Sea shades
Belle Magazine Australia|August - September 2020
This Sydney beachfront home possesses a purity and coherence that harks back to simpler times and speaks of carefree, sun-splashed days.
JUDY PASCOE

This page The custom sofa and armchairs with their ruffled trim are reminiscent of the furniture found in an old European seaside hotel. Side tables from Orient House. ‘Daphine’ floor lamp by Tommaso Cimini. Rug from The Grey House. Artwork is Kangaloon by George Raftopoulos. Opposite page, from top The outdoor dining area is accessed through French doors from the informal living area. Le Forge ‘Lattice’ chairs with custom scalloped seat pads. ‘Arles’ table base from Le Forge. Banquette in Kravet ‘Soleil’ from Elliott Clarke. The owners bought the dining chairs in Singapore when the family was living there. The table is a custom design from Chatsworth Fine Furniture. Wall sconces by Aerin Lauder. The walls throughout have an otsumigaki plaster finish.

Elements of the owners’ most-loved holiday destinations – Barbados, Provence and Amalfi– are encapsulated in this home, giving it a true international sensibility. Located on the beachfront in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, the house has been sensitively updated by interior design studio Handelsmann + Khaw. As principals Tania Handelsmann and Gillian Khaw are friends of the client there was no need for a forensic examination of her aesthetic – they knew exactly the type of home she wanted. The house had been well designed in 1968 by Bert Read of Peter Muller architects but over the years, a series of makeovers had stripped out all of its attractive features and the original ‘bungalow’ feel had been lost. This was what the designers aimed to reinstate, albeit in a more contemporary form.

“The original design had a pagoda-like roof and, I imagine, was an elegantly resolved piece of modern architecture of its time,” says Gillian. Spread over three storeys the house had a confusing layout but it was of a substantial size so no significant additions were needed. “There was internal reprogramming required,” she says. “It was an exercise in stripping back the interior to the bare bones to create a minimalist bungalow with handsome proportions.”

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