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A Design Editor’s Dreamy Home (Only Accessible By Boat!) Is For Sale

On the Market

It’s only natural that one of Australia’s most prominent design editors and authors would have an exceptionally beautiful home of her own!

Karen McCartney and her interior designer and stylist husband, David Harrison, are the vendors of this family-designed holiday house. The property is located on Dangar Island – a beautiful little spot only accessible by ferry (!) –  about an hour and a half from the middle of Sydney.

We asked Karen about the history of this serene waterfront home among the trees, and how she’s possibly going to say goodbye!

9th November, 2019

Photo – Michael Wee.

Photo – Michael Wee.

Photo – Michael Wee.

Photo – Michael Wee.

Photo – Michael Wee.

Photo – Michael Wee.

Photo – Michael Wee.

Photo – Michael Wee.

Photo – Michael Wee.

Photo – Michael Wee.

Photo – Michael Wee.

Photo – Michael Wee.

Amelia Barnes
Saturday 9th November 2019

‘Simple things like being able to sit up in bed and see the sky and water were important.’ – Karen McCartney

Dangar Island is one of NSW’s best kept secrets. With a permanent population of just 300 people and no cars allowed (wheelbarrows are literally the most common wheeled object on the island), this is an exceptionally special place, and you could be its next resident!

Design editor and author Karen McCartney, and her husband, interior designer and stylist David Harrison, are selling their beautiful Dangar Island house. Situated on steep site facing Hawkesbury River and surrounded by towering trees, this property has been both their family’s holiday home and occasional short-term rental accommodation since 2007.

David’s sister, Jan Robertson of architectural firm Robertson & Hindmarsh, designed the house, and construction was by his brother Rob Harrison, making this a real family affair! It was the Karen and David’s intention that the design be unpretentious and provide as little visual and physical impact on the land as possible, hence its dark timber façade invisible from the water. Both floors open to outdoor decks taking in the home’s stunning environment and natural light.

‘We had a long time to think about the kind of house we wanted – what views were best, how to maximise northern light, what layout might work for us as a family and for when we had friends. Simple things like being able to sit up in bed and see the sky and water were important,’ says Karen. ‘We also wanted to avoid it feeling suburban and so, instead of banks of cupboards we have open shelves facing into the living room so that objects – both found and bought – can be displayed. It looks pleasingly ad hoc.’

When asked what she’ll miss most about this house, Karen says the list is endless. ‘If I am honest I don’t like to think about this too much! Dedicated family time, eating fish caught locally, writing chapters of my book in solitude, walking the dogs (past and present), getting the little ferry… I have to stop now.’

See the full real estate listing for Dangar Island House on Modern House.

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