Inside kaftan queen Camilla Franks’ glamorous new $12.5m Bondi home

Fashion designer Camilla Franks poses during a photo-shoot in her home at Woollahra in 2020 for the Wentworth Courier. Picture: Troy Snook

Fashion icon Camilla Franks, famous for her kaftans, has a glamorous new $12.5m home, an Arts and Crafts architectural treasure on Bondi’s biggest block.

The famous designer, who grew up in Bondi, has bought Gnal-Loa, described as a rare and significant estate on 1015sqm.

Franks bought the home via buyer’s agent Sam Green of Advantage Buyer’s Agents, who says: “You couldn’t get a more perfect property for my client … just the history and the sheer land size — it certainly doesn’t feel like you’re in central Bondi!”

He says it was “definitely a case of seeing the property and matching the buyer.”

The purchase follows news in January that billionaires Andrew and Nicola Forrest would take a minority shareholding in Camilla Australia, which Franks founded in 2004.


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The Imperial Ave, Bondi property is “perfect” for his client, buyer’s agent Sam Green says.

The huge block is part of the appeal.

Plus the grand wraparound terrace.

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The grand sandstone Federation estate currently consists of four bedrooms and three bathrooms with parking for three cars, but there’s development approval for a new parent’s wing and 60sqm guest house, designed by Kelvin Ho of Akin Atelier architects.

There’s also approved plans for a pool and outdoor entertainment area by Myles Baldwin Design.

The property is currently owned by the founding partner of Barrenjoey investment bank and the chair of the Australian Rugby Foundation, Ben Scott, and his marketing consultant wife, Pensiri.

They’d bought it for $10.1m in June, 2021.

“They didn’t buy it that long ago and they’ve done a bit of a sympathetic reno, but it’s the DA that really works with the character, beauty and history of the home,” Green said.

A great spot for a dinner party.

Free-flowing living areas.

There are three bathrooms — this one’s prime for a makeover.

Franks has released a statement about her purchase, saying it was an opportunity for a “new chapter” for herself and her daughter, Luna.

“I’m so excited to create new memories in this 1900s beauty — she has charm, personality and history,” she said.

The famous designer also said that she was sad to be leaving her current Woollahra home, which is expected to hit the market shortly.

It’s understood Franks will be moving into the Bondi property after an extended settlement, proceeding with the renovation in future years.

The vendors did a reno a few years back.

There are currently four bedrooms.

Her new home is within the original grounds of Edward Merewether’s Castlefield Estate.

The interiors are by the acclaimed designer Tamsin Johnson.

There are northerly views to the ocean.
The extraordinary estate is one of just a few remaining early 1900s manors in Bondi.

Built in 1908, it has 25m street frontage and sandstone foundations.

There’s an autoomatic gated drive with parking for more than four cars.

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It offers polished hardwood floors, 3.2m ceilings, a sunny master suite with a steam shower, a north-facing deck with the ocean views, elegant free-flowing living and dining rooms, steel-framed doors by Kelly Wearstler and French doors to a sunny wraparound deck.

In the kitchen, there’s an Ilve range cooker.

The upper-level kids’ retreat has ocean views and there’s an upstairs dressing room with Belgian Sisal carpet.

Outside there’s a lush lawn, flourishing orchard, firepit and veggie garden.

The sales agent was Alexander Phillips of PPD real estate. There’d originally been hopes of above $13m but it’s believed to have sold for $12.5m.

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