A week of Pools

Here at Sydney Family Homes we take in the necessity of the backyard pool.  Essential for tiring out primary school kids by playing ‘Marco Polo’ or ‘Shark’ for hours or paying them to scoop out the leaves only for them to abandon the pool as ‘uncool’ in later high school.

We are outraged at the number of pools without fencing and glad there is finally a system in place to at least acknowledge that a pool should have a fence.

As summer approaches we look longingly at other people’s pools and question if the style of a pool attracts or distracts from the purchase of a house… let’s explore.

cronulla pool out

1 Orient Place, Cronulla.  Is is blue or green? Maybe the officials from Rio were tampering with the colour either way a tropical kidney shape with cascading rock waterfall and palm trees make this already sweet house even better.

pool cronulla

geo pool roseville

25 Amarma Parade, Roseville.   I don’t understand this pool.  Is it ironic?  Is it a certain shape from a drone?    Its the awkward relative that lives with you if you bought this otherwise stunning 1930’s Art Deco house.


Two pools have floored me this week.

This one in in Dover Heights.    Totes resort on the mountain top.  I could chant Om’s that would richochet off the heads.

Pool Dover heights

But The Pool of the Week goes to

Bayview.  Also on a hillside but with dolphins.  They are great for hanging towels off.

Bayview Pool

The house and the pool are  “one”




Five Modern homes to Save

Mid-Century modern homes are often over-looked for being funny looking, old fashioned and maybe a bit small. We think this is a trend about to explode. With the ABC’s Streets of Your Town doco to be shown in October (hosted by Tim Rosso) we are about to understand the value of these well designed homes.

Here are five family homes in Sydney worth considering

Number one  118 Dartford Road, Thornleigh

Built by an Australian landscape architect (no name provided). Thornleigh is the location suburb of the film, Don’s Party.  A Northern suburb of rocks, bush and sloping land; modern split-level houses slide into the landscape well.  Cruel, or maybe surreal, this house last sold in 1991 for $105,000.


Number Two:  37 Drysdale Place, Kareela.

Opposite side of Sydney, The Shire, but similar topography.  Kareela is another suburb crowded with untouched mid-century homes.   I love when you see cream berber wool carpet, suites of parker furniture and copper relief paintings in situ

Last sold in 1978 for $69,000.


Number Three: 29 Loquat Valley Road, Bayview

Provenance : Michael Dysart 1970

Tiki Time.  Up to the Northern Beaches,  Bayview blocks are long and sloping. A north aspect like this with views down to Pittwater is what makes these houses warm and liveable.  Not sure about the TV in the main bedroom.

Missing from the original set of photos are outside shots but an easy Google search found and old listing.  Quirky box-like house.  Needs the right landscaping and outside paint.

Price estimate is $1.4 – 1.5 M.  Similar property in Bayview went for $1.6M

Number Four:   11 Hampshire Avenue, West Pymble

Tiny but cute 3 bedroom in West Pymble.  Good land size, right orientation.  Agent all but says knock-down and re-build.

As Steven Coverdale from the facebook group ‘Mid-Century Domestic Architecture Australia says about this house

T70 is a compact three bedroom design, or as most people will note, a direct copy of Architect Nino Sydney’s ‘Beachcomber’ project home for Lend Lease Homes. The ‘budget’ aspect is obvious when you compare the two designs. But fair enough. It’s still a terrific modernist design.

The poor thing isn’t long for the world.

Original Plans for this model house from Department of Housing.

T70 Dept Housing.jpg
via Steven Coverdale/ Mid-Century Domestic Architecture

Number Five:  35 Barton Crescent, North Wahroonga

A masterbuilt 1975 mansion (in 1975 terms) Five bedrooms, four bathrooms, spiral staircase, billiard room with tree and pool.   Recently sold in Jan 2015 for $1.4M.  Could do with an interior designer specialising in mid-century as current furniture is a complete distraction.

From a buyers point-of-view a house that is badly furnished can help lower the price.  Buyers are completely visual and those of us that see the potential can take advantage.



Room of the Week belongs to this 1975 North Wahroonga House

A house with a dance floor under cathedral arches of pale brick gets the Room of The Week Award. If the Von Trapp family have their staircase this family could practice Godspell with interpretive dance routines or Mum could host Tango-at-home lessons



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.