Breath of FRESH AIR
Australian House & Garden Magazine|January 2022
Starting from scratch allowed the owners of this Sydney new-build to combine contemporary and classic elements for a home that delivers family-friendly living and ample space for entertaining.
Annika Baker
When homeowners Emma and Colin were looking for a property on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, they knew that their love for nature would heavily inform their decision about exactly where to buy. Somewhere close to both the beach and bushland was their dream. So when this property – backing onto parkland and a short walk from the ocean – became available, they realised they’d hit the jackpot.

The couple bought the 582-square-metre property in 2019. Since the existing 1960s house was riddled with asbestos and a family of possums had been occupying a hole in the roof cavity, knocking it down was a no-brainer. Emma and Colin had spotted an ideal opportunity to create a dream home for themselves and their young daughter.

At the top of their wish list for the new build was that the home have a good connection to the surrounding landscape. “We back right on to a large park and beyond that bush, with access to bushwalking and mountain biking,” says Emma.

Light-filled, airy spaces were also important. Sally Paterson, interior architect and director of Heliconia, responded to this brief by creating a central courtyard that “connects the interiors with the outside from many angles”. This courtyard compels the gaze from many angles within the home and is flanked with louvered windows to allow sunlight and fresh air to fill the space. “This beautiful feature gave the project its nickname – ‘The Breezeway’ – as the gentle breeze, beautiful natural light and an outlook of stunning garden are all core to the home’s atmosphere,” says Sally.

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