THE owners decided this was their dream home within 10 seconds of walking in the front door and promptly bought it at auction.
“We’ve always loved Claremont’s history, leafy old streets and the timelessness and craftsmanship of turn-of-the-century homes, especially the high ceilings, tall windows, wide jarrah floors, architectural details and wonderful working fireplaces,” they said.
“We could see that although hidden under several layers of wallpaper reflecting decades of early 20th century taste, the house’s bones were good and it had potential with the large block size and the building’s simple design, which lent itself perfectly to extension.”
The owners planned a thorough extension and renovation of the 1904-built two-storey home on a 1012sq m block with heritage architect Carolyn Marshall.
“The vision for the build was to remove the 1960s additions, such as round steel veranda ‘posts’, red concrete verandas, ‘aquarium’-style blue family room with horizontal high slit-shaped windows and low aluminium sliding doors at the back, as well as the linoleum floor coverings; to pare the house back to its original skeleton and then to expand it northward, creating more bedrooms and communal living spaces on both floors,” they said.
“We wanted to retain the original features, materials and warmth while including separate living spaces for us and the children as they grew up.
“We sought to maximise natural light, tall-as-possible ceilings and windows and palpable connection with, and easy access to, the garden/outside areas.”
The award-winning result pairs the elegance of the original home with modern appeal.
The ground floor includes several living spaces, giving you the option to have formal areas, studies, theatre, music or games rooms.
There is also a large light and bright family/dining and kitchen area with a fireplace and bay windows overlooking the lush gardens and saltwater pool.
As well as being a great place to relax by the fire on a winter’s night or read the paper in the sunny northern bay window areas, the owners said this zone was ideal for parties, easily accommodating 200 guests, while the dining area was a great dinner party location.
“We have fond memories of family and friends gathering for drinks or dinner around our long table, then regaling each other with stories long into the night in front of the dying embers in the fireplace,” the owners said.
Stairs off the family room lead to a wine cellar.
“We are fortunate to be part of a winemaking family and enjoy the ritual of walking down to the cellar to choose a bottle with friends,” the owners said.
The ground floor also includes the master bedroom with walk-in robe, fireplace and ensuite, and a second bedroom and bathroom.
The first floor is ideal as a children’s zone with three bedrooms, a large bathroom and a living area that opens to a balcony where you can watch the Royal Show fireworks.
After 28 years living here and raising their children, the owners said it would be a wrench to move.
“The house has provided a light-filled, airy sanctuary from the busy world for us and a lovely place for our children to live and grow,” they said.
“It’s filled with history yet spacious and functional both indoors and out, with its soft, welcoming green garden.
“However, our children have left home and the house is now too large for just the two of us.”
They have also enjoyed the property’s proximity to parks, rivers, shops, schools and university.
“Our neighbourhood is incredibly friendly; everyone is always ready to help with small things like feeding pets, collecting mail or putting the rubbish out when neighbours are away,” the owners said.
“There’s a great sense of community and we’ve enjoyed our chats over the various ‘fences’ and at gatherings.”
37 Riley Road
Auction: March 23 at 11am
Agency: Ray White Dalkeith-Claremont
Contact: Vivien Yap on 0433 258 818 or Phoebe Shi on 0478 950 812