An ‘old meets new’ renovation can be absolutely stunning with the right approach, and this Brunswick home for sale is a prime example.
When purchased by the current owners in 2014, the house had been in the same hands for 50 years, and left in a dilapidated state. Much prior to that, the property was believed to be a bakery built in 1883, then a green grocer.
‘We were looking for a property in the inner north and fell in love with the location of the house. We always loved Victorian homes, and especially something different – being a corner store,’ says Scott Druce, founder and CEO of Milligram, who owns the house with partner Daniel Creasey, head of pro bono and community impact at King & Wood Mallesons.
Not wanting to erase the property’s history (including the original shopfront), the pair embarked on a major restoration and extension. ‘We saw an opportunity to restore the best of the Victorian elements, but as the land is deceptively big, we had an opportunity to create contemporary living spaces as well as a private garden oasis within the inner city,’ Daniel says.
Modscape designed the modular extension as a simple geometric space that connects to the original structure via a glass link corridor. On the ground floor is a light open-plan living domain featuring a statement spiral staircase, leading up to the mezzanine main bedroom with an en suite and city views. This entire space appreciates views through floor-to-ceiling windows out to the landscaped backyard, including the pool and outdoor dining area, followed by the brick garage and sauna.
Two further bedrooms are in the restored, original portion of the home, along with a study in the old shop front component. Scott says having this separate work area was a saving grace over Melbourne’s 2020 lockdowns.
‘Even though the lockdowns were really tough, we felt so fortunate to live in a house like this, that provides diverse ways to live,’ he says. ‘At the end of the day we could have a sauna, and then jump in the pool and feel like we were on holidays!’
Restored features include hardwood floors, timber panelling, ornate cornices, and a marble open fireplace, alongside the sympathetic addition of clawfoot freestanding bath in the large main bathroom.
The location of the property is another major drawcard, being positioned on a quiet cul-de-sac (a real rarity in Brunswick!). ‘It’s almost as quiet as a country town, yet we’re nested between bustling Sydney Road and Lygon Street. We’re also really close to Princes Park,’ says Scott. ‘We love the location so much that we are actually moving to another property right around the corner!’
While the move is bittersweet for Scott and Daniel, it’s great news for those seeking a four-bedroom home close to all the action, without compromising on space and everyday luxuries. If that’s you, please invite us over!
32 Blair Street, Brunswick, Victoria is being sold by Nelson Alexander via auction on April 26. For more information, see the full listing.