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FEATURE LISTING: Beautiful bluestone in Dulwich

After 20 years of creating fond memories in their home, the owners of this Dulwich bluestone with a striking modern extension are looking to pass on the keys.

Leng Pho, a physio, and her husband bought the Dulwich villa as their first home together when they were newlyweds back in 2004.

Leng tells SALIFE she has always loved character houses and wanted to live near the city.

“When we saw this really beautiful bluestone return verandah villa, we loved it straight away,” she says.

“It also ticked off all the essential criteria of what we were looking for,” she says, including a double driveway, and a close proximity to the city and good schools.

“We didn’t have kids back then, but we were planning for the future, and it was just the perfect location for us.”

18 Cleland Avenue, Dulwich is a turn-of-the-century single-storey bluestone with a bold modern extension.

The villa has four bedrooms, including the master bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe and a spacious master suite.

There is also the bathroom, laundry and powder room, an additional living/fifth bedroom, and the open-planned kitchen and living space that looks onto the outdoor entertainment space with a pool and spa.

The striking extension was added about five years ago.

Leng says they chose Flightpath architects, who are “quite known for doing heritage houses and respecting the character” because it was important for them to keep as much character as we could inside.

“When we got the house it was very much in its original condition… [and] even had the outdoor dunny,” she says.

“When [the architect] proposed the plan, it sort of threw me a little bit because they proposed a modern extension, which wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but they did explain it, and then I loved it – it made sense.

“What they were saying is you either try and keep through the house, which is very hard, because it’s a bluestone and it’s impossible to source out more bluestone and to make it match completely. So, if you can’t match completely, go for something different and modern and contrasting.

“I’m so glad we did it. It’s just perfect. It doesn’t look odd at all.”

The north-facing extension has abundant lighting and large windows, providing plenty of light throughout the day.

The interiors are modern and seamless, with windows and cabinetry flushed to the walls.

“Everything looks really seamless and minimal as well. There’s not a lot of clutter, but we’re minimal people anyway, so we never cluttered the house,” says Leng.

One unique aspect of the extension is the mud room, where the family can leave their shoes before entering the house.

“This is a very Asian thing – we are a shoeless house, so I really wanted an entry, when we come through the garage, we come through a side door and into a side door that we could get our shoes off, put it away.”

The extension also has a prime view of the outdoor entertaining area – one of Leng’s favourite parts of the house.

“It has really great indoor-outdoor living with the bi-fold doors; we can open it up and it increases the entertainment space by a lot.”

“We have a big family and our house is the go-to house for family get-togethers like Christmas, Mother’s Day, Easter, things like that. So, we can easily cater for lots of people.

“We love the pool as well. I mean, when the kids were young, they played in that a lot and I probably love the spa more so than the pool. You know, they can play in the pool and I’ll sit in the spa and relax and look after them.”

Although Leng and her family have created many fond memories while living in their Dulwich home, they have decided to downsize.

Leng says she will miss these memories the most.

“Because it’s our first house that we bought together and we’ve been there for 20 years and our kids have all been born and grown up there… obviously [we’ll miss] the beautiful house and the pool and land, you know, the materialistic things, but I reckon the experiences and the memories that we have created there, I think that we will carry that with us.”

18 Cleland Avenue, Dulwich is being handled by Sally Cameron from TOOP + TOOP.