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A Hamptons-inspired family home on Sydney’s lower North Shore

Home Beautiful helps Sydney-sider Robyn and her family realise their new build vision
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‘Bespoke’ and ‘new build’ might not be two words you expect to see in the same sentence, but the grand Hamptons-style home of Robyn, Jonathon and their three children, Jasper, 12, Matilda, nine and Amelie, three, will change the way you think of new homes forever. After Robyn fell in love with Hall & Hart Homes’ ‘Elyse’ house design, Home Beautiful came on board to help her create a fresh take on Hamptons style, peppered with breezy bohemian elements.

Hamptons style newly built home
“This was the first house I looked at and loved,” says Robyn of the smart exterior, which is clad in Taubmans Stormy Shadow and Taubmans Cotton Ball. (Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

When they snapped up a run-down property in a coveted suburb of Sydney’s North Shore, Robyn and Jonathon had lots of time to dream about what they would do with it – close to a decade, in fact. Working in Singapore and living within the confines of a condo with their three young children, they dreamt of their future family home back in Sydney, picturing days spent lazing by a glittering pool with plenty of space for everyone.“This is the first time my husband and I have actually lived in a house together,” says Robyn.“In Singapore, we always chose condos to save for the dream house in Australia.”

Hamptons dining room
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

Quickly realising that rebuilding their new house would be more cost-effective than attempting a full-scale renovation, Robyn spent years whittling down her options, visiting HomeWorld display home village whenever she returned to Sydney. “We thought our budget would be better spent if we were to spec up a package build rather than spend double on a custom builder and architect,” she says. “But I visited so many companies and all the houses looked the same.”

Hamptons kitchen with servery window
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)
White kitchen with engineered stone marble-look splashback
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

It wasn’t until a friend recommended Hall & Hart Homes that Robyn found what she was after. “They offered the design flexibility I wanted,” she explains. “Which was lucky, because I changed a lot!” Guiding her decisions were the biggest items on her wish list: an open-plan living area that flowed seamlessly outdoors; an expansive kitchen and all bedrooms on one level. “Clients are often surprised that they can move the location of stairs, increase window sizes and change the facade!” says Hall & Hart director Neill Evans. “Robyn and her family heavily customised plans to suit their lifestyle.”

The crisp white kitchen is a great example of a modern, coastal Hamptons look, with Polytec ‘Berrilee’ cabinetry in Ultra White Matt. “The slight Shaker profile gives it a Hamptons narrative, but the clean lines and handle-free doors make it modern,” says Hamptons expert Natalee Bowen of Indah Island. A splashback of Dekton ‘Opera’, complete with matching benchtops, lends a luxurious look, while white cane bar stools from Indah Island bring the beachy feel. “This is where I envisage the kids eating a lot of the time,” says Robyn of the island bench.

White eat-in kitchen dining room with white wicker chairs
A striped ‘Armani Beige’ rug designed by Natalee for Carnival Homewares anchors the scene and keeps toes toasty for the family. (Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

With the layout locked in, Robyn invited Home Beautiful to help create a light-filled interior with hints of the Hamptons. “The key to a fresh, unfussy Hamptons-style home is in the colour palette and materials choices,” says Home Beautiful editor-in-chief Elle Lovelock. “Crisp whites, soft greys and materials like linen, marble and washed timber.” Guided by the Home Beautiful team, plantation shutters and sheer white curtains, all supplied by Wynstan, were installed to convey an airy coastal ambience, contrasted with light fixtures by Beacon Lighting to bring a contemporary edge. 

“My style is relaxed Hamptons with a beachy, boho vibe,” says Robyn. After Home Beautiful introduced Robyn to Natalee Bowen, the pair set about sourcing pieces in keeping with Robyn’s casual take on the classic style – such as the shimmering Beacon Lighting ‘Frost’ chandelier above the dining table in lieu of traditional crystal. “Natural textures bring the relaxed boho feel,” says Natalee, who chose the dining table, available from Indah Island, for its lime-washed finish. She teamed it with easy-clean ‘Paris’ rattan dining chairs from Temple & Webster to survive family meals in style.

Contemporary living room with built-in fireplace and frey sofas
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)
Brass open modern bookshelf
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

Home Beautiful matched Robyn with Hamptons expert Natalee Bowen of Indah Island to deftly capture that pared-back look. “Robyn didn’t want anything too formal, so we kept to clean lines and a light palette for a zen-like, calming effect,” explains Natalee. Adds Robyn: “And I needed furniture that would be practical with a three-year-old daughter running around! Natalee chose beautiful, simple pieces that I just love.”

“Our clients work with our designers to create the plan, rather than just building a cookie cutter home”

Craig Sutton, General Manager, Hall & Hart Homes

Carrying the simple yet sophisticated colour palette of soft timber, white and taupe throughout gives the open-plan kitchen and dining area its beautiful sense of flow. Robyn chose Dyna Core laminate flooring in Valley Oak from Accent Carpets to capture the casual ambience of a beach house. Overhead, glass ‘Marcel’ pendants from Beacon Lighting subtly highlight the island bench without distracting from the adjacent dining zone.“I thought of making more of a statement with the lighting above the island, but we realised it would be too much visually,” says Robyn.

