. Above the breakfast counter hangs a cluster of Brokis shadow suspension lamps. The slatted ceiling and screen detail create interesting light patterns in the otherwise shadowy kitchen. Bar stools are by Gubi. Located on a raised level, the informal lounge features pops of colour in the armchairs by Saintluc S.R.L, disrupting the neutral and blue palette seen throughout the ground floor. The client’s existing artwork was incorporated into the room including a Yioryios sculpture.

The guest powder room continues the sophisticated theme of the interiors. Phillip Jeffries Enchanted Woods Moon Glow wallpaper in cork and silver wraps the walls, picking up on the brass finishes and the angular mirror imported from France. The outdoor entertainment areas integrate seamlessly with the interior spaces. The furniture selection continues the interior colour palette with a blue/grey Paola Lenti outdoor sofa and rug and feature rough marble coffee table by Henry Timi. Various ceramic stools in blue and silver by Gervasoni, accentuating the deep colours of the pool, are coupled with custom wooden stools to create layers of textures outside.

The framed staircase leading to the upper level cocoons the Chamber feature pendant lights – the glass and marble fittings of the light contrasting with the installation of brass discs. An intimate lounge on the first floor is an informal gathering space for the family. Aqua accents are seen in the custom timber coffee table. The family photo wall puts a personal stamp on this room.

The master bedroom features a custom bed, dressed in Quagliotti Italian Linen supplied by The Hall Collection, with leather panelled headboard. The black table lamps by Oluce add a striking modernist contrast to the room. The burnished bronze side table adds warmth to the cool tones of the bedroom. Black and white marble side tables by India-Mahdavi accentuates the underlying luxury that is ingrained in the house.