A blog that explores Australian houses. If you love architecture, design, interiors and interesting buildings of all types, The House Hunter is for you.
Tag Archives: contemporary

152 Clyde Street, North Bondi

 

I actually really like certain contemporary houses. The reason I don’t feature them as often as I do character homes is that not enough people put effort into the design of new homes. It’s all function, no form. So I get really excited when I find a house like this one – a new place that’s totally perfect.

 

It’s in North Bondi, and is well-placed in-between the beach and Rose Bay, my old haunt. As an aside, North Bondi is the best part of Bondi. I guess I can’t technically say that’s a fact, as such…but it’s definitely true. Everything is just pretty nice there. It’s also, incidentally, pretty expensive.

 

This house manages to be beachy, industrial and very architecture-y all at once. The concrete floors, plentiful use of timber, painted brick and deck/pool area combine to give off a kind of ’60s modernist vibe, but in a current-day space.

 

There’s wine storage – always a massive plus – and the layout is good for families or sharers; there’s a fourth bedroom tucked away downstairs that has a nice little view over the front yard and is totally independent from the rest of the house, with its own bathroom and study area. This room would be my room, if I could buy this house. It is on the market, although certainly out of my price range (unless the vendor is willing to accept $26 and a pair of four year old Louboutins…to be fair the Louboutins are really awesome and it’d be sad to see them go, so that’s something). The kind of buyer who should be looking at it – all over it, more precisely – is one who wants contemporary features in a visually arresting place that is located in a part of the east that manages to capture everything at once; the family-oriented, quiet aspects of Rose Bay and the dining/beach vibe.

 

So, where should you go if you want a location like this one – close to the beach, rubbing shoulders with prestigious suburbs, restaurants/cafes/bars on offer, a certain amount of blue chip serenity, Cranbrook/Kambala/Ascham/Scots College all in nice proximity – but are not too keen on the $1.67m median price range? Well…I’m not sure. There’s only one area that compares that I can think of (Mosman – more prestigious than North Bondi, also close to the beach [albeit a very different type of beach], good dining choices but less bars, elite private schools, a nice atmosphere), and it’s even dearer (median of $2.1m). There’s also Manly (excellent choice of bars, gorgeous beaches, not the elite school capital), but its median has crept up to $1.64m, putting it in the not-exactly-affordable category, too. Which is understandable. All great areas. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, you’re going to have to compromise.

 

This is the best bathroom I've ever seen. I adore it.

 

If you can’t tear yourself away from the east and need to be near the beach, Malabar is probably a good bet. Cheaper, ‘quieter’ than Maroubra, geographically impressive. Only issues are the STP and the lack of dining options – you’ll have to trek up to Coogee. But hey, the property market is often about compromise. If you’re not as interested in being right near the beach, Alexandria isn’t a bad choice; it’s been coming up in the cafe/bakery scene for a while, and when I lived there the trip to the eastern beaches was never difficult. If proximity to the city isn’t an issue, my choice would be the northern beaches; suburbs like Newport and Mona Vale are more affordable, have good beaches and are developing decent dining scenes. Your main issue there is the commute.

 

But if you can afford the proper east, this house should tick most of your boxes. I know it ticks mine. It has city skyline views, which helps it push just that little bit further across the ‘awesome’ line.

 

 

I have a lot of love for industrial-style kitchens.

 

The House Hunter outfit of the day.

P1/39-53 Campbell Parade, North Bondi

 

An apartment! You’re not missing out, though; this three bedroom, three bathroom penthouse has the proportions of a house (and a private elevator, to boot). It’s located in one of Australia’s most celebrated spots – North Bondi, just up the road from Bondi Beach, which is squarely in view.

 

The apartment is brand new, and it’s clearly intended for the higher end of town; it combines excellent design with luxury fittings. The kind of fittings that make you think ‘Hm, if I were rich, I’d totally buy this!’ Although my true love will always be heritage properties (and rectangular modernist masterpieces – love those places!), I want this. Let me tell you why.

 

 

Study in the master.

 

The master bedroom was the first element that sprung out at me; it’s very large, incorporating its own study, has a fantastic view of the beach, and boasts in-built, white storage units that serve to create a type of walk-through robe that is incorporated into the room itself. Like the rest of the apartment, it’s extremely light – and good natural light is one of the features I find most important in apartments.

 

View from the master bedroom.

 

The two other bedrooms are both of good sizes, with one of them possessing a balcony with louvres, which is fitting given the penthouse design prizes outdoor spaces. The thick floorboards act as a fantastic base – classic, ageless, and complementary of any decor. The bathrooms are lined with contemporary grey tiles (big tick from me there as grey is one of my favourite colours for interiors), and the en suite boasts a space age bath.

 

 

The stairwell provides some design interest in itself, with a circular break in the wall serving to ensure that the stairs are well-lit. The kitchen is, predictably, very slick and modern, but the surprise is its size and the bonus add-ons it has, such as the circular section at its end with wine fridges. Um, yes please.

 

 

 

The second level shows off the benefits of open plan design; the kitchen flows onto the living and dining areas, ensuring that the entertaining space has a front-row seat to the beach view. This is also true of the rooftop terrace. Basically, I’d like to have a party here.

 

Open plan.

 

I needed to include this shot, as it has the elevator.

 

This penthouse is perfect for North Bondi – it has the views, the good looks, the walkability. The area is an interesting combination of Art Deco apartment blocks, federation semis and new, looming apartment blocks. Plus … there is stuff to do there. This carves out a new space as it’s a small block that doesn’t come with the potential headaches of larger developments; it’s private, well-located, and a bit special.

 

301/133 Goulburn Street, Surry Hills

 

Warehouse conversions tick all the best boxes – they provide the historical, industrial edge Sydney urbanites crave, while also giving them the contemporary comforts they’re accustomed to. This inner-city, double storey apartment is a case in point – its edgy, bespoke fittings are attractively contrasted with high ceilings and the soaring original windows, which are now double glazed. The fact it straddles the border between the CBD and Surry Hills isn’t bad, either – walking distance to both work and post-work booze.

 

 

While it’ll most likely be snapped up by a young professional couple, the apartment could potentially suit a family with small children due to the three relatively spacious bedrooms, double story space and security parking. The apartment’s fittings are evidence of the owners’ fastidious interior design standards, with the inbuilt bookshelves and accompanying ladder in the first level bedroom being a particularly impressive touch. The concrete floors and exposed brick wall carry through the warehouse feel of the apartment, and keep it grounded in its history despite its contemporary flair.