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 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.”
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.”
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.”
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 Elle and 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.
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.”
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.”
Anna reports on everything from sell-out skincare to Meghan Markle's messy bun. Her work has taken her to tea with Miranda Kerr, the red carpet with Margot Robbie and New York with Jason Wu. Her words can also be found on Vogue, Body & Soul, Home Beautiful and Buro 24/7.
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