Sarah Waller on designing the home that epitomises her timeless design aesthetic.
Multi-award-winning architect and creative-force, Sarah Waller, turned her dream of designing and building her own home into reality this year. And now, her latest personal project BLACKWOOD DOONAN, has become the ultimate showcase of her architectural vision.
Sarah’s homes are luxurious, with sprawling, open floor plans. “To me our style is timeless. It’s pared back and minimal. Bold, linear, and with a tight palette of colours”. This approach not only defines her work but also ensures that every element fits seamlessly together.
BLACKWOOD DOONAN, located just outside Noosa, is Sarah’s most recent personal project and was born from her desire to live on acreage and bring her dream home to life. The design of the home began with one line – the off-form concrete wall acting as a spine. From the front facade, the house appears closed off to the public eye apart from a single 30cm high and 15m long window at floor level height. But on the opposite side of the exposed concrete wall, the interiors are entirely open, with floor-to-ceiling windows revealing stunning views of the expansive backyard and golf course beyond.
The floor-to-ceiling windows at Blackwood Doonan. Image credit – Sarah Waller
When describing the house and its unique features, Sarah points to the angles, the wedged shaped pool, and the tapered roof, as well as the outdoor living spaces. “The challenge with being the architect of your own house is that you can keep designing and designing, but it comes to a point where you stop and say ‘right, it’s time to draw a line – we’ve got to get this built’.”
Phoenix Axia Wall Basin Mixer Set and the NX Iko Rail Shower in Matte Black
Phoenix product was specified throughout the home, meeting in perfect symphony with the timelessness and minimalism created in these spaces. Explaining her preference for Phoenix Sarah says, “They have been pushing design boundaries, while delivering exceptional quality for years.”
Sarah’s award-winning expertise in bathroom design shines through in BLACKWOOD DOONAN, where six bathrooms are thoughtfully constructed with bathing and relaxation in mind. “To me the bathroom is a sanctuary. It signifies the end of the day.” Incorporated into the bathroom designs is Phoenix Axia in Matte Black, with its modern, minimalist aesthetic, and ultra-thin outlets mirroring the design elements of the home and Sarah’s deep affinity for clean lines and sharp angles.
Axia has won multiple design awards, including the prestigious Red Dot, Good Design Awards and iF Design award for innovation and cutting-edge design. “I like a clean line on a tap. When Axia popped up, I thought ‘that is made for me’. It follows the roof line, with the beautiful sharp angles. I also wanted a progressive mixer, so it was an easy decision. I love the fact it’s so flat, but the water pressure is not compromised at all. You can see why it’s won international design awards.” The Axia Collection includes a full range of tapware, outlets, assemblies, and accessories.
Phoenix Axia Basin Mixer in Matte Black
Phoenix products continue to make their mark throughout the home, with the Vezz Flexible Hose Sink Mixer adding to the stylistic components of the butler’s pantry and laundry. “I love that it’s got the flexible rubber hose, and that very square, sharp handle.” In the kitchen, the Erlen Sink Mixer makes a stylistic statement. Vezz and Erlen are part of Phoenix’s popular Designer Sink Mixer collection, with multiple finish options available too.
Phoenix Vezz Flexible Hose Sink Mixer in Matte Black
Having worked with Phoenix on multiple bespoke projects, Sarah says “The extensive range of finishes and styles perfectly suit our diverse and sophisticated projects. I have always valued Phoenix’s exceptional customer service and support, which consistently positions them as an ideal collaborator in our design process.”
The build wasn’t without its challenges. Set to happen right when COVID-19 disrupted supply chains, and the La Niña rains were affecting the area. But Sarah says the construction is probably her favourite part of any project. “I’m a licensed builder here in Queensland. So not only was I the client, but I was the architect and builder too. The build can be very stressful and challenging, but you always learn so much and its very rewarding at the same time.”
Phoenix Erlen Sink Mixer in Matte Black
In early 2023, Sarah and her husband moved into the sanctuary that is BLACKWOOD DOONAN, saying “we’re still pinching ourselves most days, looking at what we’ve created.”
Architect – Sarah Waller Architecture
Builder – Sarah Waller Building
Photography – Alyne Media