Built in 1959, Wahroonga House is a quintessential Australian Mid-century modern home brought to life by Tom Mark Henry‘s contemporary intervention.
Inspired by the neighbouring Rose Seidler House — designed by the iconic Australian architect Harry Seidler — in the suburb of Wahroonga in the Upper North Shore of Sydney, Tom Mark Henry invite Mid-century architecture into a modern day design sensibility.
The kitchen’s joinery uses a palette of Dulux Spiced Nutmeg for the splashback and Deep Mooring for the cabinetry. The kitchen island is complete with Artedomus’ Vixel glass tiles. The &Tradition Fomakamu JH5 Pendant by Jaime Hayon hangs over the dining table.
Art appears throughout the home, highlighting the impact of small works in clever places. ‘Nine Oh Six AM’ and ‘Dust Me Over’ by Monique Lovering sit at ease with ‘Wallaby Rocks and the Sunset’ by Fleur Stevenson (sourced from Curatorial+Co) on the kitchen shelf along with the Menu Bottle Grinders.
Akin to the residential architecture of Palm Springs in the 1950s, Wahroonga House flows from exterior to interior with high open ceilings and a balance of earthy colours. The expansive glass windows look out over the foliage-filled vistas, where the low profile, flat roof meets the treetops.
The clients — a creative couple with two young children — wanted to create a forever home that embraced the modernist architect with an eclectic twist through unexpected design elements.
“What we achieved through our design is a fabulous, fun, entertaining space for adults and children, which fuses a rich palette of deep, nature-inspired hues with an eclectic use of textural materials,” Tom Mark Henry director Cushla McFadden shares. “The colour palette brings joy to all who visit the house and adds a sense of fun to the overall space.”
Jardan’s Valley Sofa, Modular E in Oregano, centres the living space as the hub for the family to relax in. A Lavender Matin Large Table Lamp and DLM Side Table by HAY adds more colour and texture to the art-filled living space.
The surrounding bushland directly influenced the colour palette in Sydney’s north — rich, forest greens and deep musky purples lay against a soft pastel base. “The fusion of various colours and materials mirrors the diversity seen in nature and has created a playfully sophisticated retreat that is as practical as it is aesthetically beautiful,” Cushla adds.
As seen in the Rose Seidler House, the kitchen, living and dining become the core of the open-plan home. Overhead, references to the modernist design include the original wooden slat ceiling and triangular structural beams.
The exterior also inspired the materiality, with curves throughout referencing the soft geometries of nature, and the terracotta flooring in the living room adding an earthy underfoot.
Though both vastly different in materiality and tones, the bathrooms offer continuity with Radius Handle joinery in Brushed Brass from Auhaus, City Stik Wall Mixer Set tapware in Brushed Chrome and City Stik Shower Rose and Arm fittings, from Brodware.
In the private spaces, the rooms become intimate and enveloping with all-over tiles that embrace the seclusion in the bathrooms and textural timber headboards and rattan wardrobes in the bedrooms.
Taking inspiration from nature and modernist design, Tom Mark Henry ensure colour and texture provide a unified connection throughout the family home — delivering a laid-back and sophisticated refuge.
Evoking the Seidler style, Tom Mark Henry added an amber arched rippled glass door, inviting moments of playfulness to the interiors while dividing the adult and children’s bedrooms.