Middle Cove – So Awesome


Presenting 15 The Quarterdeck, Middle Cove (near Castlecrag)

For Sale with a guide price of $3.5M via Richardson & Wrench.


The house is above the normal budget of SFH, being under $2.5M, but this listing deserves a mention,  along with a bit of history.

Nearby Castlecrag, the suburb designed by Walter Burley Griffin & Marion Mahony, is chock full of architectural homes dating back to the beginning of the suburb in 1925 (a suburb started by designers and architects?  that sounds like a utopia)

Walter & Marion’s colleague and eventual trustee of his practice notes was Eric Nicholls, who house is at No. 12 The Parapet, Castlecrag.  His son, Glynn, also an architect,  designed and built this house as his family home.   I noted the Rudolf Steiner school is nearby, which Glynn Nicholls, inspired by his father, Walter and Marion, founded in 1957.

Enough of the history, time to perve around.


Love the lawn, although the cricket balls and soccer balls would get lost in that dense bush.   Access to the water is through thick scrub.


Ideal North/ North East aspect


Pool fence freaks, like me, will squint and note there is a glass fence.


Excellent drone work here.     Tip – Google ‘9-11 The Quarterdeck’, the house with the hexagonal pool.

House has had two owners.  The current owners updated the house in 2000 using sympathetic designers.

Agent says he anticipates many black t-shirt middle aged males at the openings.   Reminds me of seeing Devo at the Ent Cent (RIP).  Black tees and Cone hats go well together.

Mosman – It’s hard to be Modern

Everyone wants you if you are Federation

5 St Elmo Street, Mosman


Pretty, isn’t it.   Strange paintings on the dining rooms wall but one can get a decorator or is that an ‘interior stylist’ now?


It must be hard being Mid-Century in Mosman.  Just not fitting in like everyone else.

There are two mid-century modern homes in Mosman listed for sale.  Both have sales blurbs stressing the value of ‘upgrading’, ‘potential to develop’ and ‘renovate and capitalise’.

1A Methuan Mosman – Domain range over $2M *


The house is nothing inside.  After 50 years of living in the same house I would be exhausted too.   Yes, it is a blank canvas but don’t assume I don’t like the house to start with.  There are so much assumptions in sales pitches with agents that all these old houses are there just to be rebuilt from scratch.


17a Awaba St Mosman – Domain range $2.25 to $2.5M


Photography of this house is from the ‘can’t be stuffed’ agency.   Either they don’t want to sell (forced to sell or someone’s miffed at the settlement of the will) for some reason no-one is following orders in the ‘how-to-sell’ brochure.

The blurb is trying so hard to make you forget about the actual house.  Because ‘it’s not worthy of  the location’.

Already taking in water glimpses, this quaint bungalow, positioned on level land, presents an opportunity for building up or redevelopment to further the views and create a home which is worthy of the location.


They could have mentioned the stupendous extractor  – or


The room of nothing except furniture backed up against the wall – or


The well-maintained brown tile patio.  The grout has been cleaned very well with a gurney.


These modern houses are just uncomfortable in Mosman, like a pair of acid wash denim or trinkets from Bali, they are just ‘not-very-Mosman’.    Here at Sydney Family Homes we know that Mid-Century Modern is a trend about to become hip again, maybe even in Mosman, so get in there and show Mosman what she is missing out on.

* Domain range = Although no dollar price is indicated a price range can be found by using the ‘Price’ in the filtering system.  Agents have to enter a guide price range when listing a property.

All images courtesy of Domain.  All opinions and conclusions are my own.  Any experiences or extra information on any of these houses would be welcomed. 

Hunters Hill – Ceiling Love


66 Barons Crescent, Hunters Hill.  For Sale via Mc Grath guide $2,000,000

Can’t stop staring at the Ceilings.

I’m a complete convert to this mid-century modern house thing.   With small kids running through the house and bumping into doors and furniture a MCM house has less chance of them crashing into a wall or door because there are less walls.

