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: penthouse

Penthouse, “Princeton”, 282 New South Head Road, Double Bay

Of all of the homes I've visited, this is possibly my favourite room.

Name any stimulant. Chances are, its strength is, at best, on par with my level of hyperactivity this evening. So I thought I should channel all that random energy into a blog post. Plus, I was excited about posting this penthouse up; it’s a masterpiece, for one, and a significant piece of real estate, for another. The Canberra Times unfortunately beat me to it, but that’s because this is a landmark with inimitable style. It was owned by the late Leslie Walford (some details here), one of the nation’s foremost interior designers (I highly recommend reading that Vogue Living blog post, particularly as it features excellent examples of Walford’s work). This is a proper penthouse (with almost 500 sqm total space) atop a large, exquisitely maintained Art Deco complex.


The apartment has both design cachet and location going for it. Double Bay is one of the gems in Sydney’s eastern crown, so to speak. My dad’s one of the people who’s fond of calling the suburb ‘Double Pay’ (according to Wikipedia, this nickname is now rarely used, but that doesn’t reflect my experience!). So, it’s at the top of the wealthy set’s hit list. It’s a harbourside suburb that’s always been blue ribbon. Some of its grand Gothic Revival houses have been converted into apartment complexes – you can decide whether that’s a positive or negative (arguments could go either way).


This apartment has the feel of a house due to its size – it occupies the entire top floor of the building (as a proper penthouse should) and boasts 219 sqm internal space and 279 sqm worth of terraces. You’re drawn out onto the terrace as soon as you walk into the apartment (particularly on the kind of day I visited, which was sunny/amazing); it’s the best vantage point for the harbour views, which are another highlight. The external space is very impressive as it’s so large. Separate terraces wrap around the apartment, providing distinct entertaining areas and multiple views.


The terraces are reached through French doors from the apartment’s primary living area. This zone of the penthouse (incredibly light due to the French doors) has a foyer, living area to the right and incredible formal dining room (seen above) to the left. The dining room has a ceiling mosaic and coordinated silk walls and curtains (I don’t mean to gush, but they’re seriously gorgeous). The living area has an impressive fireplace, high ceilings and timber floorboards.


Apart from its sheer size, another factor in making this apartment feel house-like is its layout. It has two hallways, two living rooms, three bedrooms plus a study/fourth bedroom and three bathrooms. There are also two car spaces and additional storage. The second living area leads out onto a separate terrace, which means there are multiple areas of the home that can be used to relax in. This is pretty central to family living, and it’s what makes this place particularly amenable to a family set-up.


The rooms are decorated in the Walford style, and I sincerely hope that this doesn’t change. The study/fourth bedroom, in particular, is a masterstroke (from my perspective); coordinated pink wallpaper on the walls and ceilings, in addition to the curtains, bookshelf and bedspread. It might seem over-the-top, but that’s exactly why it works, in my mind.



One of the other bedrooms – currently organised as a study – is designed in similar fashion, with more serious blues replacing the pretty pinks of the fourth bedroom.


The blue room.


The bathrooms are all fairly modern, and the galley kitchen is serviceable with a nice outlook. The only unfortunate point I can pick up on doesn’t relate to the apartment itself, but the fact that I’m sure some prospective buyers (the apartment is on the market with co-agents at what I consider to be a reasonable price) would be looking at renovations. I personally would leave it exactly as is. It’s the charm combined with its views that make it such a stunner.


Fireplace in the formal living room.



Wardrobes in the master bedroom.



The pink room.



Hallways give the apartment discrete spaces.


Second living area.



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.