This is our fourth project with the owners spanning over some 24 years, where we have been a part of their life’s journey from a young newly engaged couple, to the proud parents of two teenagers. They engaged us to redevelop a beautiful art deco home perched high on a hill, with commanding harbour views. We were commissioned to remodel the existing red brick double story home, with work to be undertaken in 3 stages. Having had such a long relationship, we have developed a deep understanding of their requirements, preferences and style, with focused and strong input from both partners.


Our clients had grand designs on this home, making it essential for us to come up with a staged masterplan, whereby they could move into the home as quickly as possible, allowing for subsequent stages to be undertaken whilst they occupy the home. Architecturally, the intent has been to honour the art deco origins of the home, capitalizing in the curved walls and detailing so prevalent in the building. Our clients brought their furnishings from the previous home, which fitted perfectly into this new home.


Stage 1 happened quickly, with us reworking the entry level kids’ bedrooms to incorporate new en suites, opening up the existing public living level more towards the view and rear garden, as well as refurbishing the existing kitchen and bathroom. This was completed in months, giving us time to develop the other stages.


Stage 2 harnessed our design skills in a new territory for us, the landscaping. We developed the overgrown sloping private rear garden, into a more structured usable and terraced garden. We explored the possibilities of interpreting the home’s iconic circular forms, incorporating a curved built in seating area around a fire pit, which is anchored around the existing beautiful and exotic frangipani tree. A suite of curved gentle steps leads the users up to the new pool on the rear raised terrace. The entire garden has been unified with a strong robust pallet of materials, including bold off form concrete set off by grey handcrafted stone ‘crazy’ paving. 


In Stage 3, we redeveloped the access and frontage of the home, with a new double garage, entry portico, and a series of steps up to the front door, with the front garden being extensively redeveloped into a series of usable concrete platforms. The work to build this, incorporates some complex engineering and earthworks, and it is well underway at the time of printing, being built by a team of opal miners from western Australia. The works incorporate a new underground tunnel from the street to deep under the centre of the existing house, providing level access to a new entry, lift and laundry. The removal of the original laundry behind the kitchen allows for the relatively new kitchen from stage one, to double its size, expanding into the old laundry space at the rear, thus opening the dining and kitchen up to the now established lush rear terrace and garden.


The final stage 4, approved by council, will be a new elevated third level pavilion for a new master suite, study and deck with commanding views over the harbour and district. The design intent of this new pavilion is to be more contemporary, providing a contrast the deco home, whilst maintaining visual references to the original home. We have developed a dominant, sculptured angled and curved roof form, which is then set off against simple flat roof cubic forms. Work for this final stage shall commence upon completion of Stage 3. 


Michael Folk Architects & Interiors. Proudly created with