The Sydney home of TV journalist Edwina Bartholomew and writer Neil Varcoe has come a long way since they bought it six years ago. It’s even more impressive when you consider that the three-bedroom property at 1 Abergeldie Street is one of the oldest original houses in Dulwich Hill!
Back in 2017, it was filled with storybook charm, and liveable enough that the couple decided to move in without renovating. But after three years of grappling with the dated property, they knew it was time to show the home some TLC.
‘Our dog ran through the back door at one point chasing a possum, so we had cardboard and gaffa tape holding it together for a bit,’ Edwina says. ‘It’s much nicer now!’
Edwina and Neil enlisted the help of architecture and interior design practice Studio Esteta and Wynn Build for the renovations. The initial plan was to merely update the home while respecting its heritage roots but it didn’t take long before they were reconstructing the whole house – as they soon realised ‘there were no beams supporting the second floor!’
Kate Nixon and her team also worked extensively on the property’s interiors, sourcing a timeless mix of furniture, art, fabrics and accessories that helped tie the beautiful renovation together.
‘We didn’t change too much with the floorplan but completely overhauled the interiors, from sanding the floor back, to creating a dramatic dark blue study and library at the front of the house,’ Edwina says.
Other updates included waterproofing all the brickwork, creating a glamorous new marble kitchen and a glasshouse-style terrace for entertaining. The couple also worked with Beck Colechin from Garden Life to create ‘a fuss-free garden’ that has survived the ‘terrors’ of their cattle dog, Mate.
Now, as the family turns their focus to transforming a guest house in country New South Wales into a boutique hotel, they’ve decided to list their beloved abode for sale. And, in addition to missing their friendly neighbours and their street’s tight-knit community, Edwina says she’s also sad to say goodbye to their home’s clever storage – saying, ‘we have really thought about a place for everything’ – and its historic flair.
‘I’ve loved sitting in the study at the front reading a book with the big bay window, or playing up on the terrace with the kids,’ she adds.
‘We love that we have not only renovated a house, but resurrected a house to last for another century, and countless other families.’