Size Matters


Eight bathrooms, six bedrooms and three kitchens – oh my! A 1950s cottage becomes ultra-modern and balloons in size.

Vaucluse isn’t short on big fancy homes. The sandstone-laden locale is lined with grand old trees and big new mansions as well as established homes that have called Sydney Harbour their neighbour for decades.

A mammoth house with views to die for and space for half of Sydney (not quite) sounds intimidating, but Vaucluse Residence XII has a homely feel and a modern heart. The project kicked off with a bang or, more precisely, a birth. It all started with the arrival of the owners’ first child and ended with the birth of their second.

The clients weren’t shy when asking for all the bells and whistles. And we mean ALL the bells and whistles. Think library, home theatre, wine cellar, rumpus room and study. 

Horizon Homes was thrilled to come on board and complete the immense project. Thiry years in business has done Horizon well. The multi-award-winning building firm was named NSW Master Builder of the Year 2017 and offers a complete range of services, including pre-construction advice, building and maintenance. For this Sydney assignment, the company teamed up with KA Design Studio to bring the clients’ wishes to fruition. “Taking advantage of the view from every level required the use of large spans, “ noted David Moses, managing director of Horizon Homes.

Rockfaced sandstone cladding extends a palpable strength to the structure. Large-format off-form concrete pavers and external walls enhance the sense of permanence and boost the home’s modern credentials. Concrete walls also feature internally and help shape a strong yet comfortable style that doesn’t try too hard. As effortless as it looks, every detail was painstakingly considered and all finishes were picked from the upper echelons of the design world.

Vaucluse Residence XII is a fully automated smart home with hydronic heating system, solar electric panels and batteries. Exquisite joinery is abundant and high-quality materials and finishes enhance the home’s clean lines.

Wet areas were laid with Clemont honed limestone floors. “Waterproofing was a huge concern,” David recalls. “With water coming down the hill across the rock shelf there were many areas where water could penetrate and many of the finishes had exceptionally long lead times.”

The completed home sticks closely to the original plans. However, automotive issues threw a spanner in the works after the client purchased a Mercedes Benz G63 too big for the garage. “We had to modify the garage door and build a motorised top panel to get it in,” David says.

The garage is as finely finished as the rest of the home. No oil stains and skid marks here! Terrazzo flooring, a car turntable and space for eight vehicles make it more of a showroom than a garage.

American white engineered oak flooring and acid-washed and -brushed Gobi stone constitute the flooring on the lower ground floor. The carpeted cinema is a hoot, primed and ready for a movie marathon.

Seamlessly joined benchtops complemented the Corian integrated sink (Spicy 966 Glacier White) in the kitchen. The modern Basaltina porcelain benchtop looks like natural basalt but comes without all the laborious upkeep the stone demands.

The size and complexity of Vaucluse Residence XII is matched only by its meticulous attention to detail. It envelops and energises its occupants, sparking healthy family living.