There is a bathroom on the ground floor of Brett and Lori Luhrmann’s Seaforth home that has star quality.
A luxurious feast of Carrara marble, Italian travertine, shiny black feature tiles and leadlight, if it seems straight out of Hollywood, then that’s probably because it is.
“The bathroom was inspired by a bathroom in Chateau Marmont in LA,” Lori said.
The famous Chateau Marmont Hotel, on Sunset Boulevard is a Hollywood icon and favourite haunt of the rich and famous.
And of course the Luhrmanns have been there — Brett’s brother Baz is Australia’s Hollywood royalty, and an award-winning film director, writer and producer many times over.
His best-known films include Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge! Romeo + Juliet, Australia and The Great Gatsby.
He has worked with actors like Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, to name but a few.
It is accepted practice to stay at Chateau Marmont under an assumed name, and Lori Luhrmann said they were no exception.
“I can’t remember what the name was, it was Mr and Mrs Pickleworth or something, and of course Baz was there under an assumed name,” she said.
“But I never forgot that beautiful bathroom, so I used it as the inspiration for a new bathroom in our home.”
Brett Luhrmann grew up racing on water and dancing in ballrooms. Both had a huge impact on him and Baz, but as his younger brother moved into the entertainment industry, Brett relentlessly pursued racing.
The 57-year-old and his wife Lori run Luhrmann Powersports International, and, by extension, Team Australia Powerboat Racing, according to The Australian. They are major players in the new sport often described as “Formula 1 on water”.
In the Luhrmann’s stunning, Mediterranean-style masterpiece of a home at 6 Kirkwood St, Seaforth, it works perfectly with the heated thermal swimming pool and the 800-bottle New Guinea rosewood wine cellar guarded by a door so heavy it took four men to lift it into place.
And while this is a property of estate-like, absolutely luxurious proportions, there is no mistaking the fact it has been their much-loved home, where they have raised their three daughters, and now two grandchildren, for the past 15 years.
A little wooden heart hanging on the front door gives them away.
“Home is where the heart is,” it reads.
The home is where the extended Luhrmann family — Baz and his family included — choose to spend holidays and festive occasions like Christmas.
And there have been more than a handful of Hollywood celebrities who have come to stay.
“The Hollywood A-listers come here because they feel safe here, and they are treated just like family,” Brett said.
So will he name names? Even just one or two?
“Never,” he said.
If only the walls could talk. Because it is very clear this Luhrmann brother won’t be spilling any stories about late-night parties by the pool in this lifetime.
But this is part of what has endeared this family to the northern beaches for decades.
Brett and Baz Luhrmann have long been claimed as two of the northern beaches’ favourite sons. Along with siblings Chris and Amanda, they spent much of their formative years on the peninsula, including stints at Narrabeen Sports High School, which was where Baz met screenwriter and actor Craig Pearce, with whom he would go on to collaborate with on most of his major projects. The pair co-wrote Strictly Ballroom.
Family matriarch Barbara still lives on the northern beaches as well.
While Baz has found his fortune on the Sunset Strip, his older brother has chosen a quieter life in Seaforth with Lori.
But quiet hasn’t necessarily meant their life has been lacking in action.
Team Australia Powerboat Racing is an integral part Luhrmann Powersports International, of which they have three individual teams based all over the world – a team until very recently, Brett was a driver for.
While they intend to maintain their involvement with the team, he has announced his retirement from racing.
It comes at the same time as he and Lori are selling their beloved Seaforth home. It’s a big decision that will take them away from the northern beaches for good for the first time.
Four years ago, Lori was diagnosed with aggressive stage three breast cancer.
While the treatment has seen her go into remission, and launched the couple’s new mission to raise awareness and funds for cancer research, it has come at a cost.
Lori’s health has seriously deteriorated as a result of the treatment, and late last year she was hospitalised, where she underwent an 11-hour operation. More surgery is planned this year.
The setback — and the desire to spend more time with their grandchildren — has made them take stock of their busy lives and decide that the time has come to slow down just a little.
So they have bought a farm, north of Sydney, where they plan to base themselves.
It’s a bittersweet decision, leaving behind a home that holds so many treasured memories, but they are ready to pass it on to the next family.
“We have put everything into creating a home for our family,” Brett said. “And it’s always been a home, not a house.”
The property is for sale by private treaty, with a price guide of $4 million. For more information contact Etch Real Estate: Hugo Ortega, or Luljeta Ortega.
Original Story: Amanda Sheppard