‘It’s so quiet. The house opens up on both sides and you cannot hear any traffic’
Best design tip: Take the opportunity to build in as much storage as you can. We have a wall-length bank of cupboards in the garage, linen cupboards disguised behind white panels in the entrance gallery, a separate galley in the kitchen and, of course, plenty of custom-made built-in shelving and alcoves for our collections. Also, get the landscaping company involved right from the beginning. (Barry) And best build tip: Particularly in the last month, spend a lot of time on site. Make yourself a nuisance so you get on top of small details that could or would aggravate you later if done wrong. (Barry)
What we would have done differently: We wish we had installed a button at the driveway gate to open it, instead of just one upstairs in the house and relying on the remote control. That way, when we’re out in the garden, we could just walk up to the gate to open it instead of having to dash back inside the house. (Deborah) Favourite thing about this area: Where we are, it’s so quiet. The house opens up on both sides and you cannot hear any traffic – yet I can walk to Cox’s Bay Reserve or Farro for shopping or up to Allpress to buy coffee beans. (Barry) Barry Bloomfield and Deborah Carlyon
Low-maintenance gardens designed by Nichola Vague of Zones mean weekends are about enjoying the spaces. With glazing on both sides of the living zone, it feels like you’re in the trees.
The kitchen is at one end of the 32m-long home, which leads out into a sheltered morning deck; at the other end is possibly the couple’s favourite room, the library. It’s a cosy space with a comfy, re-covered Conran couch, more books, more CDs and Barry’s collection of vinyl records, some of which he designed the album covers for, including Bob Marley, Ultravox and Cat Stevens.
Many keepsakes and memories like these inhabit this brandnew home, giving it presence, and the pair are eager to buy more art for the gallery-style entrance hall but have decided to take things slowly.
They make a good team. “I appreciate what Barry knows about design but I’m the organiser and like a process,” says Deborah. Both are directors in their own businesses, and have given themselves Fridays off to work from home – or just to enjoy it.
THIS PAGE Below the Ted Dutch artwork is a Red and Blue chair by Gerrit Rietveld; when Barry was at Conran in London, a colleague bought one despite owning no other furniture: “Barry was very impressed that someone could be that passionate. It’s something we always wanted because it’s quite sculptural, and we found it at Matisse two years ago,” says Deborah; to the left is Barry’s office.
OPPOSITE (from top) The orange floor lamp in the library is a replica Greta Grossman Grasshopper; Barry gave Deborah the chair as a gift for “an important birthday some years ago”, she says; the print is Conqueror by Paul Klee. The chair outside Barry’s office is a new purchase from BoConcept; the robot is Eddie by Grant Sutherland, a gift from Barry’s daughters.
THIS PAGE (from top) The house’s stairwell is on the left; the path leads to Deborah’s office – above it is the deck off the dining room. On top of the garage is the living room deck – the rooftop decks were added to provide indoor-outdoor flow upstairs; the house also has a white Colorsteel roof, to reflect heat: “It looks like a white shipping container suspended on those beams,” says Deborah.