Over to this house in Hunters Hill.  There are two sides to HH, the peninsular bit and the other side.   This the cheaper side but you still get the Hunters Hill postcode.   The Hill is known for grand sandstone mansions and waterside homes, a MCM house, like this is probably ignored, and that’s a good thing for a wise buyer like you.  Agent says a local family had it built in the 70s.

The house has been rented and has been staged for selling which is another advantage for two reasons.   If you need to re-paint, update or renovate anything before moving in you won’t have issues with access to the property because of current owners or tenants.   Secondly, most of this house has been left blank.  Apart from the ceilings, the character and style of the original house has been stripped out.  Get in a good designer, one sympathetic to this style and give some style back.


What’s missing here is greenery.  The view outside to the pool finishes with an ugly fence. Get in a gardener and start discussing greening it up.


Kitchen in a box.  Keep the stove.


Flagstones.  Sorry temporarily distracted.  The view back into these two living areas is perfect for summer family life.  I can see what those kids are up to just by sitting here al fresco with my prosecco.



The shade cloth is probably a great idea but plan on updating to a permanent structure or a retractable system.

More greenery needed.


Hello pool fence.  North facing backyard so lots of sun on the pool.  Would suggest a shaded area or a Basil Bangs beach umbrella ?


I don’t need a street frontage to impress other people.  Fence it and live behind it.  More room for living.

Floor plan shows bedrooms placed on either side of the house.  Keep the child with worst nightmares or bedwetting problem close to the main room and guest or others on the other side.


66 Barons

Location map.  House is on edge of Lane Cove River and the river version of the Bondi to Bronte walk.   Schools nearby include Hunters Hills High so you can choose a state school if you are inclined.


All images courtesy of Domain.  All opinions and conclusions are my own.  Any experiences or extra information on any of these houses would be welcomed. 

Artarmon – Totes Clever


9 Onyx Road, Artarmon – Auction via LJ Hooker.

I’m a bit over (neighbouring) Willoughby.  Got caught in Saturday traffic jam and wondered how everyone survives due to the stress of Saturday sport drop-offs.   Artarmon has better access to freeways/ tollroads and has a train station (can you tell I love trains?)

This north facing transformation home will not be long on the market.  Last few houses I’ve watched in Artarmon have gone both quickly and over the reserve (although I am sceptical of reserves anyway).


Fold those doors back and enjoy the sunshine.


Clever this.  The Kitchen has a slight wall over the benches. You can hide all the dishes and  keep the wall side clean.


The open plan area is on two levels giving it a better sense of separate areas.


All four of the front rooms are bedrooms, meaning originally they were the reception rooms and would be a good size.


Four taps?


Unsuspecting frontage.  Garage to the left.


Looks like a park but easy to maintain.

Family Factor:   I would make an offer before auction.  There is nothing to do, from these images, and you can’t go wrong with the area.  Artarmon and the North Shore, in general, is the ideal good schools and good for families part of Sydney.

Looking at past sales, many are listed as ‘price withheld’  a similar property on the street went for $2.58M.   My guess is $2.7M as this is 4 beds, not 3 and on the ‘right’ side of the street.


All images courtesy of Domain.  All opinions and conclusions are my own.  Any experiences or extra information on any of these houses would be welcomed. 

West Pymble – People not included


35 Todman Avenue, West Pymble

What do you think of this trend to have people and dogs in real estate photos?   In a lifestyle magazine or website, it is expected, the story is about the people who designed or live there.  Moving this idea over to real estate is confusing.  I’m trying to imagine me living there and these stooges are interrupting.

Anyhoo, onto the house..  Just so exciting to see a 1960 Pettit and Sevitt home.   Or is it?

Presenting iconic “Pettit and Sevitt” style architecture

The blurb is confusing.  Is it ‘in the style of’ or is it an original?   Its like saying an Eames chair or an Eames style chair from Matt Blatt.


Just absorb all these details, the staircase, the fire place, the levels.



There is no close up of the kitchen which is at the far end.


Put another log on the fire.




