Harbour House

Harbour House

This house in Sydney’s Rose Bay is an example of the client, architect and interior designer understanding the value in breathing new life into existing architecture rather than building from the ground up.

Working alongside Robert Weir, from architecture practice Weir Philips, they respected the lineage of the distinctive Mediterranean-style house and agreed to respond to the embedded design language by stretching, and manipulating the existing house while creating a liveable home for a family of five. Painted white with classic grey-blue shutters, and a bolt of pink at the front door, the exterior treatment is defined by the repetition of the arch motif. ‘The arch was a strong architectural feature and we have emphasised it, opening up those that had been closed and, where appropriate, creating new ones. It is a device which also links inside and out’, says Briony. What is most interesting about the interior is the balance of bold gestures with ones of immense subtlety and quiet beauty. The walls are waxed plaster to give a velvety sheen and become animated by light and shadow, while the ceiling in the living room is painted the palest blue in the highest gloss, the walls in the study are a textural sea grass wallpaper in dark smoked salmon and the floors are a custom stain of walnut and black. ‘I always start with the floor, like a good pair of shoes and work up from there’, she notes.

Next project

Spring Restaurant

Spring is an extraordinary restaurant fit-out in London’s Somerset House, which has re-calibrated the city’s dining experience. “London restaurants have a tendency towards the masculine and right from the outset this was to be light, feminine and uplifting’, says Briony. Alongside the client, her sister chef Syke Gyngell, she undertook