Okay, so it’s been … three months. Or thereabouts. Not great form. I apologise. I apologise also for such a lazy-ass post. But I had to get something on the screen, man. And this is the best I could do when contending with all the things that take up the days. Like hangover recoveries, eating hummus out of the container ’cause there are no crackers in my apartment, pissing off neighbours by playing music too loudly and watching Reservoir Dogs. Et cetera.
I wanted to bring you a sunsoaked vision of one of the less-than-amazing suburbs near where I grew up, The Entrance. My brilliant sister summed up the area pretty well: “I’m pretty sure The Entrance is where the rainbow ice cream flavour was invented.” That and the lower back tattoo.
So, on this particular day, I dragged my mother and sister to this place in order to take some photographs. “But why?” My mother asked. Good question, mum. Always listen to your mother, folks.
The problem, as it turned out, was rather than boasting charming Australiana beach shacks and apartment blocks with excellent old fonts spelling out names like ‘Beachcomber’ like the ones you see in Manly, The Entrance (on NSW’s Central Coast, in case you don’t know) doesn’t really have much of architectural value. So you know. I snapped these. I wrote a bit. And I’ll be back with something better. But in the meantime, this post stands as a testament of some sort to the average Australian suburb with nothing to offer. Yeah, I knew I’d be able to spin something out of this.
Of course, while dragging half my family around, my DSLR ran out of battery. This is unsurprising as I can’t actually recall having charged it since I returned from Europe. In April. I then discovered my second best option – my phone – was in the car. After I stopped hyperventilating from the realisation that a) I’d been separated from my phone for a good ten minutes and b) I would continue to be separated from it for at least another fifteen, I borrowed my mum’s phone, took a couple more shots, grumbled words like “hole” and “waste of time”, then left. And now I bring the truly glorious results of that to you.
I don’t usually use a non-house shot as the lead but I mean…c’mon. It’s a helluva view. This place is on a particularly private little street in Tamarama, perched above the beach with jaw-dropping views from each level. And there be a number of levels.
Tamarama, as I’m sure you know, is one of Sydney’s most highly sought after beaches. It’s a jewel in the east’s crown. It and Bronte, which is right next door. As an aside, something I noticed when I was there to photograph this house is there is a disproportionately high amount of very attractive men there on Saturday mornings. I feel like that’s important to note.
It’s a classic ‘Sydney eastern beaches’ beach house, by which I mean it’s big, built to capitalise on the views, and perfect to party in. Glamorous, is what I’m getting at (I’ve veered away from calling it Glamorama but…oops, there I go). It was rebuilt a decade ago and is now designed in a vertical fashion with wide open spaces and expanses of glass. The vistas are the focal point, and the architecture complements that. White features heavily, which is ideal in a place built for the sun and sand.
It feels like summer when you walk in, basically, and that appeals to me as I hate winter and am desperately waiting for its end. It’s also on the market. If you buy it, please invite me to the housewarming. I’ll bring cheap wine. My usual.
It’s been a while, kids. I unreservedly apologise. But hey, I have a nice shiny new post for you on Kuala Lumpur, and that’s got to garner some excitement, right? Because KL, like most of Asia, is exciting, friends.
Now, this is a bit of a cheat post, since it’s more ‘stuff I saw in KL’ than ‘houses I saw in KL’, but it’s inspired by buildings and unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to head out to the suburbs in search of residential inspiration (and wouldn’t have trusted a cab to get me there, anyway). If you’re interested, the New York Times has this intriguing article into KL’s houses – tip: it’s more expensive than you might think to buy into.
KL is hot. Virtually always. Which is awesome. God damn, I love the heat. Sydney winter is cold. Please, stop being so cold. Please. It’s kind of Singapore’s scruffy sibling. It doesn’t like bathing quite so much, and it’s a bit rowdier. The national obsessions are clear – food and shopping. Architecture does, however, feature, especially in the city’s temples and mosques. In addition, it’s home to Petronas Towers. Not so much my kind of thing, but it deserves a mention.
Tabung Haji is my favourite ‘major’ building in the city – an Islamic Modernist structure that dominates the block it’s on and is plain interesting to look at.
Most of my shots were taken walking through one of the city’s ‘eat streets’ – Jalan Alor – and Chinatown (Petaling Street). What interested me more than the hawker stalls (my feeble stomach and love of hygiene do not translate into ‘avid street food fan’) were the apartment blocks looming on either side of them, and the layout of the restaurants tucked behind the carts.
So far this year, you’ve had posts on Singapore, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Malaysia. I hope to continue The House Hunter’s world domination soon.
Ahh, Bellevue Hill, one of Sydney’s stomping grounds for the elite. One of the things they do there is buy up sexy pieces of real estate, which is where 2b Tarrant Avenue comes into the frame. It’s currently on the market for offers around $5m. Much to my chagrin, I just discovered that Title Deeds got to this one first, but they don’t seem to go into a hell of a lot of detail, so let me add some colour for you (not that I was ever particularly good at sticking within the lines).
If you don’t know much about Bellevue Hill, the Fin helpfully wrote up a suburb profile and didn’t hide it behind a paywall – free win! To summarise: approximately 5km east of the CBD; rich, rich, rich; non-waterfront; serious architectural cred; bastion of moneyed up business players (Lachlan Murdoch). Houses can fetch over $20m. If you have $20m, please get in contact with me via the ‘contact’ tab so I can provide you with my phone number.
The living room – above – is my favourite part of the house, particularly as it has city views, opens out onto the pool area and has a swanky bar – check, check, check. Another place that fulfils my house party fantasies. It’s sheer Art Deco goodness (especially the checkered flooring).
Someone with exquisite taste in both liquor and design owns this house. They can join my social circle any time. Perfect crisp white block colour with a mirrored background opening up the space and well-chosen cultured New Yorker prints amongst the bottles of Veuve. I managed to photograph it without getting my reflection in the shot, too, so let’s not discount my role in all this, ha!
At first I thought it was older, but I’m taking a punt and placing this stately home in the mid-century age range, which suits the profile of the suburb as well as the Art Deco features of the house. The owners have placed an emphasis on internal design, and I’m envious of the ubiquity of the views; you can see Sydney Tower (isn’t it called Centre Point? When did they change the name?) and Deutsche Bank Place from the dressing room. The dressing room. I’d be happy to have a dressing room, let alone a dressing room with city vistas.
One of the children’s single bedrooms has an en suite – my childhood dream. It also has an excellent, honeycomb-like window frame that I fell hard for.
And so we come to the main bedroom, with the famed dressing room and an epically large en suite. The main is well put together and perfectly positioned for the views.
It’s a good-sized family home with an extensive ground floor. And it has trimmings – serious trimmings. The library is my favourite of these. It might be fairly compact, but it’s a library, and I’ll be damned if I don’t want one just like it when I grow up and
marry a director of a hedge fund.
I’ve run out of my amazingly witty and insightful comments, so I’ll leave you to gaze at the photos. You’ll probably find, like I did, that one of the best aspects of this home is the care that’s been taken to accessorise it and give it that ‘hidden gem’ feel; every room has something in it that pops and pulls you in.