Worlds Collide with this Strikingly Aesthetic House


In this pocket of Sydney, dwellers really do get the best of both worlds. Streams of the Paramatta River flow either side of the Hunters Hill peninsula, eventually reaching Sydney Harbour.

Hunters Hill is one of those unique Sydney spots where a view of the Harbour Bridge is unparalleled, and one can reach the CBD from the suburb within a 20-minute drive.

So who are the lucky inhabitants of this home, situated in one of Sydney’s most beautiful locations? Paul and his wife Judi, a couple with young adult children who have flown the nest only very recently. And what did Paul and Judi want in their new abode now that the children have moved out and they have journeyed into the next phase of their life? They wanted a total refresh, along with a few tweaks of practicality. “Aesthetically, we wanted a whole new look and feel,” says Judi. “We also thought it important to renovate the house in its entirety to keep a consistent look throughout.” The couple turned to designer Andrew Waller to help them achieve this new look.

An experienced designer who has been in the business for many years, Andrew’s specialty is interior architecture but he also dabbles in interiors and furniture design. He was the perfect choice for a beautiful revamp.

“Andrew was terrific at suggesting and guiding us towards the finished outcome,” says Paul. “He could visualise our house in a ‘classic contemporary’ style, moving away from sharp contemporary minimalism to a much softer, tranquil look. We then researched lighting, furnishings, lookbooks in this style and went from there.”

Aesthetics weren’t the only thing on this couple’s mind. Practicality was also an important consideration and there were some structural changes they wanted done to make this home more liveable. “We wanted to completely alter and improve the ensuite and walk-in wardrobe area,” explains Judi. “We also wanted to be able to incorporate the wine room and include a lift.”
This project called for a full architectural upgrade, with a new layout in some areas and a totally new interior decoration and furniture scheme. Andrew achieved this in a number of ways. First, he called on the home’s natural environment to influence his direction with design. He created a calming atmosphere using soft natural hues and forms, enabling the space to flow seamlessly and beautifully.

“Each area has been designed around a singular focal point that draws you through the open-plan spaces yet unites the overall interior,” explains Andrew. “By adjusting the master suite layout, we were also able to introduce a quality area for the main bedroom. The ensuite was actually the first space we designed and by adjusting the hallway linen cupboard, walk-in robe and separate bathroom, we were able to create an open-plan ensuite with a dressing room,” he adds. “A separate toilet cubicle (for privacy with Toto WC) was positioned at the rear, while a pair of facing vanities frame the freestanding bath under the bronze chandelier.  A large shower is concealed behind the vanity wall, with full stone slab walls used for a seamless quality aesthetic.”

The physical appeal of this home is clear, but what is less visible is the amazing long-distance relationship Andrew Waller formed with his clients. “After our initial get-togethers at the clients’ home, most of our presentation meetings were actually remote while the clients were overseas. This actually formalised the design structure a little more as we had limited access. Our clients had always brought back artworks and other objects from overseas trips, which now appear in their home,” Andrew says.

The final result is a seamless space and a seamless relationship between client and designer, creating quite the magical melting pot of cultures and craft.

This article originally appeared in Home Design #23.3