When Michael and Katie Camilleri bought this California bungalow back in 2012, it was in ‘an extreme state of disrepair’. The property had been uninhabitable for more than 20 years, with no working kitchen, or bathroom!
‘Most thought we were mad, but we knew that with a vision and a lot of hard work, our house could be something special. After doing some minor renovation works initially, we finally decided in 2018 to embark on a two-year journey in building the home of our dreams,’ Michael says.
The original dwelling had many ornate features including tuck-pointed brick work, extensive timber wall panelling and parquetry floors. The new design, by Hazel Porter Architecture, has built on these features, reimagining the property as a glamourous five-bedroom home, with period character but a contemporary floor plan.
Behind the pretty 1920s facade, an expanded hallway leads to a striking open-plan living, kitchen and dining area, complete with an impressive scullery and laundry. Glass sliding doors extend from the sleek contemporary kitchen to the lush backyard – fitted out with a white mahogany deck near the swimming pool with granite-paved surrounds.
This entertaining space forms the heart of the home, where the family have enjoyed plenty of winter nights by the fire, and warm summer evenings watching their two sons, Will and Charlie, playing in the pool.
Upstairs, there’s also a retreat, which could be set up as a playroom, while a study provides options for the new owners to work from home. Meanwhile, a grand main bedroom features hints of the property’s historic charm via a fireplace and bay window-seat.
‘To us this location is the inner north’s best kept secret,’ says Michael. ‘Within 200m from our front door we have access to Miller St Village, which is a collection of cafés, eateries, a gelato bar, wellness studios, local grocers, and specialty shops. We also are in very close proximity to the Merri Creek Parklands and trails which have been a heaven-sent during recent lengthy lockdowns.’
‘With all the buzz of such a lively and vibrant neighbourhood at our doorstep, when you enter our home, you are instantly transported into a quiet and private sanctuary.’