Home Tours

Award-winning home by the seaside

This light and bright home on Sydney's northern beaches has amazed and impressed homeowners and professionals alike
Simon Whitbread

Light and bright with a dollop of warming timber, this easy, breezy home on Sydney’s northern beaches is a hit with its growing family and winning building industry awards for its ingenious execution.

Light and bright family home | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
The timber screen dividing the kitchen and dining room from the living area (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

One relaxing Saturday morning breakfast by the ocean set a Sydney couple on the path to turning a handkerchief-sized, south-facing pocket of sloping land surrounded by apartments into a light-filled home that offers total privacy – and plenty of space. 

After a swim and a browse of the local paper’s real estate section, they wandered up the road to view the listing, saw its potential immediately and the home was theirs soon after.

Light and bright family home | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
The spacious kitchen is an ideal spot to work and observe family life (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

Architect Mark Korgul from Watershed Design was engaged to design the home, due to his experience with a steep, sloping block of this sort. Working with owner Phil, a builder from Lawson & Lovell Building Services over just six months, they were able to complete a family home with all the hallmarks of a breezy, private abode, thanks mainly to frosted glass and clerestory windows that bring in the light and views without compromising on privacy. 

The home has been designed with its beachside location in mind (naturally, there’s a downstairs shower for an after-swim rinse) but the interiors are free of beachy cliches – instead, soothing light greys and muted browns make up the colour palette.

Light and bright family home | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
Master bedroom oozes tranquility (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

A stand-out feature is the home’s three levels – living, kitchen and dining on the upper level; sleeping quarters below; and a study and laundry on the ground level. This serves to demarcate zones for the many and varied activities in life – working, dining and sleeping. 

In the master bedroom the sense of space is enhanced by white walls in half-strength Dulux Lexicon and gauzy curtains. The chic ‘Emilia’ bedside lamps are from Target, while the cushions on the bed are from Country Road and the Kate & Kate ‘Hudson’ blanket is from Luumo Design. 

Light and bright family home | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
Oversized subway tiles in the ensuite (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

An array of built-in joinery maintains a calm sense of minimalism while the focus remains on the joys of beach living. Perched high above the street in the streamlined kitchen, views stretch to the sea.

Light and bright family home | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
Adjacent living and dining areas (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

Creating a “room” doesn’t necessarily mean putting up a solid wall

The kitchen and living space is large enough to accommodate easy entertaining, but this area is also subtly divided into separate zones, due to a staircase and a spotted-gum screen that lets the kids play in the living room while still feeling like they’re close to the kitchen. Spotted gum also features as the practical, hard-wearing flooring on this level. 

The living room is a sociable zone, with its custom-made lounge – for similar, try Freedom’s ‘Studio’ sofa – ocean-coloured accents in the form of a ‘Sweeney’ chair by Jardan and cushions from Adairs. The spotted-gum screen also means everyone can share the room and adjoining kitchen without being on top of one another. Timber touches come from a Gervasoni ‘Gray’ coffee table and side tables, while a Coco Flip ‘Puku’ ottoman from Cult sits calmly in the palette.

The ensuite is flooded with light due to clerestory windows between it and the bedroom. Oversized subway tiles are laid in a stacked pattern with dark grout, ensuring a strong geometric element, while the floor and walls are covered with oversized concrete tiles that create a seamless and easy-to-clean finish.

Architect – Mark Korgul, Watershed Design

Builder – Lawson & Lovell Building Services

For more inspiration click here.

Related stories