Berowra a National Trust listed property was built in 1888 and is an original grand Victorian residence of distinction. With dramatic wrap around balconies it offers views of The Opera House, the Harbour and Harbour Bridge whilst the home itself is bathed in glory with a radical transformation and rebirth with the start of the new millennium in 2000.
Originally, Berowra was one of a pair of free standing gentleman's residences built in the late nineteenth century and at one stage was the home to the Lord Mayor of North Sydney, Sydney Clark. Later the property was purchased by the railway authority and became the Milson's Point Stationmaster's cottage. Yes, you guessed it - this home just oozes history.
In 1998 the home, which had become dilapidated was purchased by an overseas environmentalist, Michael Watts, who was determined to bring this historic property back to its original condition with no expense spared. And certainly no details have been overlooked in his passion to breathe new life into this magnificent home.
Many high profile people were involved in the restoration of this home including Christine Saunders Design of Melbourne and the architect Luigi Rosselli. Today the house stands as a testament to the vision of Michael Watts and is recorded in a self- published book entitled The House By the Bay.
The fully restored home now offers 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and substantial living areas spanning 3 levels .
As you step into this domain a wonderful aura and calmness emanates. If only these walls could talk what wonderful stories they could tell.
Careful preservation of original features combined with a flair for modern design maximise both space and light.
The entry level of the home features the formal lounge living areas as well as the informal kitchen/ family room which leads out to a private paved courtyard where you can eat breakfast with a view of the harbour.
The kitchen itself is stunningly simple and yet well designed with all appliances integrated - including the stove!Plenty of space in these rooms for entertaining a cast of hundreds. In fact the flow of the entire home lends itself to hosting parties and BBQ's and of course you can tantalise family and friends at New Year's Eve with ringside seats for the fireworks!
There are 5 original marble fireplaces throughout the home all of which were covered in tar from the coal burning in years gone by but have been carefully restored.
Both the formal lounge and the Master bedroom above feature wrap around balconies with stunning original ornate balustrades, iron columns, fretwork and tessellated tiles. Sitting on these balconies overlooking the little jetty in front of the home allows you to watch the world go by. The business of the harbour with the coming and going of the ferries, the cruise boats and pleasure craft can keep you captivated for hours!
And let's not forget that this used to be the Stationmaster's Cottage. The rail line in front of the home is now just a shunting line but the occasional sound of the train slowly chugging past reminds us of the home and it's amazing history.
The elegant entrance hall features a massive stained glass window well over 120 years old, and the magnificent Victorian timber staircase with its turned handrails and newly laid carpet takes you to the upstairs bedrooms.
And what a vista awaits you from the master bedroom. You can relax in bed at night with the veranda doors wide open and listen to the jingle jangle of the boats bobbing up and down, the lapping of the water in the bay and be mesmerised by the twinkling city lights across the water.
Perhaps the most dramatic spaces in the home are the bathrooms. Each of them is unique and given that the restoration took place in 1999 are still incredibly modern and exhilarating. This is a true testament to Christine Saunders. She wanted to design unconventional bathrooms as a contrast to the classic period of the home and she succeeded impressively.
In the en suite, the flat-sided bath allows the water to overflow onto a zen-like pool of pebbles scattered on the floor. The his and her basins are made of thick slabs of limestone tilted against impressive glass screens which cleverly hide the toilet and shower. Keeping an original fireplace in the bathroom gives that magnificent melding of old with the new.
In the huge main bathroom, which originally was a bedroom, the shower, basin and lavatory are built into an island unit where the limestone bench top turns into a sculptural seat that Rosselli called his dentist's chair.
The clever re- design of the home has meant that the Master bedroom, en suite and formal lounges are enraptured by the magnificent views of the harbour whilst the second bedroom, main bathroom and kitchen/family rooms capture the beautiful sounds of the cascading waterfall at the rear of the property. The sounds of water permeate throughout the home.
On the lower level of the home is a fully self-contained apartment with a private entry and it comes complete with a full Gaggenau kitchen and plenty of storage. The amazing bathroom on this level features the original cement domed ceilings and is a true masterpiece of design.
Beneath the home is a huge double lock up garage with plenty of storage and private access to the property.
For further information call Kate Galetto 0417246687