I stumbled across this Parkview property because a friend of a friend was looking to sell, and my husband and I had no intention of buying anything, especially not a 1000 squares of jungle to rival Ms Haversham’s…
What we discovered was a rabbit warren full of treasures, wrapped up inside a tangle of an overgrown garden. Original red brick arches over the patio hinted at other heritage features hidden within. We discovered beautiful parquet floors laid in various patterns throughout the house and perfectly Art Deco lightning bolt door handles on solid Oregon pine internal doors. Built in 1934, the house was unadulterated by renovators but was also run down and in serious need of TLC. Needless to say, we couldn’t resist! We enlisted my in-laws as partners in crime and the house became ours in a few quick weeks.
By the time transfer came through we had pinballed through layout options as we embarked on the redesign and come to a consensus on what needed to be done. The traditional divided room structure would be updated to a more open plan arrangement that is more suited to modern lifestyles. We decided that the best way to do this would be to relocate the kitchen from the back corner to the center of the house, allowing a TV Room and a Dining Room to spill off from it. We created a clear line of site from the front patio, through the living area and kitchen into the back courtyard. One thing that struck me on first entering the house was the lack of light, and now, the whole place is flooded. Pale and interesting walls and high ceilings accentuate the sense of space and allows free movement through the space. Major surgery was also required to remedy the current bathroom conundrum! The new layout had to provide 3 En Suites as well as a guest bathroom where there had once been one and a half bathrooms.
New aluminium doors and windows replaced rusted steel cottage panes and brought in a contemporary edge as well as sunlight, but we retained a picture frame oval window and gorgeously tooled brass window stays. Red brick edges to parapet walls were refurbed and continued in new places, we wanted to keep as many of the precious antique details as possible because we all felt these features were what made the house so special. New kitchens and bathrooms are designed with clean lines that nod to classical styles but are modern and minimal. Natural Oak and marble like Ceaserstone counter tops in the kitchen contrast against white duco vanities with Rugged Concrete Ceaserstone tops in the bathrooms. Overall the result is elegant and understated but incredibly beautiful.
We called in my landscaping genius of a mother to design the garden as my green fingered husband oversaw the implementation. Very organised spirals of bougainvillea, snake through rows of neatly set olive trees as wild grasses rustle below.
A true family effort! I loved this project and am very pleased with the result!
Photographed by Astrid Kingsley