Some houses come about due to a single-minded visionary, or only have one story to tell, this weatherboard in a suburb of Sydney is not that kind of house. It is best to think of this project as the result of a number of unusual meetings. First the house is located in Cronulla, the vibrant beach suburb where the city meets Sydney’s ring of national parks. Second it was the result of a genuine collaboration between the design team at Amber Road and owner, Michelle Kalpou. Yasmine Ghoniem (interiors) came to meet the owner by an unusual route. Michelle Kalpou had seen a picture of Yasmine in a magazine profile of young designers and called to ask where she bought her trousers, and if Yasmine would design her house. It was the beginning of a conversation that would result in a sophisticated take on the Australian bungalow, perfectly adapted to the owner’s life. ‘We wanted it to be relaxed and calming, with colour in the furnishings. And simple – we don’t like pretentiousness,’ said the owner. The working relationship with Amber Road was marked by this kind of clarity as well as a great confidence between designer and owner. The house had been built a few years before Amber Road became involved in the project but the interior’s potential had not been fully realised due to low ceilings and an unrelentingly white colour scheme. The house sits on the waterfront and so the challenge was to take advantage of the setting while still maintaining an unpretentious vibe. That is unusual in Sydney, a town famous for its monumental and dull waterfront homes, but Amber Road was able to come up with something refreshingly liveable for the owner. The pool, set above the water level mediates between the house and its environs, while providing a relaxed area for the family of Michelle, her husband and two teenage daughters.
A house with a view
Images: Prue Ruscoe via Taverne Agency