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A Landscape Designer’s Serene Bondi Oasis

Homes

In a busy part of Bondi lie two adjoining, newly extended, post-war homes, each with gardens by landscape design practice, Dangar Barin Smith

This particular home belongs to the practice’s director, William Dangar, and his wife Julia Dangar, who purchased the property after their Robert Plumb Build business partner Bill Clifton bought the home next door. Both parties completed their respective renovations, leading to an urban oasis in this built up part of Sydney. 

Step inside William and Julia’s home – a serene, semi industrial space with white washed, reclaimed brick walls, styled to perfection with designer and vintage furniture, and sublime handcrafted details.

6th May, 2020

William and Julia Dangar with their children Tom (9), Summer (11) in the laneway of their Bondi house. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A Bismarck Palm set into the curve of the building’s north-facing facade. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A deep window seat allows for engagement with the home’s adjacent laneway, with a sliding New Guinea rosewood screen for privacy as required. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The kitchen bench is tiled for an honest and functional look, with warmth coming from the American oak shelving and drawers. An Ambit Rail Lamp by Muuto illuminates the bench. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

On the wall is a custom-made display of wooden spoons by Elise Cameron-Smith. ‘Kotai’ round dining table by Mario Ruiz from Expormim. ‘Lightwood’ dining chairs by Jasper Morrison for Maruni. ‘Formakami’ pendent light by Jaime Hayon from &Tradition. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Ceramics by Mel Lumb purchased from Saint Cloche echo the organic shapes and natural colourway of the house’s ground floor. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Open shelving in the kitchen allows for the display of objects, including Nera bowls from Zanat designed by Mönica Forster. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

This kitchen shelving was specifically designed by David Harrison of Design Daily and made by Cranbrook Workshop to display of a collection of rustic 1970s Australian ceramics, alongside contemporary pieces. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Kotai’ round dining table by Mario Ruiz from Expormim. ‘Lightwood’ dining chairs by Jasper Morrison for Maruni. ‘Formakami’ pendent light by Jaime Hayon from &Tradition. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Pieces in this home are sourced from around the world. The large Tuareg rug in woven leather and reed is from Morocco, while the Braid Sofa is from Japanese company Ariake, designed by Norm Architects. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

American oak and travertine coffee table designed by David Harrison of Design Daily and made by Cranbrook Workshop. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Andrew Burges Architects designed a large powder-coated steel cabinet to house the TV and impart the idea of a sculptural object within the space. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The Line Two Floor Lamp from NORR11 provides an industrial feel to the living space. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A vintage, teak Danish daybed from Angelucci 20th Century, covered in Altamira linen. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Derek Swalwell ‘Tomba Brion 3 Treviso’ print. Vitra Cork stool by Jasper Morrison. Paperwood side table by Anderssen & Voll for Ariake, and Braid Sofa is from Ariake, designed by Norm Architects.  Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A vintage French chair by Adrien Audoux & Frida Minet from Pamono sits in front of a powder-coated cabinet designed by the architects in Dulux’s Venetian Red. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

French vintage chairs by Adrien Audoux & Frida Minet from Pamono. The American oak and travertine coffee table was designed by David Harrison of Design Daily and made by Cranbrook Workshop. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

All the beds have been made by Cranbrook Workshop in American oak. The abstract artwork is a print by Liza Giles and the bedside lights are vintage Le Klint. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The walls and ceilings on the upper floor are treatment with Proyalbi – a rendered surface with a smooth plaster-like appearance. The paintings are by Hannah Nowlan purchased from Saint Cloche, and the 1950s bedside lights in pastel tones were sourced from Etsy. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Curved American oak platforms and brass rails for hanging clothes. The Danish glass and brass ‘Kina’ light is by Bent Karlby for Lyfa, purchased from Angelucci 20th Century. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Moroccan rugs bought from Etsy feature throughout the house. Artwork by Gail English. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Formakami’ pendent light by Jaime Hayon from &Tradition, Georg bench from Skagerak, and a black and white print by photographer Sharyn Cairns. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A view from the kitchen to the cactus courtyard and Bismarck Palm. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A Palissade outdoor chair by Ronan and Erwan Bouroulle for HAY sits in the cactus garden by Dangar Barin Smith. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The view through the garden into the lounge area shows the clear relationship between inside and out. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 6th May 2020

‘We thought we could do a wonderful collaborative couple of buildings sitting together, that we call siblings.’ – William Dangar

William and Julia Dangar are always on the lookout for high visibility properties located on laneways. In a stroke of fate, their business partner from Robert Plumb Build, Bill Clifton, had just bought a house in Bondi, alerting them to the rundown property next door meeting this very description. They soon decided to buy it. ‘We thought we could do a wonderful collaborative couple of buildings sitting together, that we call siblings,’ explains William.

The post-war house was in a state of disrepair at the time of purchase, requiring the majority to be demolished. Only the facade of the semi-detached facade and the original front room have been retained, joined by a contemporary concrete, glass, steel and metal mesh building. Materials were recycled where possible, with all of the bricks from the demolished rear recovered and cleaned on site.

Andrew Burges Architects were engaged to design the home, blurring indoors and out for a perfect Sydney summer experience. The interiors are a collaboration between David Harrison and Karen McCartney, introducing white washed reclaimed brick walls and generous linen curtains, combined with a mix of designer and vintage furniture (including pieces from the couple’s other business, Robert Plumb) and carefully considered lighting. The use of minimal, natural materials creates a simultaneously relaxed and sophisticated aesthetic. 

As one of Australia’s leading landscape designers and director of Dangar Barin Smith, the garden was an obvious priority for William. Offsetting the industrial materials of the home are mature trees surrounding the house, along with a range of succulents and cacti on the ground level and first floor roof. The curvaceous form of the extension allows the garden to continue lengthways down the site, accommodating an existing Bismarck Palm, and creating a close connection to the interiors. 

Among William’s favourite things about this home are the way it invites the sun in year-round, with beautiful north-east breezes during summer. The family also love the positioning of the home on the site, which opens the property up to its adjoining north-facing laneway. ‘The large kitchen window opens up to the community and allows us to interact with passers by,’ Will explains.

When asked what the biggest challenge of this project was, William says, ‘Controlling the budget, (we didn’t)’ and ‘not over capitalising, (we did).’ Looking at the incredible end result, we have to assume it was all worth it!

With a celebrated career spanning 25 years, William Dangar is one of three esteemed judges in the Landscape Design category of The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020. Entries close next Friday May 15th – learn more here!

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.