Home Tour | Rose Bay House by PopovBass

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    Sydney design studio PopovBass carve a light-filled home into Rose Bay’s harbourside landscape.

    This waterfront home designed by PopovBass captures the essence of its Rose Bay location and city surroundings. The home is perched on a raised plateau, opening up to panoramic views of the harbour, framed by sculptural interiors.

    PopovBass’s design favours light and tactility, using windows and negative space to capture the harbour setting. Sydney-based interior designer Karen Tabak further embraces the architectural vision with a neutral palette and organic textures that seek to uplift and inspire. As a result,  this family home now accommodates an entertainer’s lifestyle with generous spaces to come together.

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    The kitchen features a Miele cooktop and dishwasher, Sub-Zero refrigerator-freezer, Wolf M Series professional double oven and Gessi Emporio tapware. The joinery features Eveneer Ristretto veneer.

    The Site

    Replacing an uninspiring 1960s home, PopovBass architects Brian Bass and Anthony Zonaga transformed the site to appreciate its location fully. The architects also leveraged their commercial design experience to create an impressive multi-level structure that flows effortlessly between zones.

    The home is built on a raised plinth to maximise the sweeping views of both the harbour and Sydney’s CBD. Full-height windows create a sense of transparency, while organic voids allow light to penetrate the building’s core. PopovBass’ clever structural planning eliminated the need for support pillars, allowing each space to have a clean, ‘breezy’ atmosphere.

    The Entertaining Areas

    PopovBass were tasked with creating communal spaces for avid entertainers to host intimate gatherings. The homeowner’s love for cooking shaped the streamlined kitchen, particularly the island bench and wraparound counter that encourages duality, with space to both cook and connect. The generous living area extends to an elegant dining room ready to host a party of guests. Rendered concrete in the dining room unites the space with the impressive outdoor living area with gun-barrel views of Sydney’s harbour, and the pool pavilion below.

    “Sweeping organic voids are carved into a series of horizontal and vertical concrete planes, allowing light to penetrate deep into the building through extensive glazing and skylights.”


    – PopovBass founder Brian Bass

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    The light-filled dining room features the Riva 1920 Sky Natura dining table and Atmosphere D’Ailleurs Kute 106 pendants. Artwork by Antonia Mrljak.

    The Staircase

    The hero of the home is, undeniably, the free-flowing staircase that connects each level. The fluid structure is made from timber and steel, highlighted by the distinct skylight above.

    The exterior’s prominent use of concrete initiates the grounded, textural palette within. The concrete rendered wall remains a theme throughout, becoming the backdrop for the client’s art collection. Oversized solid European oak floorboards complement the organic textures found in hand tufted rugs and fabric lights.

    Private Spaces

    Private spaces reside at the back of the house. Running the full width of the residence, the main bedroom features a private balcony that stretches across the spectacular view. As in other areas of the home, its robust palette of dark timber and concrete is offset by soft textures. The owner prefers to shower in the open, which made way for an outdoor shower that extends from the ensuite.

    Harnessing its surroundings to create a sense of place, PopovBass have successfully sculpted a home from the harbourside location.

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    In the bedroom, a custom bed overlooks Sydney’s harbour.

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