The Victorian Italianate-style mansion had formerly been transformed in an art deco style, the verandahs half closed in, windows reduced in size and lacework removed. Then in the early 1990s the owners bought and restored it, in collaboration with heritage specialist architect Deece Giles.
For the family, enamoured of the house and their nearly 20-years history together, the time was ripe for another refurbishment.
No longer on the heritage list, the house could be given a contemporary redesign to better suit their modern Australian art collection and a now grown-up household. Architect William Smart's sensitivity to the home and his desire to amalgamate old with the new sealed the deal. The brief was clear. The house was to be upgraded and improved with a monochromatic colour scheme, more private areas and bathrooms. The property was also begging for a greater visual and physical connection to the tennis court and pool, the picturesque gardens and sweeping views to Balmoral beach.
The transformation was completed in July 2008. The grandeur of the original two-storey Victorian home remains but it is cut back with hard-edged restarint in a colour scheme of white and grey. Oversized artworks, Italian and Danish designer furniture, and finishes including stone, large tiles and DuPont Corian lend an air of opulence.
The main entry is flanked by the formal lounge and dining room, revamped with dark-stained, wide timber, floorboards and contemporary lighting. The living area has been reconfigured to create a continuos flow to the outside,, with bifold foors opening full width beneath an awning. The pool and modern native gardens by landscape designer Wiliam Dangar are now in full view and easily accessed.
The second storey was extended to provide ne w ensuites, in terrazzo andn glass, and walk-in dressing room to complement the bedrooms. The main bedroom's existing ensuite and dressing room were combined, resulting in an area with luxurious scale.
The study, nest to the all-white and stainless kitchen, now provides the owners with space for displaying a collection of Merric Boyd pottery, the organic shapes contrasting with the house's clean lines. Contemporary design principles plus places for art and adult family life have given this house relevance again in a new age.