At home in an architect design

We chat with the current owner of an oft-admired, architect-designed terrace in Balmain.

At the time of its unveiling, this architect-designed home from Shaun Carter (Carter Williamson) was described as an ‘exorcism’ of light and space.

Years later, it still stands out for its dramatic interplay of horizontal and vertical planes, all the while ensuring the house is an open and breathing design. Carter spent months labouring over the original plan, devising a house that would suit both Sydney’s climate and the Balmain streetscape. 

Now selling with BresicWhitney, we checked in with the current owner who has enjoyed the house in recent years.

How did you come to live at 12 Punch Street, Balmain?

“My previous home was a very conventional Californian bungalow on the North Shore. A solid house on the traditional quarter-acre block, quite dark and cold in winter. This house couldn’t have been more different. It was light, with sun streaming in. I couldn’t believe the modern design and absolutely fell in love with it.”

Did it bring you to Balmain, or were you looking here?

“I had been looking to buy in Balmain for quite a few months, but had been struck by how cold some houses were. So this stood out for light and warmth. I also loved the design. There were so many features of the house that were swell thought out and a little quirky. I really liked that and that feeling has never changed.”

How does it cater to everyday life?

“The kitchen and dining area is fantastic for entertaining and we have had many memorable meals with friends in that space. When I moved here, my two daughters were still living at home, and this house worked well, giving us all our separate spaces.”

How did the home surprise you along the way?

“The house can transform into party mode of a night.  We had my daughter’s 21st birthday party here and the house looks spectacular when the stairwell is lit up along with all the other lighting, particularly in the upstairs living room and balcony. On nights like those, the sound system allows music to be played in every part of the house.”

Where is that special place in this home?

“I love to sit on the top balcony – you feel like you are almost in the trees. There are a pair of lorikeets that nest each year in one of the hollows and you are at the same level as their little home when you are up there.”

What next? Does it get better?

“I am moving to the Mid North Coast to be close to my daughter and grandchildren – another huge change for me. It will be difficult leaving this house and Balmain in general. When I moved to Balmain from the North Shore, I think for at least five years I kept saying, I cant believe how much I love it here…”

View sales listing: 12 Punch Street, Balmain

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