It's that time of year again! When we can support a terrific fundraiser for St Joseph's Primary School in Hawthorn and take a little sticky beak into the lives of others – where they live, how they have decorated their interiors, what makes their space home! If you haven't been to this event before, this year is the year to make sure you don't miss out. The 36th annual St. Joseph's Open Houses will be held on Sunday March 15, 2015. Profiled this year will be six homes, all amazingly spectacular in their own individual way.
We are lucky enough to have a preview of one of the six homes, this one is situated in Moore Street, Hawthorn. The original design of this house in Grace Park estate won an architectural competition in 1884, and the recent renovation of it by McSteen Tan also won “best heritage conservation, additions and alterations” in the Boroondara Urban Design awards in 2014. This house and two others in the street were all built in the same period for one owner. Soon after, it became the home of a Hawthorn Councillor.
The façade is distinctive, and has been retained and preserved by the current owners. The front garden has been landscaped using box hedges in keeping with the heritage features of the house. The owners and architect have paid tribute to the house’s origins by restoring many of the original features (including fireplaces, doors and unusual internal arched window frames) and by adding period light fixtures.
A vibrant but Victorian colour scheme has been used in the study and formal sitting room, which serves to blend the original part of the house with the modern extension. Dark-stained floorboards also give the front part of the house a contemporary edge, which is carried through to the open plan living area. The main bedroom is large with a useful open dressing area. The original wall between the main bedroom and formal sitting room has been reinstated, and a bar in the sitting room dating back to the 1960s has been removed. The servery into the sitting room has been preserved. Behind the sitting room is a small room which is currently being used as a wine room, but was previously a bathroom. The main bathroom has a stylish light fitting, marble benchtop and dark grey tiles.
The open plan living area at the back of the house is filled with light from expansive windows. The garden serves as a natural splashback to the kitchen. Cupboards in both the kitchen and lounge area are sleek and give a minimalist feel.
Outside, the line of the roof extends above the paved area giving glimpses of the sky. The garden is both beautiful and functional, with a vegie patch, olive trees, a persimmon tree and a quince tree. Additional bench seating is integrated into the vegetation.
A key part of the renovation brief was to incorporate sustainability features, which include double glazing, recycled water and tanks. In the outdoor area to the side of the main bedroom is a red pole which has been secured to the house. The origins of the pole remain a mystery, with speculation that it may have been a lamp post or the bottom of a letterbox.
St Joseph’s Open Houses 2015, Sunday 15th March 2015, 12pm – 4.30pm.
$40 per ticket pre-paid online, or $45 on the day (if tickets are still available). Single home entries - $20.
Ticket price includes shuttle bus transport, afternoon tea and a gorgeous gift bag to take home.
Tickets to St Joseph’s Open Houses sell fast.
The last mailout for pre-purchased tickets will be Tuesday March 10. Online tickets can be purchased after that date but must be picked up from school on the day.