Bolt From The Blue
A crack in the swimming pool was the impetus for this water-loving Sydney family to renovate their bayside home.
An intensive renovation made the most of this home’s bayside position in Sydney.
Moving was never an option for Charissa and Shane Gannon, but a nasty crack in their kidney-shaped pool was the sign that finally convinced them to rethink their house. They’d bought in 2010 and by 2017 it no longer suited their family of four. The block of more than 1200m ² , situated between parkland and a boat-dotted bay in Sydney’s south, called for a redesign to take full advantage of its potential.
“Shane was fixated with opening up the rear of the house,” says Charissa. “I also wanted to restyle the interiors, as all our furniture was from our old house and showing plenty of wear and tear. I thought the casual elegance of the Hamptons style, with a contemporary feel, would be the perfect complement to our property and its view.”
Building designer Anthony Maiolo of Luxitecture rose to the challenge with a transformation that completely reconfigured the ground floor. “The changes were not only about obtaining views, but creating a seamless line between indoors and out,” he says. Most of the internal walls on the ground floor were removed and structural beams installed to create spaces oriented towards the water, bringing in more light and life.
At the entrance, a new gable roof, classic-looking weatherboards and stone cladding give the impression of a grand estate. Inside, two guestrooms, a bathroom and media room line up along one side of the foyer, with a cellar, gym, laundry and study nook on the other. Past the stairs, the kitchen and two distinct living/ dining areas flow in an L shape around an alfresco entertaining zone. The first floor accommodates four more bedrooms, including the main; three open onto a new rear balcony that shades the alfresco area underneath. Outside, there’s an outdoor kitchen and barbecue, and the old swimming pool has been reshaped and tiled to align with the house.
‘The light, airy kitchen with waterfront aspect is great to cook and entertain in.’ Charissa, owner
Critical to the indoor-outdoor nexus is a Swiss-designed system of sliding doors – seven panels of approximately 200kg each – with tracks and frames hidden within the home’s architecture. “When the doors are tucked away, you really lose the sense of where the house starts and finishes,” says Anthony.
Interior designer Fiona Shakespeare took the Hamptons theme and gave it a personal spin for the Gannons. “The style needed to be formal but also approachable, comfortable and functional for entertaining,” she says. Fiona also consulted on the colour scheme, making every element from the roof to the letterbox part of a well-considered whole. “The family loves water sports and spending time in the sun, so we chose sandy grey [greige], navy blue and off whites, with touches of green and leather.”
Beautiful, practical solutions abound, from custom furniture to solar roof tiles. In fact, the whole house is akin to a complex puzzle that has been meticulously resolved. By the time the final pieces came together, just in time for a housewarming party in March this year, the owners and their children – Eliza-Grace, 17, and Flynn, 15 – were head over heels in love with their new house.
“We’re now happy to holiday at home instead of staying in hotels,” says Charissa.” We had an expectation that we would downsize once our youngest had finished school, but now we can’t see ourselves moving ’til we’re old and grey!” Luxitecture, Pyrmont, NSW; 0404 804 302 or luxitecture.com.au. Shakespeare Design, Balmain, NSW;
(02) 8060 5788 or shakespeare-design.com.au.