Family living at its finest
Do you want to go look at a display house?,” the Home&Life editor asks.
“It would really help me out, it’s not far from you and it has a butler’s pantry.”
Damn it – she knows my weakness. I have to say yes. I’m one of those people who looks at the kitchen first, laundry second and then the storage features. Bedrooms? OK, necessary I guess but give me an island bench to swoon over any day.
So let’s pretend we’ve already opened the front door and walked down the hall, so we can start with my favourite area of the Belleview, Oakford Homes’ newly opened four-bedroom display home at Hawthorn: the kitchen.
The long island bench with a deep double sink and stylish feature mixer has open shelving at the far end – perfect for cookbooks or stemware you want to display. A five-burner stove has a window behind it instead of a splashback, so you get glimpses of greenery as you cook.
Possibly my favourite feature of this kitchen is it has drawers for days – soft-close, of course. There are plenty of cupboards, too, with some stylish shadowline cabinetry, but I find it so much easier to stack my pots and even my crockery in drawers, so I can slide them out and see everything at once.
The mixture of wood-look and gloss white cabinetry, combined with the white Essastone island, gives the Belleview a fresh, contemporary feeling.
But the kitchen storage does not end here: there’s ample open shelving in the butler’s pantry, which contains a feature rarely seen in such a room: a window. A proper window – not a highlight one. The pantry also has built-in wine racks and a wine fridge. (Honestly, I don’t know why the Home editor didn’t fight me to see this one, because while I swoon over kitchens, wine racks are kinda her deal.)
And this pantry is practical as well as pretty: Four power points mean you can keep your toaster, kitchen mixer, food processor and espresso machine out all the time. There’s a deep sink, which makes it a proper butler’s pantry. And it can all be tucked out of sight swiftly thanks to the sliding door, so your dinner guests think you’re always neat as a pin.
OK, enough about the kitchen; let’s go back to the beginning … The Belleview’s limestone facade with charcoal roofing is just the right mix of contemporary and traditional.
The first floor is cleverly set back, so from the street you can’t immediately spot that the Belleview is a two-storey home. This also means parents in the master suite at the front of the home don’t have to listen to kids running around upstairs directly above them.
The entrance is impressive, thanks to the raised, recessed ceiling. It’s a stunning 3.2m high and, combined with the wide hallway and large soft grey floor tile, is a sign of the luxury and attention to detail to come.
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“It’s ideal for a family with older children as it has a separate upstairs wing set aside for teens or adult children,” Oakford Homes’ housing consultant Eileen Williams says.
“Alternatively, it would suit a couple, with a completely separate guest wing upstairs. It has a top-of-the-range finish and specification and an attractive frontage.”
The feeling of spaciousness created in the entry carries through to the master suite. Tall vertical windows are dressed with sheers to let the light through while retaining privacy. It’s a big bedroom, helped the fact there’s no need for storage in here because, walk a little further and there’s a massive walk-in robe.
The plush carpeting extends through the his ‘n’ hers robe, but to reach this you walk through what amounts to a third robe: a wall of drawers and open shelving that’s perfect for shoes and handbags.
The master ensuite, with inset rectangular double sinks from Caroma, has a large shower and a freestanding bath set before a stunning feature wall of grey Moroccan-inspired tiles. The colour palette seen here of greys, crisp whites and oak timber-look cabinetry, with chrome fixtures, is reflected throughout the Belleview.
“The interior style is modern classic,” Eileen says. “It’s very easy on the eye and such comfortable surrounds.”
Further down the hall is my second favourite room: the laundry. I’m cursed with a tiny laundry, so I love the Belleview’s over and under-bench cabinetry, two hanging rails above a long bench, a broom cupboard and, when I turn around, there are three floor-to-ceiling cupboards behind me.
Off the laundry is a cute powder room with partially inset basin and the same Moroccan-inspired feature tiling as the ensuite.
Nearby is an internal door leading to the double garage and a store room.
A carpeted staircase in the centre of the home takes you to a large landing, which is a second living space. This area has high-set white plantation-style shutters, a study nook and – joy – more cupboards.
Two of the bedrooms fit doubles, the third is styled with a single bed and could instead be used as a dedicated office, and all have double built-in mirror wardrobes.
The family bathroom features yet another freestanding bath and mirrors the colour palette of the ensuite, yet this time the bath is set before a feature wall of black herringbone tiles. The inset double sinks and vanity cabinetry were so successful in the ensuite they have repeated them here. It’s the perfect set-up for a family with teenagers who want their own space.
Back downstairs, the large tiles from the hall continue through to the spacious living area, which is flooded with light from an abundance of floor-to-ceiling windows and a wall of doors leading to the under-the-roofline alfresco area.
And the same doors appear in the dining area, so if you’re entertaining in summer just open everything up as it is all connected.
The living and dining areas offer ample room for entertaining and if things are getting a little noisy, just close the glass doors to the hallway so those in the sleeping areas aren’t disturbed.
The Belleview offers a huge 319sqm of floorspace and yet, due to the thoughtful design, you don’t actually need a massive block.
“It suits a 450sqm block with a 14m width minimum – subject to council requirements,” Oakford Homes designer Gloria Schwarz says.