This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Palm Springs-Inspired Oasis In Suburban Sydney

Architecture

Get ready to be wowed, people, this mid-century-inspired, sun-drenched home in Sydney by Nick Bell Architects is truly fabulous.

The Olphert in Vaucluse sensitively transforms a dilapidated mid-century residence into a striking contemporary family home, with a retro twist. Palm Springs meet suburban Sydney, in the most spectacular way!

1st October, 2019

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Miriam McGarry
Tuesday 1st October 2019

Nick Bell Architects took inspiration from the existing mid-century home for this outstanding project, The Olphert in Vaucluse, New South Wales. The essence of glamour and style from the original 1960s design have been emphasised, with a contemporary touch.

When the architects first encountered the home, it was in poor condition and offered a fragmented layout, with distinct and separated zoned. The large swimming pool was cut off from the living spaces, and the distinct sections of the home felt isolated. The brief from the clients was to create an oasis, to open up the home and provide a seamless entertaining zone that linked the home, garden and pool.

The architects highlight that the client’s love of mid-century design helped inform the renovations, and the team drew upon this aesthetic to inform the additional bedroom, new living spaces, and kitchen and bathroom fit-outs. Existing spaces were also sensitively updated, by looking historically to the styles and materials of the mid-century period, and refurbishing and repairing joinery, terrazzo paving (!!) and parquetry flooring.

The Olphert takes inspiration from the homes and hotels of Palm Springs, reimagined for an Australian setting. The sweeping rear roof structure swoops around, offering maximum northern light through the interior spaces, with its distinctive curve embracing the pool terrace. The architects emphasise how the material selections also reference mid century design, through large areas of glazing framed in bronze aluminium, pink joinery in the kitchen, and the sandstone crazy paving outside. Jakin Homes and Pools pulled it all together, completing the pool and landscaping as well as the build.

While the end result here signals lazy afternoons of poolside cocktails in palazzo pants, this project wasn’t all smooth sailing. The architects explain that the irregular shape of the triangular garden, and the discovery of asbestos during the build necessitated some inventive design thinking, but resulted in an innovate and considered renovation. Despite the challenges, the Nick Bell Architects team truly nailed this Palm-Springs-meets-suburban-Sydney brief!

This Week

News

An Exhibition Weaving The Past, Present + Future Of First Nations Textiles

Distinguished textile artist Elisa Carmichael reimagines traditional weaving practices in today’s contemporary context.

Art

TDF Collect Presents 'Devotions' By Lucy Roleff

The much-anticipated debut solo show from the Melbourne realist painter is here!

News

Seljak Brand Releases A New Wool Blanket Made From Recycled Jumpers

The pioneering Australian label releases a new recycled blanket spun from old woollen jumpers and garments.

TDF Design Awards

Announcing Our 2020 The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards FINALISTS!

It's a big one today, people! From Architects, to Landscape Designers, Furniture Designers, Craft practitioners and more... say hello to the...

On The Market

A Charming Victorian Cottage, Turned Contemporary Family Home (With Two Rooftop Terraces!)

A sleek renovation in one of Melbourne’s most coveted inner city locales revives this heritage home - and it's on the market!
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Gloriously Verdant Inner-City Extension

BKK Architects design a contemporary addition around its luscious, sprawling garden for a pair of self-declared introverts in North Fitzroy....
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Fab Face Masks Made By Women From Refugee Backgrounds In Melbourne

Second Stitch is a homewares and fashion enterprise offering training certificates and employment to women from refugee, migrant, and asylum...
Sasha Gattermayr
  17 hours ago

Architecture

Go Inside Australia’s Most Incredible Architectural Homes - For A Great Cause!

To replace their annual fundraiser, The Robin Boyd Foundation launches Virtual Open House, offering the chance to video-tour through award-w...
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

A Quirky, Contemporary Harbourside Penthouse, For Stylish Downsizers!

The Neutral Bay penthouse apartment of Tracy and Peter Fleming, renovated by their son Jono Fleming with Strutt Studios.

Architecture

Two Buildings + Two Courtyard Gardens = One Clever Inner City Home

This Fitzroy North house by Rob Kennon Architects turns the traditional house and backyard model on its head!

Shopping

A Sunny New Range Of Planters From Capra Designs

Capra Designs debuts a new collection of planters inspired by ancient Roman architecture.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Totally Transfixing Concrete Retreat

This contemporary family home in Kew by Architects EAT is totally secluded, yet bright, breezy and open!
Sasha Gattermayr

On The Market

Permaculture Expert Ben Shaw's Gorgeous Geelong Home (+ Garden!) Hits The Market

A 1920s house with Geelong's best suburban garden (we're calling it!) created by permaculture expert Ben Shaw is up for sale.

