The striking rear aspect of 14 Abbott St Balgowlah

The striking rear aspect of 14 Abbott St Balgowlah

Balgowlah Heights is a blue ribbon area, with expensive houses lining the broad streets and avenues. It is a typical street of the northern beaches – which is why award winning architect Vince Squillace, a huge fan of the area, lives here with his family in this intriguing home that he built for himself.

“I’m the client, well my wife and I were the client in the design of this house,” said Vince, who said the process was a breeze. “She likes my brilliant ideas!,” said Vince with a laugh.

The home is interesting on approach, and being on the highest point of the suburb the three levels are etched dramatically against the sky.

Past the security gate, the entrance is a subtle transition from outside to inside. A glass roof and ‘deck’ like boards soon give way to Venus marble flooring in the main section of the home.

The front rooms of the house refer to the earier architectural style of the area, offering intimate spaces, before the journey into the home’s open plan heart.

Without doubt the living room, come kitchen is the centre of family life, though that is no reason to drop the design standard and Vince has kept that high. The ceiling is, unusually, a focal point with a playful timber lining. People familiar with Squillace design will see echoes here in the strong use of lines, both vertical and horizontal which add drama and interest to the design. The kitchen slips unobtrusively into the living room, with ample space and useful butlers pantry – while the whole area, bathed in northerly light,  is walled in glass doors that reveal an equally linear backyard with manicured bamboo. level lawn and plunge pool.

The dining area is up a demi-level and opens at one end to a private outside deck that overlooks the pool, and the other end opens to the sitting room.

Although everything flows, this floor has rejected vast open spaces, and instead has human proportions that welcome an active and interactive family.

Every inch of the home is purposeful, whether storage space, or study area without feeling crowded or cramped.

Extra delight is found one more flight up – where a home office can be found. You can see how the architect of the exciting home has managed to keep the best to himslef in this rooftop eyrie. Walk through the glass door to a breathtaking rooftop terrace with a view that spans 270 degrees and includes everything from mountain tops to the harbour lights.

Don’t you just love it when your expectations, such as visiting this craftsman’s own home, are not only met, but well and truly exceeded. If you are searching for special – inspect soon.

Prue Miller writes for several News Ltd publications