Palm Beach NSW
Bali Hai is a Sydney northern beaches house designed in 1960-61 by architect James Aubrey Cosh (1900-1970) of Spain, Cosh and Stewart and built for Stewart Douglas Cyril Low (1896-1962) and his wife Beryl Bishop. Low managed a well-known interior decoration and furnishing enterprise, Stuart-Low Studios, from the 1920s until his death. The previous Low family home in Wahroonga was also called Bali Hai.
Beryl ‘Bobbi’ Low, later Hicks, was a commercial artist, ceramicist and avid gardener. She created many art works in the house and from the kiln in the garden studio she made the female figure and shell-shaped ceramics in the rear garden. Hicks also designed and planted all of the gardens including the rear ‘saucer’ garden which was low-planted to take advantage of views to Palm Beach and Barrenjoey Headland.
One of the features of the Palm Beach house was the den, fitted out with furnishings originally used in a July 1962 exhibition of 'Sydney's Ten Best Dressed Rooms', held at the Sydney department store David Jones. Stuart-Low Studios designed a 'Library for Morris West', a “retreat where the writer could relax or entertain”, with tan leather chairs and settee, a lustrous wool Tai-Ping imitation leopard skin carpet and wall-unit bookshelves. These furnishings were donated to the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection by Bobbi Hicks in 1999. The house was photographed shortly before Hicks sold the property.
Carol Henty, ‘A botanical masterpiece’, Belle, Sept/Oct 1979, pp102-105
Margaret Smith, ‘The artist’s surroundings influenced her work’, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 February 1979