With a steep, sloping site and a foundation of rock, construction of this stylish new home in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire presented obstacles that many builders would shy away from. Boutique design and construct company Vivid Built, however, took the project on as a challenge and opportunity to create a unique contemporary home that would set a new standard of development in the area. The challenge well and truly reaped its rewards with the home being awarded the NSW HIA Spec Home Award for 2018.

“A stunning and luxurious home, with an impressive response to a very difficult site which makes great use of natural elements, an outstanding achievement”, is how judges described this remarkable property when presenting its award, and outstanding it truly is.

The 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom home is an inspiring feat of engineering. “The site was our biggest challenge, from street level to the rear of the site there is a 20 metre drop! Couple that with substantial rock excavation and you can imagine the logistical nightmare of building on such a difficult site”, explains Vivid Built director Kurt Kowaltschny and business partner Joe Romanous.

With its beautiful western red cedar clad façade, and built over 3 main levels, each storey also has split levels maximising the home’s elevated position and ensuring sweeping valley views from every space in the house.

High raked ceilings with track lighting over the stepped kitchen and living area add to the sense of space and backlit benches, timber pendants and chic black cabinetry combine with New York Marble benchtops and timber floors to create a stylish sophisticated look that still feels warm and welcoming. Throughout, the home has been finished with meticulous detail and quality finishes whilst maintaining a neutral palette that allows the spectacular views to be the star of the show.


Mr Kowaltschny describes his favourite aspect of the project as something his company didn’t actually build but rather, brilliantly integrated into the home’s overall design. “There is a large natural sandstone outcrop which the house was essentially build around and forms a courtyard for the lower level bedrooms and can be seen from the dining/kitchen level”. This tranquil, organic space, using the natural lay of the land, and completed with limestone paving, feels like an expensive resort, and is maintenance free. The beauty of the natural stone of the site is echoed in the master retreat ensuite with an enticing freestanding stone bath and his and hers hand carved stone basins.


As well as winning a top award, the home was also a finalist in two other categories namely HIA NSW Regional Home of the Year and Outdoor Project of the Year which is no surprise when you see the enviable outdoor entertaining space.

A cedar lined, covered alfresco area provides a charming alcove above the pool to enjoy a late afternoon glass of wine and watch the sunset, whilst a fire pit with built in seating at the lower half of the garden creates an inviting space to entertain on cooler nights.