A bright weatherboard weekender dressed up for the festive season

Asia's Tech News Daily

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd This bright and breezy weekender on Sydney’s Northern Beaches is where Anthony Spon-Smith and his family will spend together time for Christmas.

Raucous kookaburras and noisy rainbow lorikeets herald the arrival of Christmas at this holiday house on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

As the birds greet the dawn, three little girls – Astrid, seven, Elsa, five, and one-year-old Clara – will likely be climbing out of bed and waking their parents, Anthony and Emma Spon-Smith, bursting with excitement at what the day ahead holds.

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Elsa follows the path of sandstone stepping stones to the entry.

“Emma is Swedish and we follow the Scandinavian tradition of celebrating on Christmas Eve – the food Emma makes is absolutely delicious,” says Anthony.

“My side of the family has a tradition I think might be fairly unique: we jump into the pool in pyjamas at Christmas. This is something that I’ve now passed on to our girls!”

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Anthony Spon-Smith shows his eldest daughter Astrid, seven, how to play croquet while Elsa, five, decorates the Christmas tree. Planters from Coco Republic.
© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd The home utilises natural materials beautifully.

This year will be the first the Spon-Smith kids will take a PJ-clad dip in this particular pool.

The house was bought in August 2019 by Anthony’s parents, Paul and Dale, with the intention that it be a place for all the family to come together, including Anthony, Emma and their children, Anthony’s brother James, sister Mimi and her family. Because the previous owners had recently renovated, the home needed little work.

All the Spon-Smiths had to do was bring in some new furniture – hardly a difficult task considering Anthony is creative director and co-owner of furniture and design business Coco Republic. His father Paul is its chairman and founder.

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Astrid takes advantage of the light streaming into the open-plan dining space. Roxton stools, Bristol dining table and Miami chairs, all Coco Republic.
© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Emma, Astrid and Clara decorate the Christmas tree.

Situated a short stroll from the beach, the weatherboard home is set behind a hedge shaded by frangipani trees.

Oversize pavers sweep down to a covered entryway, which leads into the open-plan kitchen/dining/living area.

“We love to relax in the living area with a glass of wine after dinner,” says Anthony.

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Sleeping in the custom-built bunks is one of the things the girls love about visiting.

The space is divided by a nib wall with a timber-topped fireplace on one side and the kitchen on the other. A window seat runs along one side of the dining area, where a table generous enough for big family get-togethers takes centrestage.

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Seafan silk-screen triptych, available from Coco Republic, Timothy Oulton ‘Milano’ leather occasional chair, Propeller coffee table, Avery sofas, Camilla bamboo silk rug and Almonte concrete planter, all Coco Republic. Christmas stockings, Busatti.
© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd The covered outdoor area is a favourite spot for family time. Anthony designed the Architect outdoor sofa and lounge chair.

“It’s a typical beach house – easy to live in and designed to comfortably accommodate a couple of families in a casual, relaxed way,” says Anthony.

The dining area opens to a covered outdoor entertaining area with views across to the pool. This space extends around to an outdoor kitchen.

“We all enjoy gathering out here as the sun sets and the girls tumble about on the lawn in the cool of the evening,” he adds.

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Decorations from the Australian House & Garden range for Myer adorn the tree.
© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd A French market tote and a Helen Kaminski hat hang in the outdoor area.

When it’s bedtime, the girls head to the bunk room, which includes four built-in single beds and a wall of floor-to-ceiling storage.

“My dream is to one day build a secret ladder into the wardrobe that leads up to what would be a playroom above in the attic,” says Anthony.

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Anthony and Clara on the St Vincent outdoor lounge chair, a Coco Republic piece.

Celebrating Christmas in this home is the realisation of a long-held dream for the Spon-Smiths.

“When I was a kid, we would spend time on the Northern Beaches every summer,” says Anthony. “For the past few years, we’ve been renting homes in the area and pondering what it would be like to have a holiday house. Now we have one we can share with our family and it feels like a gift.”

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Astrid loves helping Emma prepare for Christmas.

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