Not quite a bedroom.  Could be a family room or playroom.


North facing pool perfection.  Frustration will set in with all the leaves falling in but put that on the kids list of jobs to do.



There was no front image in the set so I found this image from last year.


Thoughts ?


Forestville – The Lair


70 Milham Cresent Forestville.    It’s not really a house, it’s a lair, a trap, only couples with sculptured bodies,  instagrams feeds of smoothies and on-dial wellness coaches live or can live here.   They don’t drive either, they helicopter in from the trees in this landing pad of a kitchen.  The floor is fully magnetic to aid in their circadian rhythms

You won’t need any pets as all the wildlife are tamed and require only the sonorous sounds of gentle stick music.


Introducing any colours will cause an imbalance in your aura.



This innocent bedroom hovers over the kitchen area.  I can’t see any evidence of an exit pole to the ground but consider installing one.  If the toast, sorry, paleo bread, starts to burn, you can slide down the pole to the kitchen to save it.


Bang a gong.   Time to move on.


The shower head is designed to flush out your toxins.



For Sale at $2.6 – $2.85M via One Agency The Forest.    Can anyone explain the price range?      that’s a whole $250,000 difference.


Cheltenham – Mod Oz Glory

19 Norma Cres pool

19 Norma Crescent, Cheltenham.    This house is giving me such angst.  It’s so cool, so perfectly of the moment modern.  If it was a couple he would wear Fletcher Jones and she would wear Prue Acton and the kids would all wear corduroy.

For a perfect commentary on the architectural importance I recommend reading this entry on Modern House.  Also worth comparing the furniture and photography of the previous listing.   More Marimekko, Missoni and Bitossi involved.

No, the real angst is nothing to do with the house, nothing to do with the un-fenced pool (yet again) but could one live in Cheltenham?

19 Norma dining

19 Norma fireplace

19 Norma kitchen


19 Norma Cres tv room

19 Norma den

19 Norma bdroom

19 Norma bathroom

19 Norma patio

19 Norma Cres pool side

19 Norma plans




Roseville – Gingerbread Hamptons (Sold)


40 Trafalgar Avenue, Roseville.  No doubt this Arts & Craft gingerbread cottage has been remodelled extremely well in that fashionable Hamptons way.  It reeks of expensive candle scents,  a good use of the Dyson upright with hardly a stray cavoodle hair in sight.

It has almost 5 bedrooms, well, rich people are breeding a lot these days,  sign of being wealthy is more children than average.  One bedroom downstairs and the remaining 4 upstairs. Either the snorer stays downstairs or its used for the invalid in the family.  There is always someone sick who can’t get upstairs.  It would be thoughtful of this homeowner to always mention that.  “We can take care of Great Aunt Lizzy,  we have that bedroom downstairs you know.. so ideal for taking care of the old treasure.”

Dining rooms are a bit passe these days.  More relaxing rooms, media rooms and reading areas are better than cold, old dining suites.   I like the small afternoon tea area with giant orchid.

The kitchen is dated.  Needs that pale oaky floorboard look with bespoke exotic handles and giant octopus looking taps.   French-style which is Hamptonsy-looking as well.  Style is so interchangeable.

Auction on 27th August.  giddy-up.













Cammeray – 80s Geo Shapes


Huey Lewis and the News is blaring out of the B&O music system, the cell phone rings and it’s my stock broker telling me Quintex is tanking, I take a swig of Corona beer and think of my next holiday in Port Douglas, I’ll be flying Ansett this time and using their Golden Wing Club lounge. Left my diners club card there last time after buying some art works.’

You can feel the lure of new technology and the influence of Memphis style in this 80’s 3 bed home, offered for the first time since its last sale in 1991 (for $345,000).   4 Carter St, Cammeray.  It appears to have been rented out for much of the time and this update along with all white styled furniture allows the great backdrop of carved Sydney rock to look like a tropical hothouse.  Its lush and cool and totally modern.

But let’s take off our 80’s love affair glasses and really look at this property.


