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Home Tour: This Bronte Home is the Epitome of Quiet Luxury

A light-filled yet moody home that sits atop one of Sydney’s most iconic beaches embraces a soft new aesthetic, making it the ultimate beach-side abode.

One of the best things about living by the beach is being able to chop and change between the ocean outside and your home inside. And yes, even if that means walking back from the surf with sand-adorned feet and salty hair — it’s all part of the experience. 

In fact, this was the exact brief leading Australian interior design studio Tom Mark Henry was given by their clients, a sophisticated couple with grown-up children, who were downsizing to this contemporary north-facing home on Bronte Beach in Sydney. 

“The clients wanted a comfortable and casual home where they could feel at ease walking in with bare feet straight from the beach,” Carla Matias, Design Manager, and Jed Murphy, Interior Designer from Tom Mark Henry explain of the homeowner’s vision.

Softer Edges

The most significant structural change that was made to the three-storey home, which overlooks the beach, was revamping the top-floor balcony. 

“The previous design had a protrusion of sharp angles and lacked connection. Our approach was to transform the balcony's shape by introducing a graceful curve at the front of the house, thereby softening the architecture,” the pair reveal. 

‘Softening’ the overall aesthetic of the property was a theme that underpinned the entire project, with the Tom Mark Henry crew wanting to give the space a ‘quiet and luxurious’ feel, which wouldn’t detract from the incredible views of Bronte Beach. 

“On our initial visit to the house, we noticed that it was very inward looking and somehow felt closed off from the view, so it was important that we connect the interior to the view while still maintaining privacy.”

“The architecture also felt very rigid and strict, we felt that it needed some softening to make it feel more relaxed. One of the ways that we approached this was to replace a very angular glass balustrade with a curved plaster one to the existing staircase,” Carla and Jed note. 

Bold and Rich Colours

Inside the property, the rooms are understated yet impactful while a bold and rich colour scheme has been used to give a light-filled and moody atmosphere.

“We started with a neutral base palette that was more focused on texture than colour, including timber, rendered walls, and unfilled limestone flooring, evoking the sensation of walking barefoot on the beach,” the pair explain of the home’s colour palette.

For the upper floors — which have expansive views of the ocean and sky and are home to the master suite, kitchen, main living areas and balconies — the team opted for a colour palette of soft greens, greys and blues. 

As for the bottom level, which has guest bedrooms and bathrooms, a study, a media room, a wine cellar and a steam room, they embraced a moodier vibe to contrast against the top floors. 

“The steam room utilises rich earthy red tones that almost feel as if they were carved directly into the cliffside,” Carla and Jed point out. 

By the Beach

The beautiful beachside location also played a major part in design decisions, especially the finishes. 

“We wanted to ensure that the materials used were robust enough to withstand weathering and sea salt given the location whilst also feeling homely and complementing the laid-back, beachside lifestyle that drew our clients to the area.” 

“Access to coastal views from a large number of rooms in the home also informed the interiors as this aspect allowed us to pare back the design. Our intent was to hero the connection to the beach rather than compete with it,” the pair reveal. 

The team’s ambitious vision has resulted in a playful and relaxed beachfront retreat, which seamlessly brings the outside elements in. 

While the Tom Mark Henry group couldn’t be prouder of the stunning result, it’s also been making waves within the industry with the home being recently short-listed for the 2023 Australian Interior Design Awards in the Residential Design category. 

“With minimal structural intervention, we were able to make some big improvements not only aesthetically, but also in how the house can be used and experienced. As interior designers, we always champion working with the bones of buildings, the site and context and making the most of the opportunities they present,” Carla and Jed reflect. 


Interior Design: Carla Matias, Design Manager, and Jed Murphy, Interior Designer from Tom Mark Henry @tommarkhenry_

Photographer: Pablo Veiga @_pabloveiga with editorial styling by Kerrie-Ann Jones @kerrieann_jones_stylist

Build: JCORP Construction @jcorp_construction

Words: Bella Brennan @bellarosebrennan

Loved our tour of this Bronte abode and want to keep perving some of the most stylish places going around? Take a peek inside the stunning Talm beach house in Anna Bay. Then check out this jaw-dropping transformation of Hermon House in Hawthorn, Victoria.

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