Reno rumble: One of Brisbane’s oldest homes brought back to life
BEYOND its overgrown and tired facade, the 1870s farmhouse was a piece of Brisbane’s history waiting to be brought back to life.
When the Barnes family first set eyes on ‘Rockbourne’ in 2004, they knew they had found something special.
The property at 118 Kennedy Tce, Paddington, is one of the original homesteads in the iconic Ithaca Precinct.
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Perched on a huge 1480 sqm block, the north-facing, elevated home was ripe for renovation, so the Barnes’s embarked on a labour of love.
“What was most important to us was that we maintained the integrity and history of the home,” owner Michelle Barnes said.
“We agreed we would not rush into getting everything done or compromise on quality construction and finishes.
“Instead, we took the approach that we would renovate as we could afford it.”
So, they met with an architect, an arborist, a landscape designer and a builder to first plan the overall vision.
After six months of planning, the mission was clear: to rejuvenate the historical Queenslander by kitting it out with classic, yet modern amenities, while staying true to its grace and charm.
They restored the traditional facade, 12 foot ceilings, timber floors, doors, stained glass panels and fireplace, but added modern touches to make it more entertainment-friendly.
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“We love cooking and holding dinner parties for friends and family so having a large kitchen with plenty of benchspace, ovens and cooktops and storage plus a large dining area was a priority — as was the outdoor entertainment area with a barbecue and a pizza oven,” Ms Barnes said.
“It’s a home with so many beautiful memories, both with our family and those who lived here before us.”
They installed a new kitchen, complete with butler’s pantry, Subzero fridge, Vintec wine fridges, marble benchtops, hand painted cabinetry and European appliances.
The new dining room is accented by Spotted Gum finishes and adjoins a large living room.
There are six bedrooms, including a master bedroom with a dressing room and ensuite.
The three bathrooms are accented by marble finishes and hand-crafted cabinetry, with the main bathroom boasting a cast-iron clawfoot bath.
Downstairs, there is a rumpus room, decorated in Crema Pacifica honed marble flooring and bifold doors.
This space is also ideal for a teenager/guest retreat or potentially self-contained granny flat style accommodation.
Outside, the Barnes’s installed a 9m x 4.5m saltwater swimming pool, surrounded by trees and landscaped gardens.
One of the statement features of the property is the state-of-the-art alfresco pavilion by the pool, which is perfect for gatherings and includes an outdoor cinema for movie nights.
A block of land this size is a rarity in Paddington, and also accommodates a cosy firepit, vegetable gardens, citrus trees and a chicken coop.
But the hidden hero of the home is a sunlit study with floor-to-ceiling library, opening onto the wrap-around balcony.
“It’s the smallest of all the rooms, but is beautifully lit throughout the day,” Ms Barnes said. “Surrounded by my books, arranged in floor-to-ceiling shelves, I never tire of reading or working in the study.
“It overlooks the vegetable gardens, down the veranda and out to the city and receives the most delightful breezes.”
The property is being offered for sale by Tyson Clarke of Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty.
RENO FACT CHECK:
Time taken: 15 years
Total spend: Can’t put a price on it