Stay in a Riverside Vacation Home That Embraces the Australian Bush

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By Michele Koh Morollo / Published by Dwell
Perched atop a steep slope overlooking the Hawkesbury River on Dangar Island—just an hour north of Sydney—this tranquil, modern Australian vacation rental property puts guests right in the middle of nature.

Surrounded by native angophora trees and positioned at just the right elevation and angle, Dangar Island House is designed to maximize the lovely views of the river and the natural light that streams through the trees. 

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Though just an hour north by boat from Sydney, the location of the house is surprisingly remote. The use of warm woods, calming neutral tones, and Scandinavian-inspired vintage decor creates a home that has a sophisticated tree house-like feel.

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Designed by Sydney-based practice Robertson & Hingmarsh Architects, Dangar Island House is a home with a strong Australian bushland character, but that's distinctly modern. The interiors were designed by David Harrison, the owner and design journalist and stylist.

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Dark timber was used on the facade and the expansive raised deck that surrounds the house. From the outside, the property has a somewhat weathered, shed-like appearance. The outdoor deck, which overlooks the river, is a perfect spot for barbecues or alfresco dining.

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Inside, lighter colors and joinery open up the interiors, bringing a light breeziness to the living areas and rooms. In the open-plan living, kitchen, and dining area, concertina doors open fully so that the communal spaces meld seamlessly with the outdoors. 

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An earthy color scheme of gray, brown, and bleached wood floors are punctuated by windows that frame tree canopy views, giving the house a character that's pure and timeless, yet true to its Australian bush environment.

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Striking designer furniture combined with vintage pieces by Arne Jacobsen, Norman Cherner, Alvar Aalto, and Isamu Noguchi add plenty of high-design to this wild-at-heart vacation home.   

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Dangar Island House is available for rent through Boutique Homes.

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