Leslie Walford’s beach house
Palm Beach NSW
Walford’s beach house was originally designed by the architectural firm Peddle Thorp & Walker and built in 1957. In late 1964 it was bought for use as a weekender by interior designer Leslie Walford and his travel-agent partner Dick Keep, with some alterations and additions made in 1969-1970 and 1987-1988. Set high on a hillside, the house had privacy from its neighbours but expansive views directly across a grove of Norfolk Island pines to Palm Beach, west to Lion Island and the Hawkesbury and north towards Barrenjoey Head. Walford furnished the house as a retreat, designed to create a sense of Australia’s place in Asia and its geographical relationship to the Pacific Islands; a romantic evocation starting from the saw-cut dark-stained cedar lining boards used throughout the house, offset by white ceilings and doors and given colour and texture with textiles from India, Indonesia and Thailand. The dark walls provided an ideal backdrop for the large number of paintings that brightened every wall. Over the 37 years of Walford’s ownership the paintings sometimes changed and the number of art objects grew, dominating the experience of the house. The house was photographed at point of sale in late 2002.
Patricia Coppleson “Very defined ideas at the beach” in Vogue Living, October 1983 pp.132-137
Joanne Lindsay “Island-style ease” in Australian House and Garden, March 1988 pp.24-29