View Finder – by Tom Mark Henry

 27 Mar 2019

When a Monaco-based client asked Tom Mark Henry to design a beachside base for him in famous Bondi Beach, their vision for the renovation was for an interior that would seamlessly connect not just to the view, but also to an effortless beachside lifestyle.

The brief was to create an apartment
that felt intrinsically ‘Bondi’; a space that reflected the relaxed coastal lifestyle and aesthetic the suburb is known for. “As the client resides overseas a lot of the year, he wanted to be able to return to Australia and immerse himself in a space that immediately felt like home,” says designer Emma Say of Tom Mark Henry.

Almost every wall within the apartment was built on an angle, making the space feel small and closed in. For Tom Mark Henry and the collaborating builder, Brother Nature, the priority in renovating the apartment was to ensure that sightlines from the front entrance of the house to the views of Bondi Beach were maximised.

Tom Mark Henry chose to use a white set render finish to the internal walls that not only improved the set out of each space, but also offered a soft illuminating light throughout the apartment. With a modest internal ceiling height of 2.4m from structural slab to slab, “We had to be clever when selecting how we were going to finish the floor and ceiling, as well as selecting lights and moving air conditioning throughout each space,” explains Emma.

The ceiling in the kitchen, living and dining is clad with white painted timber boards that draw the eye to the landscape. “As soon as you step foot inside the apartment space you are completely overtaken by the view,” Emma says, which makes the narrow space feel more expansive.

The selection of materials reflects the physical environment, blurring the line between indoors and outdoors, epitomising luxurious and relaxed living — and “the barefoot Bondi lifestyle” the client was looking for. Custom whitewashed oak joinery and tumbled limestone flooring span from the front entry to the balcony edge; smooth and cool underfoot, it’s the perfect feeling when returning from the beach. These finishes, combined with handmade tiles and woven wallpaper are enhanced through contrasting gestures in the custom aged rangehood shroud, aged bronze hardware and handpicked pieces of furniture with black accents.

The raised feet of the kitchen joinery create a sense of lightness, marrying with the
soft rolling veins of the marble benchtop. “The raw edge to the marble splashback was something most trades were hesitant to touch, however it’s one of our favourite elements in the apartment,” shares Emma, “a relationship to the undulating waves of Bondi Beach.”

“Since our client resides predominately overseas, a large kitchen was not a huge priority,” Emma explains. As such, it runs along a central wall within the apartment, sharing its space with the dining room with its custom dining table and pale blue fabric seat pads that correspond with the beachside palette.

In the kitchen, the Zip HydroTap Arc in Boiling, Chilled and Sparkling in nickel was specified for its functionality and versatility. “Considering this is such an integral part of the apartment and where the family spend most of their time, it was important that the finish and shape of the spout tie in with the kitchen tap. We were pleased to see this timeless nickel finish integrate so beautifully into the design of the kitchen.”