Contrast and Complement: Portland Street Duplex by MPR Design, Sydney

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With one property’s front red cedar slat screening being vertical and the other’s being horizontal — these two attached dwellings are complementary, but contrast just enough for a touch of distinction in this Sydney duplex from MPR Design Group. Built on an incline, these dwellings were designed to make the most of a view toward Sydney Harbour, while front entrances are elevated above street level for privacy. The west façade enables a balance between panoramic views and shade, with cantilevered rooflines; at the living room level are walls of glass, affording completely unobstructed views. The “view” inside is bright as well, with expansive glass and skylights on the upper level. Supplementing this natural light are both recessed and creative fixtures along the stairwells that provide a bright — and whimsical — touch.

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Each dwelling, of a compact 750 square meters, includes roomy living areas, three bedrooms, and basement “rumpus rooms” that open onto a landscaped yard and pool. Bathrooms are surprisingly spacious with soaking tubs and discreet windows for sky gazing; clever use of red accessories in a streamlined white kitchen provides cheerful color that “pops.” Light spills into the open living room from high, rectangular windows above plush seating areas facing a flat-screen television and a compact fireplace. Storage is easy behind neutral-toned and white cabinets and shelving over the entertainment area — plus a few convenient cubbies in the rumpus room. Contrasting, yet complementary, these two units afford their owners both harbor views and the fun of a swim and playtime in their own outdoor areas…courtesy of the experts at MPR Design.

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