This property at Chisholm stands out for all the right reasons.
Positioned deep on an oversized block, the house is set apart from its impressive, contemporary neighbours by its colonial-inspired design, red front door and, at present, weeping wisteria framing the full-width front verandah.
Owner-built in the Waterford Estate in 2013, it was bought in 2019 by its current owner, who has put finishing touches to the interior and is transforming the backyard of the 1800 square metre block.
The rendered brick and Colorbond home provides the best of both worlds: the conveniences of today and the charm of yesteryear.
Gorgeous ironbark flooring and cedar, double-hung windows add distinction and warmth. A sense of space is achieved throughout by wide hallways, generous room sizes and nine-foot ceilings with ornate cornices.
"It was my style," the home owner says of the design.
"I have always liked more traditional homes and was drawn by the way it looked and felt.
"And its modern floor plan worked for us as a family."
The floor plan is shaped like a dumbbell, with the kitchen and informal living area separating the three family bedrooms, study and main bathroom at the back of the house from the formal living zone and main bedroom at the front.
The kitchen and living area opens on either side to verandahs and, in a coup for heating, cooling and privacy, the three sections of the home can be closed off by internal doors.
A long driveway leads to a parking pad and attached garage with cedar door.
The front wing is a favourite part of the house, in particular, the sitting room and adjoining formal lounge.
One of the first things the new owner did when she moved in was install a gas fire in the lounge room, which overlooks the front verandah. The grand chimney and gas bayonet were ready and waiting.
The sitting and lounge rooms feature a variety of furniture, including bookshelves, made from mango wood, as well as attractive floor rugs.
"I have gone for timber and earthy tones to furnish and decorate the house to complement the warmth of the floors," she says.
"Having said that, the sofa in the sitting room is teal, which gives a pop of colour.
"The front room is a lovely place to unwind, as is the front verandah."
Keen to create more outdoor spaces to enjoy, the family is well into the major project of overhauling the backyard. This includes installing a Compass Sanctuary in-ground pool, extensive landscaping with sandstone retaining blocks and native vegetation, and incorporating alfresco dining off the informal living area.
Lilly pilly "Backyard Bliss", for screening, kangaroo paw, grevillea and dwarf flowering gums are among the planned plants.
The project has been interrupted by the pandemic, bad weather and unearthing of additional rock, but the end is in sight. It will be the worth the wait, with fingers crossed for a family Christmas spent by the pool.
"The aim was for a more functional use of the backyard," the owner says.
"There was a lot of space and I wanted to make those areas as functional and appealing as possible.
"The yard is a huge job. It is essentially a renovation, and things are thrown up that you don't anticipate . . . I've learnt to expect the unexpected but also to ask lots of questions."
When the backyard renovation is complete, the family hopes to take time out to enjoy the progress made both inside and outside the home.
Other additions inside include aluminium shutters in the lounge room, sitting room and main bedroom, a new dishwasher and freestanding oven, and custom-made cabinetry in the laundry and study. The laundry cabinetry, by Pacific Designer Kitchens, of Cardiff, incorporates a "sneaky, fold-out ironing board, which is very handy".
The owner will continue, though, to hunt online for special, second-hand pieces to enhance the home, such as the rattan mirror sourced from Facebook Marketplace that takes pride of place in the entrance hallway, and the two timber seats she will refurbish to use around the new fire pit.
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The family will also continue to make the most of living in an evolving estate that suits their lifestyle, is handy to Maitland's growing facilities and attractions, and is easily accessible to Pokolbin's vineyards and Newcastle.
Waterford Estate has a high school, primary school and child-care centres, as well as existing and planned sports fields and playgrounds. Residents are awaiting development of the council-approved Chisholm Plaza, which will incorporate a supermarket, specialty shops and medical centre, but recommend the local Kitchen at Waterford Cafe for a beverage and tasty bite to eat.
"The estate has awesome, wide footpaths for walking and bike riding and natural features like plenty of trees and billabongs,'' the home owner says. "It is a friendly place and has a good community feel.''
The neighbourhood sounds warm and welcoming, just like her own, characterful home.
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