You can tell a lot about the owners of 3C Kingston Crescent at Kingston Park simply by looking around the home.
Damien Smith and Gretchen Scinta-Smith invested much of their own creativity, personalities and family lifestyle into the design of their beachy three-story oasis located close to the gorgeous stretch of coast just south of Brighton.
A spectacular 1000-bottle wine cellar is telling of Damien’s career in the wine industry, while the fabulous stainless-steel kitchen was built to Gretchen’s requirements as a chef.
A pintail surfboard hanging on a bedroom wall is a clue to their son’s talent in the waves, as he often hits the breaks across Yorke Penisula when the family visit their 40-acre farm property over there on weekends.
Sales and marketing director for Pirramimma Wines, Damien grew up at West Beach, while Gretchen is originally from Texas.
The couple met in New Zealand when Damien moved there to establish luxury wine brands and Gretchen worked at an awarded wine bar and restaurant in Wellington.
“I met her there, we clicked and the rest is history,” says Damien.
“We were living in New Zealand in a beautiful enclave called Piha, out on the west coast, and our house was perched on the hillside overlooking the ocean.
“We moved to Adelaide in 2007 and were living at Brighton. I dragged Gretchen up to Kingston Park straight away, and said, ‘This is where I want to live’.”
“Kingston Park has this beautiful mix of feeling like you’re in the hills, but you’re right on the beach, which in Adelaide is incredibly rare.
“The north-facing aspect of this block was too good to turn down. The block slopes three and a half metres from the roadside down, so it has this beautiful, natural flow.
“It had challenges from a building point of view and came at a cost, but it meant we could have these amazing views and this sense of space.”
The three-storey home was built in 2015 by BTF Constructions, who won the Housing Industry Association’s award for best use of a sloping block.
“To include a house of that size with a decent back lawn and a lap pool was a challenge from a design point of view,” says Damien.
“I describe it as an urban beach house: very minimalistic with earthy and raw materials – the best of the best.”
After about six years at the address, the family are selling so they can create another dream home.
“Gretchen grew up with a lot of change in her environment. She moved from New York to Miami to Houston and she always spoke about how it keeps you nimble and agile – you don’t become complacent. So, we wanted that instilled into the kids,” says Damien.
“We’re also both very creative people and now we want to create something new.
“I will miss sitting out on the deck overlooking the ocean on a nice summer’s day and cooking a barbecue with family and friends. Maybe you’ve been for a swim at the beach and come back to have a swim in your own pool and then a barbecue – it is an entertainer’s paradise.”
The rear yard is screened with dozens of mature gracilis bamboo that stand several metres high and create the feeling of a tropical oasis.
“The bamboo creates this feeling of being in a Balinese or Byron Bay environment but also close to the beach, which is brilliant from both a privacy and tranquillity point of view.”
The master bedroom features a large pane of glass that creates a link with the en suite bathroom.
“I’ve been in the wine industry and travelled the world for the past 25 years have stayed in pretty nice places.
“The master bedroom design is borrowed from some of the most elaborate hotel rooms I’ve stayed in around the world, where you’re looking through from the bed and there’s your bath, walk-in shower and walk-in robe,” he says.
“Because of the screening of the plants and the gabion wall, it’s one of the most private residences you could live in.”
One of Damien’s favourite features of the home is the unique gabion front wall that provides a secure separation from the street.
“For most gabion walls they tip in the rocks and I think it looks very haphazard. I don’t like that; it just looks too easy. I’ve always loved the gabion walls that are all hand-placed, which creates a beautiful and deliberate pattern with a very earthy appeal to it.
“We had eight guys on-site building that bespoke wall on their hands and knees.”
“The effect is just stunning and it gives this sense of strength and security, but it also has a very deliberate appeal to it.”
Being avid entertainers, the couple built a 1000-bottle wine cellar, which can be “a bit dangerous” as the cellar is clearly visible through large glass windows adjacent the dining table.
“There was a house that we lived in New Zealand and it was designed by a yachtie who used a lot of exposed beams. I wanted to take that further because I love the strength of steel.
“Even a typhoon couldn’t move this house because of the structural integrity of these beautiful exposed iron beams on the outside of the property. It gives an industrial rawness, which is softened by the bamboos, the native garden, and the earthiness of stone.
“I love symmetry, so everything throughout the property is consistent. It’s just has a beautiful flow about it.”
The sale is being handled by Bronte Manuel and Jessica Crane of TOOP+TOOP Real Estate.