welcome to emmas housethought

little bay

The One is here on holiday! We have been houseminding in a delightfully forgotten corner of Sydney, which despite owning a perfect little beach has up until recently remained unmolested by property developers. For the last 100 years half of the suburb was a hospital, originally for infectious diseases, due again to the end-of-the-line geography of the place.

Now, the hospital has been developed, but this isn’t such a bad thing. It’s quite a groovy piece of urban planning. Many old hospital buildings have been kept, and although there are more than a few new multistorey apartment buildings, most of the development is freestanding houses which have been built, it appears, under a very strict architectural code.

It’s hard to say what era the place belongs to. Some houses have a whiff of Frank Lloyd Wright, others suggest Japan or Jacques Tati. It’s all a kind of post-vintage, neo-Truman Show mid-century modern-modern.













  1. mary January 3, 2013 11:46 pm Reply

    Like your pics Em!

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  2. Sheila Sim January 4, 2013 12:17 am Reply

    Cool! Feliz Ano Novo to you both xx

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  3. Colin January 4, 2013 12:53 am Reply

    Very different and quite revealing to have such a nice assortment of buildings.
    I suspect the residents have political power within the council and planning department, and have set minimum values and standards.
    The Pink Box is interesting and probably much larger than the frontage signifies. Frank Lloyd Wright is evident in 1 and 4.

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    Emma   Reply: January 4th, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Nah, the development is completely new. There weren’t any existing residents. I suspect a rare case of good developers :O

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  4. Valerie Curtiss January 4, 2013 3:13 am Reply

    Dearest Emma, I long for your return to Portugal!!! Hope this will be soon so you can finish your Casa portuguesa. Feliz ano novo as todos.

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  5. steve January 4, 2013 3:25 am Reply

    is that rose bay?

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    Emma   Reply: January 4th, 2013 at 5:02 pm


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  6. Tony January 4, 2013 5:28 pm Reply

    Yes Sydney my home town- love it love the beaches!
    Vaucluse/Rosebay pretty fancy lots of moneyed people
    But still wish to go to my birth home in the Algarve with its sleepy
    sunny, beachy lifestyle.
    Mind you I would hate to try and find work there?

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  7. Maria Silva January 6, 2013 10:31 am Reply

    …Wow !!! What a contrast between those buildings and those you left behind in Portugal !! A little cottage in the idyllic Portuguese countryside is still the go for me ! One day, God willing !! 🙂

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  8. Julia Gillard January 8, 2013 3:19 am Reply

    Little bay, is a nice piece of land. Maybe I should close the jail near by and convert it into another piece of real state…
    by the way, dear Emma, why not taking also some pics of the social housing near by Little Bay and Malabar so your Portuguese friends see and admire ( and have a shock for sure) where I put some of the money of the tax payers of Australia…they will never believe it.

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    Emma   Reply: January 8th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Portuguese shocked by poverty? Shocked by citizens being disenfranchised by their own government? Shocked by the failings of democratic-socialism? Get real.

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  9. IsabelPS January 15, 2013 5:56 am Reply

    Wow! Fantastic houses!

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  10. Ad January 16, 2013 4:18 pm Reply

    Quite clearly photographs of tiny models for a planned development. Or Little Bay really is little.

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  11. Penniedarling January 18, 2013 6:19 pm Reply

    I’ve kept your blog on my Google Reader since I heard you on 702 radio a couple of years ago and I enjoy it enormously, my DH and I drove all around Portugal in an old London Taxi before you were born 🙂 but I just had to write and thank you for this post, I did my Nursing at Prince Henry Hospital in the mid 1960’s, my mother did hers in the early 1940’s and I haven’t been anywhere near the place for about 45 years. I just did a Google Maps to check the area out… Wow!
    I love your description of the homes as something from a Jacques Tati movie, Mon Oncle springs to mind immediately! I’m also thrilled to see some of the old wards are still standing… I think my DH and I need a ‘day out’ sometime soon… just for old times sake.
    Thanks Emma, cheers Pennie

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    Emma   Reply: January 18th, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    I wish you’d popped up a few weeks ago, we had so many questions about the place!

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  12. Helen February 3, 2013 9:58 pm Reply

    Dear Emma,
    I’ve been reading your blog ever since you were profiled in a Sydney Sunday magazine back in 2009. I love your style and bravado. I must also say yours is the only blog I ever read. Never too long, never boring and never silly or arrogant. Just perfect! Keep up the great work and best of luck with your health, wealth & happiness.

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  13. Santa Barbara Metal Buildings February 8, 2013 6:11 pm Reply

    Awesome.. !!! these are really Cool… i want to be there and want to see that house with my eyes.

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  14. Henning April 22, 2013 8:03 pm Reply

    Hey, really nice house, great 🙂

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