News

Street Artist Rone's First Book Is Released!

Read all about it – a new book chronicles the prolific Melbourne artist’s two decades on the Australian art scene.

Modernist Australia

A Fond Farewell To Modernist Australia!

Going, going... GONE! We bid a sad adieu to Trish Callan, and look back at some highlights from Modernist Australia, the website that raised...
Sasha Gattermayr
  18 hours ago

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Forever Home That Celebrates The Past

Renovating for longevity in Rose Bay, Sydney with Ricci Bloch Architecture and Interiors.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

A Home With Italian WOW Factor, In Carlton North

The Il Duomo house by Wowowa brings a slice of Italy to Carlton North.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

A Home Of Pink Terrazzo And Endless Archways!

The 'Plaster Fun House' is a uniquely creative home in the South Australian suburbs, from Sans-Arc Studio.
Miriam McGarry

This Week

News

Street Artist Rone's First Book Is Released!

Read all about it – a new book chronicles the prolific Melbourne artist’s two decades on the Australian art scene.

Architecture

A Gloriously Verdant Inner-City Extension

BKK Architects design a contemporary addition around its luscious, sprawling garden for a pair of self-declared introverts in North Fitzroy....
Sasha Gattermayr

Shopping

A Sunny New Range Of Planters From Capra Designs

Capra Designs debuts a new collection of planters inspired by ancient Roman architecture.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

Two Buildings + Two Courtyard Gardens = One Clever Inner City Home

This Fitzroy North house by Rob Kennon Architects turns the traditional house and backyard model on its head!

Art

TDF Collect Presents 'Devotions' By Lucy Roleff

The much-anticipated debut solo show from the Melbourne realist painter is here!

On The Market

A Charming Victorian Cottage, Turned Contemporary Family Home (With Two Rooftop Terraces!)

A sleek renovation in one of Melbourne’s most coveted inner city locales revives this heritage home - and it's on the market!
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

A Quirky, Contemporary Harbourside Penthouse, For Stylish Downsizers!

The Neutral Bay penthouse apartment of Tracy and Peter Fleming, renovated by their son Jono Fleming with Strutt Studios.

TDF Design Awards

Announcing Our 2020 The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards FINALISTS!

It's a big one today, people! From Architects, to Landscape Designers, Furniture Designers, Craft practitioners and more... say hello to the...

News

An Exhibition Weaving The Past, Present + Future Of First Nations Textiles

Distinguished textile artist Elisa Carmichael reimagines traditional weaving practices in today’s contemporary context.

News

Seljak Brand Releases A New Wool Blanket Made From Recycled Jumpers

The pioneering Australian label releases a new recycled blanket spun from old woollen jumpers and garments.

On The Market

Permaculture Expert Ben Shaw's Gorgeous Geelong Home (+ Garden!) Hits The Market

A 1920s house with Geelong's best suburban garden (we're calling it!) created by permaculture expert Ben Shaw is up for sale.

Architecture

Go Inside Australia’s Most Incredible Architectural Homes - For A Great Cause!

To replace their annual fundraiser, The Robin Boyd Foundation launches Virtual Open House, offering the chance to video-tour through award-w...
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Totally Transfixing Concrete Retreat

This contemporary family home in Kew by Architects EAT is totally secluded, yet bright, breezy and open!
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Fab Face Masks Made By Women From Refugee Backgrounds In Melbourne

Second Stitch is a homewares and fashion enterprise offering training certificates and employment to women from refugee, migrant, and asylum...
Sasha Gattermayr
  17 hours ago

Modernist Australia

A Fond Farewell To Modernist Australia!

Going, going... GONE! We bid a sad adieu to Trish Callan, and look back at some highlights from Modernist Australia, the website that raised...
Sasha Gattermayr
  18 hours ago

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Forever Home That Celebrates The Past

Renovating for longevity in Rose Bay, Sydney with Ricci Bloch Architecture and Interiors.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

A Home With Italian WOW Factor, In Carlton North

The Il Duomo house by Wowowa brings a slice of Italy to Carlton North.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

A Home Of Pink Terrazzo And Endless Archways!

The 'Plaster Fun House' is a uniquely creative home in the South Australian suburbs, from Sans-Arc Studio.
Miriam McGarry