Open plan living dining room
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

With the paint just dry on their nine-month build, Robyn and her family are thrilled with the haven they spent years yearning for. “What I’m most looking forward to is the weather warming up and sitting outside, having a barbecue and watching the kids play in the pool,” says Robyn, looking out the window with a smile. “Being here almost feels like we’re on holidays.”

Matching navy blue velvet sofas
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

Robyn had her heart set on deliciously dark navy sofas for the formal living area, an adults-only retreat. “I thought they’d create that luxe, cosy feel by the fireplace,” she says. A duo of ‘Draper’ velvet sofas from Lounge Lovers fits the bill, offset by linen ‘Date Palm’ cushions by Carnival Homewares. Natalee tied the look together with a classic striped ‘Como’ rug she designed for Carnival Homewares. “The soft sage green shade adds another layer of character,” she says. A dreamy soft sheer curtain in ‘Odin White’ from Wynstan completes the grown-up luxe look.

Pink powder room
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

A glamorous powder room adds pizazz to the home’s neutral colour palette by way of glittering gold accents such as the Phoenix ‘Vivid Slimline’ wall basin mixer and showerhead in Brushed Gold. Robyn visited the Hall & Hart design studio to select surfaces including the ‘United’ wall tiles in Pumice Gloss and ‘Templar’ floor tiles in Herald Grey, both from Beaumont Tiles. A beaded ‘Koralky’ pendant in French Grey from Beacon Lighting brings a touch of carefree boho style. Squeezing in a shower means the powder room can double as a fully-functional guest bathroom when needed.

Navy blue and white bedroom with navy blue velvet bedhead
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

In the guest bedroom Robyn’s penchant for midnight velvet appears again, care of an opulent ‘Emily’ bed from Temple & Webster bedecked in Cultiver linen and a Carnival Homewares velvet cushion in Ice Blue. “I really love navy velvet at the moment,” says Robyn. “We wanted a beautiful space for my mother-in-law, who lives interstate, for when she comes to stay.” Dapper plantation shutters from Wynstan let light in without compromising privacy and are framed by brass ‘Aksel’ wall brackets by Beacon Lighting. A ‘Tahitian’ fan in Off White, also by Beacon Lighting, makes a statement overhead.

Grey and white ensuite with sfreestanding bathtub
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

Robyn and Jonathon’s serene five-star ensuite includes an indulgent Caroma ‘Aura 180’ freestanding bath. Robyn added extra skylights during the design phase to ensure the space was flooded with natural light, an effect enhanced by ‘Belga Grey’ porcelain tiles from Beaumont Tiles. A woven white ‘Coral’ pendant from Beacon Lighting supplies natural texture.

Main bedroom with pink bedlinen and timber bedside table
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

In the main bedroom layers of beautiful Cultiver bedlinen and misty velvet cushions from Pepperwhites by Tara Dennis give an air of easygoing elegance. “I’ve got touches of pink that Jonathon doesn’t like, but I thought, ‘If there’s any way I can get away with pink, it’s a dusty pink like this one,’” says Robyn. “That way it doesn’t look too girly.” The muted tones marry beautifully with deep charcoal ‘Alberta’ carpet from Accent Carpets. The square lines of mid-century modern bedside tables found at Target add a naturally textured edge.

Alfresco dining overlooking swimming pool
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)
Alfresco area with kitchen servery window
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

Welcome to Robyn and her family’s oasis. The enticing outdoor area is a retreat from the frenetic pace
of Sydney life. Covered to protect against the elements, it boasts a Beacon Lighting ‘Tahitian’ fan to cool in summer and add a splash of bohemian flair all year around. The family shipped their dining table from Singapore all the way back to Sydney to take pride of place in their new outdoor area.

“It was too small for inside, but we thought it would be nice to keep it,” says Robyn. Whitewashed ‘Sasha’ cantilever rattan chairs from Oz Design Furniture introduce a dash of coastal cool.

Bi-fold windows opening from the kitchen ensure the in/out connection Robyn craved, but they weren’t part of the original house design. “Hall & Hart doesn’t usually offer bi-folds, but they sourced them for me,” says Robyn. “Indoor/outdoor living was the biggest thing I wanted from the house – in summer we’ll get the sense of it being an outdoor room.”

Swimming pool with cabana pergola
(Credit: Photo: Kristina Soljo / Styling: Fiona Gould)

“Beyond choosing a great builder, I think investing in good landscaping was one of the best decisions we made,” says Robyn about Ballast Landscape, who built a cabana out of James Hardie cladding to provide a sunlit spot for sitting by the pool. “Our block was difficult because it sloped in two directions, but the landscaper transformed everything – we just have to wait for our plants to grow!” Ezarri glass mosaic tiles from Europe Imports line the sparkling pool. “I wanted a light aqua look to keep everything bright and fresh,” says Robyn of the self-cleaning pool by Compass Pools.

“We really liked the way they handled the building process for us,” says Robyn. “Their site manager provided weekly construction updates and took care of everything so it took a lot of stress out of the process.”

 “The results are stunning. I just can’t wait to sit out on the balcony in summer and watch the kids swim in the pool while I have a glass of wine,” says Robyn.

Brought to you by Hall & Hart Homes.

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