Cate Blanchett, the demure star of Cinderella and The Lord of the Rings series, has put her 3,642 square-metre Sydney estate on the market for a smart A$20 million (approximately £9.2 million).

The listing – arranged by Christie’s International Real Estate and its local affiliate Ken Jacobs – includes the actress’ eco-friendly 5-bedroom home (“Bulwarra” – an Aboriginal name meaning “high and lofty”) which she shares with her theatre director husband Andrew Upton and children.

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“Often regarded as one of Sydney’s finest heritage homes, Bulwarra has undergone a carefully considered reinvention that seamlessly links the old and new,” says Jacobs.

The sandstone property – situated in the country’s oldest garden suburb, Hunter Hills – was originally built in 1877 and has since been carefully and cleverly renovated as a modern residence by Nadine Alwill of Alwill Design and Dr Stephen Lesiuk of Lesiuk Architects. But despite its generous size and modern extensions, the home is praised for its subtlety, blending well into the tranquil environs of the nearby Lane Cove River, thanks to a combination of its clean architectural lines and its wooded Will Dangar-designed surroundings.

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Inside, the sought-after residence makes use of its space with large, open-plan rooms and a light and airy design vibe. Low-key furniture, solid American Oak floors and a neutral colour palette channel a somewhat Mid-century vibe whilst modern features – a steel cage-like staircase and a streamlined chef’s grade island kitchen – speak of an appreciation for all things contemporary. The result is a relaxed family home which doesn’t forfeiting its design sensibility.

The upper level is dedicated to a family area and the home’s five bedrooms with the family area and three bedrooms opening out to verandahs, as well as a separate suite for guests. A private wing is dedicated to the coolest of master suites (kitchen and dining area included) where design is kept entirely minimalistic and concrete features throughout. A skylit dressing room and Boffi en suite ensure that luxuries are catered for. The perfectly situated freestanding bath is undoubtedly one of the home’s most opportune locations from which to enjoy tranquil river and garden vistas.

LuxDeco Style Guide

The estate also includes a pool pavilion, championship tennis court, trampoline platform, guesthouse and direct river access as well as a heated pool, covered spa and dining pergola with a unique studio retreat hidden below.

“With its exceptional provenance, luxurious eco-friendly amenities, and architectural significance, Bulwarra is impeccably executed with modern touches that make it a superb family residence,” notes Zackary Wright, Senior Vice President of Christie’s International Real Estate. All that and a cosy village atmosphere to boot.


The property will feature on the front cover of this month’s Christie’s International Real Estate magazine.