A nod to mid-century modern architecture, this striking glass house nestled within the Noosa hinterland cuts a fine figure.
It’s a sight that owner Sarah Waller has become accustomed to. On any given day cars passing by will slow down, some stop and if Sarah is out in the garden, she’ll often get a wave or a friendly beep of the horn as people take a lingering look at her home.
Long, linear and completely transparent, it’s not surprising its minimalist good looks glean plenty of attention. Perched above the Noosa Valley Golf Course, the glass pavilion-style home, framed in simple black and white, appears to float above manicured lawns and terraced gardens which step down the block to a lap pool, off-set with frangipanis, towering coconut palms and a gazebo which exudes Palm Springs chic.
For Sarah, it is the culmination of a long-held dream to design, build and style a home for her family, inspired by modernist architecture. “I’m drawn to the post-war period with its clean lines, cantilevered roofs and have always wanted to create my own glass house – I just didn’t think my husband Paul would go for it,” she reflects.
Fortunately, though, they found a picture-perfect location offering expansive views and with a sizeable 1.5 acres to play with, so Sarah convinced Paul to take the plunge.
With a house already on the property, the couple and their two daughters Tasmin and Tiggy lived on site while Sarah, who’s also a registered builder, project managed the seven-month build.
“The new slab was laid a meter or so from the front door of the existing house, so it was quite a unique build to be living so close. There was certainly a lot of dust, but it meant I was always on site to oversee every element come together.”
Although simple in its form, Sarah’s flair for design is evident in the myriad details, monochrome palette, and intrinsic functionality within every space. Central to the home is the kitchen where double island benches in matte black laminate and marble-look porcelain create a sculptural feel that extends to a simple black box which acts as a room divider. “It conceals the fridge and a big butler’s kitchen and on the other side it houses the TV and fireplace in the living area.”
Open plan and incredibly spacious, glass doors on both sides stack back allowing breezes to flow through, while white terrazzo floors extend outside blurring the distinction between indoor and outdoor spaces.
Bedrooms in timeless black and white, also feel connected to the landscape with walls of glass capturing the verdant surrounds and an abundance of natural light. For added luxury each bedroom also has its own bathroom, with the option to bathe under the stars as well, with an outdoor bath and shower in a secluded courtyard off from the main bedroom. “There’s a lot of bathrooms, even my studio has one,” says Sarah with a laugh. “For a cohesive feel they all have the same pared back palette of finishes with concrete look floor tiles, black tapware, matte black Bisazza tiles and thin profile enamel basins, but I changed up the design slightly in each, so they’re all unique.”
Decorated with a light yet discerning hand, coral and ceramic pieces from Sarah’s Noosa interiors store, Coco + Bliss, pop against walls in Dulux pure black, while bespoke elements such as timber furniture and custom lighting add warmth and texture.
“When I described the colour scheme a lot of people thought pure black and white would be cold, but they’re always surprised by how welcoming and comfortable it feels, and I think it’s because we’ve used timber and plants throughout which give it a homely feel,” says Sarah.
The garden visible from every room, is also integral to the design, with mass plantings of tropical varieties such as heliconias and philodendrons enveloping the home in greenery, while feature palms and frangipanis are up-lit at night to create poolside ambience.
“Paul and I have done all the physical work in the garden, which has taken longer to landscape than the house took to build, but now it’s all done, we’re really looking forward to just putting our feet up and enjoying it,” reflects Sarah, who’s thrilled with the result.
“Coming from the UK, it is such a novelty to have a pool, and when I look out across it, it feels like I could be at a resort anywhere in the world. I really have to pinch myself that it is actually our home.”