My eldest son Jason ( who lives in Antibes near Nice in the south of France ) has recently bought an old ruined farmhouse about 10 mins from town, to turn into an amazing family home. He and I ( and no. 2 son Simon ) have worked together on the preliminary design ready for a preliminary meeting with the local heritage authority as the whole area is a conservation zone.

It’s quite exciting to be involved in a project that is so completely different to the houses I typically design in Australia, and we made sure that design included comfortable guest accommodation for when we visit him and his family.

A local architect will take the project through to approval.


I had a Kevin McLoud moment a couple of weeks ago when I visited the owners of this recently completed Spanish hacienda overlooking Middle Harbour. One of the owners is a pom who spent many sunny holidays in Spain in his younger days, so has lots of happy memories of this architectural style. Indeed the owners feel like they are permanently on holiday now that they have moved in.

This was fun for me too as I have never designed a new mediterranean house previously. The interior is dazzling with lots of colourful tiles, light fittings, wall colours and artwork.  More photos soon.



We recently received approval for a new waterfront house at Hunters Hill after a long battle with the Council. One of their rules is that all waterfront houses should be no greater than 2 stories in appearance as viewed from the water – impossible to comply with on the steep sites that dominate this area.  Upper and lower pavilions separated by a planter box with screen planting kept the Council happy , with the pavilions being linked by a stair/ lift well.

Definitely worth the effort as the site offers easterly views up the river to Sydney’s CBD, and north easterly views over a large bay ringed by bushy reserves.


GRANNY FLATS RULE – august 2020

Granny flats ( officially called secondary dwellings ) have been legal in NSW for a while now, and many of our clients have been taking advantage of this.  They can be attached or detached, and here are 2 examples of the latter, both of which were part of an approval for a new house.  One is under construction, and the other was finished recently – photos soon.  They offer a lot of options as they can be rented out, or used for guest accommodation, or even by a granny ( or grandpa ).


In an area dominated by rectangular blocks with matching project homes, my adventurous clients decided to buy a sloping, odd shaped bush fire flame zone affected site, and then asked me to design an equally adventurous home for it.

The result has just been approved.


A shining light amidst the current doom and gloom is the building industry which seems to be carrying on largely unaffected, at least in the custom home category.

These 2 houses have recently been approved in the same street in Avalon, both with excellent water views, and both including secondary dwellings -one attached, one detached. Construction has already started on one with the other to follow shortly.


The combination of north facing and stunning water views is fairly rare in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and naturally the new owners wanted to maximise the potential.

The existing house was an excellent candidate for demolition and replacement, but its’ top floor was over the current height limit, so there were significant town planning advantages in going down the alterations and additions path.

The result was a new top floor balcony much higher that would have been possible if we had designed and submitted a new house design. The top floor was also extended and totally redesigned, including a new roof with south facing highlight windows. A new ground floor balcony was included, and the entire house will be fully renovated.