Guy and Jules Sebastian bought their home in the Sydney seaside suburb of Maroubra in 2013. Seeking to create more space for their growing family as well as to accommodate visiting family and friends, the singer and stylist / presenter couple initially had planned to renovate house, but subsequently decided to demolish it and rebuild their house forever.
Appreciating the modern look, Guy and Jules asked Joe Snell of Snell Architecture and Interiors to help them create the family home of their dreams.
Above the sliding door, the monochrome color scheme continues with the Stria white coating in the 325mm panel profile
The glamorous couple, who have two boys, Hudson and Archer, wanted to create a modern home that is truly unique and unlike anything they had seen before.
“Guy and Jules both have a great sense of style and a real sense of design, so their mission was strong and straightforward,” says Joe, who worked closely with the couple on the design of the house.
“It had to be their home forever and they wanted a clean, modern palette using concrete, steel, glass, black and white. Of course, it also had to be warm, friendly and comfortable.
Finding the right balance
Guy and Jules wanted the house to be “hard but welcoming”. The design had to provide privacy from the front but flow into common living spaces – such as the tennis court and swimming pool – and evoke a sense of freedom and openness.
“We wanted the space to be functional and family-friendly with the ability to be entertained but still snuggle up on the sofa at the end of the day,” they explained.
Great care has been taken to ensure that all materials used in the construction have been applied in a thoughtful manner. Joe says: “The concrete panels, black steel and windows with panoramic glass and white siding were the key elements which were the simple yet strong features of the design. Each has a different strength and feeling, and they are arranged to complement and strengthen each other, and come together as a whole. “
It’s a modern look that combines classic with industrial through the use of raw materials, minimal aesthetics and the integration of timeless elements such as terrazzo and marble.
Guy says they especially like the entrance hall of their house. “It takes our breath away every day. The spiral staircase, the polished concrete floors and the grand piano are simply heavenly. We love to play and sing in this space and fill our home with joy and music.
Collaboration, consultation and research helped ensure the success of the new construction. This involved visits to showrooms and design stores, a lot of time spent on Pinterest, as well as lots of in-depth conversations and ongoing updates between Joe, Guy and Jules throughout the project.
“Listening and responding is key to the design process,” says Joe. “Guy and Jules were the main inspiration as we talked at length about what they wanted in a home and what inspired them.”
The couple attribute Joe’s immense eye for detail and artistic sensibility to putting the look together. “Joe asked us a lot of questions about our way of life and what we expected from our family home. We really can’t believe how amazing he is and how successful he is with the design. “
Joe believes that clean lines and a confident style that lacks bulk are integral to creating a truly modern look in a home. He notes that the fiber cement products designed by James Hardie are well understood by builders and have many different finish details to choose from to achieve the look.
The 325mm Stria siding was used for the main house and painted white. “We wanted to get a horizontal look in the white siding, so we shifted the minimum vertical seam so that it was lost more, allowing the horizontal to be even more dominant,” explained Joe.
Stria siding comes in the form of 4.2 meter long planks that interlock with a rebate joint on the long edges. The panels are made from low density Scyon formulation fiber cement, which allows them to be 14mm thick. As a result, deep and distinctive horizontal grooves are created to provide the clean lines that suit modern design.
The end result is a home that fits in and stands out with its oceanfront location. “The home is on a long hill of neighboring homes of many different styles and genres,” Joe said.
“The building has its own identity but is not moved to the street. The natural coloring of the concrete and the monochromes of black and white install the house in its suburban coastal environment.
A remarkable and functional family home
The Sebastian family is enjoying their new home a lot. “The house is designed for entertaining with the two living spaces opening onto a central courtyard with a fireplace”, explain Guy and Jules.
“There is also a lot of space for the children to play, including their own living space which we can see at all times. We love our family and friends and want them to bring their kids and feel comfortable that there is room to run around, but we can always keep an eye on them.
The house is everything the family hoped for. A unique, functional and modern house with plenty of space for their boys, friends and family and a place they love to live and spend time together.