A beloved weekend getaway at est HQ, Palm Beach in Sydney has its fair share of enviable houses – but today we share one of our favourite ones yet. Designed by Alexander & Co, the design transforms an existing waterfront holiday villa with a restrained European atmosphere, drawing on bespoke details and rich materiality to create a true home away from home.

DESIGN Alexander & Co | PHOTOGRAPHY Felix Forest

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With the existing home in need of a spatial overhaul, the brief called for a layout that would reflect the new inhabitants, a young family, through improved circulation, views and indoor/outdoor spaces. Director of Alexander & Co Jeremy Bull developed a “robust and rigorous process”, dealing down to the detail with the clients in order to determine the best design outcomes.

“For each project we do a full stage of initial works which involves establishing what the ‘brand’ is, we share references and imagery and we have many in depth conversations with our clients about their needs, values, interests, motivations and what excites them. This really allows us to get very detailed with what our client’s ambitions are aesthetically” says Jeremy.

Reflecting these client values, a key design emphasis was to better integrate the natural landscape and ocean views to the home. The subdued exterior and refined landscaped gardens now fully embrace the coastal beauty of the location, without distracting from the incredible views and surrounding beaches. The new design reoriented the home to bring the open plan living space and garden as the communal hubs of the home – perfect for a holiday house that often welcomes extended family and guests. Balconies and courtyards help create smaller pockets of privacy for curling up with a book or simply enjoying the views in quieter moments – but everywhere you look, the landscape is a core feature.

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Another client focus was the importance of handmade and bespoke elements. The artisanal fittings, finishes, lighting and claddings hark back to the home’s European sensibilities, but also add character and enduring legacy to each space. Highlighted by a pared-back interior palette and simple furnishings, these unique features ground the home with a sense of place and history without becoming overstuffed or trend-orientated.

With its graceful style, lush garden spaces and thoughtful handmade details this is a holiday home that brings the needs of the client and an appreciation for beauty together effortlessly. Says Jeremy, “We were mindful that this was a young family with a contemporary aesthetic and it was about bringing these two schools of thoughts together”. We say that’s a resounding 2/2. 

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Designer Jeremy Bull says “The home has  a gentle spirit – I love the handmade quality of all its parts. The solid timber joinery and exposed ceilings, the beautiful brass lighting and the upholstered wardrobes in the bedroom. The landscaping was done by Myles Baldwin Design who managed to frame the view exquisitely.”

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