This Northern Beaches Home Perfectly Frames Ocean Views

Anyone who’s been to Sydney’s Northern Beaches knows how serene it is to sit back and watch the sunset while listening to the sounds of the waves, and this family home has been designed to capture this exact essence.

Manly based architects CHROFI made the most of the home’s beachside location by shaping the refined and contemporary spaces around the position of the sun, the ocean breeze, and the views of Long Reef Headland.

Christina Karras

Long Reef House by CHROFI.

The family home has been refreshed both inside and out.

Textural render coats the facade.

Timber details are paired with concrete flooring on the bottom floor. Artwork: Surrender by Danelle Bergstrom, from Arthouse Gallery.

Lush green plantings enhance the restrained material palette. Artwork: Surrender by Danelle Bergstrom, from Arthouse Gallery.

The floating staircase allows for inviting views of the garden.

The new staircase is positioned just beyond the garden edge.

Recycled hardwood, brass, terrazzo and concrete feature throughout.

The spacious kitchen. Moon Jar XI (momentum) by Belinda Fox and Neville French, from Arthouse Gallery.

Upstairs, a calming living room awaits with treetop views.

The simplicity of the interiors makes the home even more calming.

Sliding door open to a balcony to frame the incredible ocean views.

The dining room.

Even the bedrooms capture glimpses of the ocean.

The bathrooms were completely transformed.

The rear garden is an oasis of its own with a mix of textural plantings.

The abundant greenery helps soften the light colours of the facade.

Another balcony facing the street features screening to offer privacy.

The contemporary facade.

Christina Karras
30th of November 2023
Landscape Designer

The vision behind Long Reef House by CHROFI was to create a calming home that was ‘tuned into’ the atmosphere of its coastal location.

Positioned on the Northern Beaches, the property is just one street back from the coastline. Like many homes in the area, it had accrued many additions over the years before the owners engaged CHROFI to update the house inside and out.

‘The brief from our client was to re-style the house to be more contemporary, while at the same time, improving the relationship between the interior and exterior,’ says CHROFI director Tai Ropiha, who worked alongside the project architect Martin Tarnawski.

It was dated, but there was however a benefit of the prior renovations. ‘The existing house was already a good size,’ Martin explains.

All works were undertaken within the existing envelope of the property. The interior was completely refurbished to feature pared-back materials like concrete floors and warm timber joinery, while details like the doors, windows and balconies were also replaced.

A series of small shifts to the original floorplan is what ultimately transformed the ‘flow’ of the home. Sliding doors open the upstairs living area to the elements and a slightly lowered balcony, framing dreamy views of the ocean.

Tai says the redesign also took careful consideration of the sun’s movements, the ocean breeze, and the rear garden, which has been turned into a lush oasis. The balcony facing the street is now an idyllic place to enjoy the afternoon sun in private, thanks to perforated screening, and a new timber staircase just inside the rear of the home invites newfound interaction with the refreshed backyard.

They also introduced a textural render across the exterior that’s refined the home’s ‘bulky proportions’, enveloped by abundant green plantings.

‘[It’s] given the house an ‘established villa’ sensibility,’ Martin notes. ‘So the charm of the house is subtly played, but the quality of the flow of spaces and the richness of detail unfold as you enter the property from the street.’

The finished project is perfectly understated and serene, allowing the unbeatable atmosphere of simply being by the beach to take centerstage.

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