Lubu Design transform an outdated waterfront home in Sydney’s Northern Beaches into a true entertainer’s delight.
In recalling her first encounter with Clareville Residence, Sydney-based studio Lubu Design founder Lucy Bugden says, “I was completely captivated by the charm and elegance the home possessed. Looking beyond the condition it was found in, I could see how glamorous it once would have been.” Chandeliers dropped from the ceilings, silk drapes adorned the windows, and ensuites were attached to every room – all of which formed a picture in Lucy’s mind of glamorous parties by the beach and long summer holidays of a bygone era. “This sense of gracious hospitality with a side of fun is a fitting reflection of my clients, and is where my concept began,” she says.
Lucy intended to create spaces on par with the breathtaking waterfront views. “Living close by, I have a great appreciation for the unique natural beauty of the area and wanted the home to reflect that,” she says. The main living-dining-kitchen area is unsurprisingly her favourite space, owing to its lightness, openness, and of course, the view.
Flexibility was essential when carving out the private spaces. In four of the six bedrooms, Lucy designed custom beheads extending the wall’s length, allowing the beds to be configured as twins or a king depending on the number of guests. The primary bedroom, which stacks on top of the main living-dining-kitchen area (and therefore enjoys the same spectacular views), feels extravagant and old-world-like.
In terms of materiality, travertine crazy paving appears both outside on the terraces and indoors in the bathrooms, giving the floors in these areas an aged, natural feel. Handmade Moroccan tiles were used on the vertical surfaces, including the kitchen splash-back and the bathroom walls. “I love the irregular nature of these tiles and their colouring, which again impart a sense of artisanal age,” Lucy says. Blue-stained travertine was chosen for the vanity tops to bring the outdoors in, while weathered brass beautifully embellished these soft tones.
The furnishings are a mix of vintage pieces from Australia, Europe and the US, and pieces Lucy has had custom-made. Common threads include Spanish-style tables and chairs, textured lighting (rattan, ceramic and glass), timber benches and side tables, and sofas and ottomans upholstered in luxurious fabrics.