Open plan, lofts, mezzanines and the bedrooms are all downstairs .  Those windows to the left are facing north.


I like the separate kitchen.  It takes cooking noises and smells away from the relaxing areas.



As mentioned all three bedrooms are downstairs.  Stylist Megan Morton suggests rooms with a minimum width of 4 metres can take a King Sized bed.  This appears to be the main room and measures 3.3 x 5.1.  Tick for King Size.

How do you access those upper cupboards?


Top Floor/ Mezzanine/ Media room.  Has a ship feel crossed with a tree house.


I love a good photoshopped sky


Bit of part-time rock climbing ?

Great use of every inch of space as this house is tucked down a driveway and built into a rock enclosure.


In amongst all those federation homes, this is just beautifully simple.  A real pleasure to see this unusual modern house.   The grey colour is a perfect choice.

Now looking carefully, the car port to the right belongs to the front house (No 4a  Carter st).  The driveway is shared right up to this front door. (see the plans for 4A below).  This could be a problem but the clever design of the house means all the living is concealed from the driveway.


4A Carter Street, which is the house in front, sold in September 2104 for $1.615.  Here are the plans.  Note the cars at the back, this is the carport you can see in the above photo
4A carter
Google points out all the right places.  ‘About Life’  is nearby.  I wonder if they stock fresh turmeric?
Cammeray sat J
For Sale via Auction on Thursday August 25th. Estimate?  $1.4-5M
 *  All opinions and conclusions are my own.  All corrections and experiences of this house are welcome. Please comment below.

KILLARA – Culture Luvvies (SOLD)

Presenting 1 Truscott Place, Killara NSW 2070 –  5 Beds, 1 spiral staircase and lots of tropical foliage.


Owned by one family I suspect they are ageing pre-boomers with culture running through their veins.   They embraced the open plan living before everyone and definitely travelled through Asia before Lonely Planet was even written.  You’ve got to admire a home with  travels souvenirs from countries now renamed and old posters from the Nimrod.

I would buy this house just to inhabit their lifestyle.

However, would have to put in a pool fence immediately.  Can’t tell you how many pools I visit with no fences.    However it would be awesome to install a slide from the top balcony into the pool.


Can you imagine the conversations around this fireplace?  I wonder if they had an election party in 1972?



Most florid quote from the blurb

With National Park as a neighbour you can ensure that the peace and tranquility along with the sweet songs of the local inhabitants will create an intimate connection with the outdoors and will enrich your lives for years to come.

The rosella’s will wake you in the morning, the bats eat your fruit at night and the possum’s will shake and rattle your roof.   The North Shore is great for that ‘intimate connection’ between nature and your home.


Fall straight from room to pool.  Where do they come up with those TV screen shots?

Note the Nimrod poster (I’d ask for this as a gift with purchase)


Stove-a-rama.  You can’t have enough hot plates.  The eat-in bench would have a pleasant morning view.

Bedrooms not well featured.  There is a tendency in this era to have small rooms with lots of built-ins.

As much as this is a perfect mid-century house with all the right tick button it is unfortunately in ‘the zone’ for Killara High School,  former school to underwear scion, Elle MacPherson, but now a hot spot for nerdy kids.  You will be battling zoners for this piece of modern lifestyle.


Truscott sat copy

Google Satellite image.  Lots of national park on doorway..  I would look at the car access as I’m not sure where the car entrance it located.

Truscott Drive

Google to work.  Work is set as Martin Place.  The train would take 50 mins.  Car leaving at 7:30am would take 26 – 30 mins.

Killara is 16 kilometres from the CBD

On the recent liveability index published by Domain.  All all about the trees.

84. Killara

The onetime home of famed architect Harry Seidler is the second most liveable suburb on the upper north shore. Killara is very well rated for its telecommunications coverage, culture, tree cover, train access, low crime rate and topographic variation. It receives average scores for just about everything else except buses with the stops quite spaced out.

So if you really love it, you’ve got to fight with the zoners.