Nestled in the wooded surroundings of Stirling, Robyn and Nigel McBride knew this four-bedroom, two-bathroom house had the potential to become a beautiful family home.
When Robyn and Nigel discovered the property at 15 Rostrevor Road, Stirling, it had stood empty for almost a year.
“It was mid-winter and I felt very sad because the house had no furniture, it was not heated and there were no lights on,” Robyn says.
“But, in the distance, I could see the most magnificent glimpse of the hills behind Mylor. I just looked at the property at the time, which was densely wooded all around, and thought you could make such a beautiful garden.
“It had these magnificent picture windows at the back of the house so you were drawn outside. Even though it was mid-winter there were birds around and I have to say I was a bit transfixed.”
Robyn and Nigel quickly set about making the house move-in-ready.
“I just gave the whole house a very thorough clean and tried to get to know the house,” says Robyn.
“I painted through just very neutrally and it had a beautiful kitchen already which had no wear-and-tear whatsoever.
“The bathrooms were rather tired but I just gave them a really good clean and had some minor repairs done and thought we would get back to that at a later date.
“It gave me time to both get the house in good, solid repair and then work out what it was that was so appealing about the place and how to strengthen those aspects of the house – which for me was the garden.”
With the help of Jarrad from Calypso Tree Services, and James Keogh and Nick Congdon from Adelaide Complete Gardens, Robyn began transforming the landscape and developing the beautiful garden the property boasts today.
“The trees needed an arborist’s attention,” says Robyn. “We retained what trees we could and put in more significant trees.
“We replanted a lot of trees and a lot of natives and I suppose the wonderful thing for the next owners is they can leave it and let all of that grow in beautifully, or they can add to it and add that next level of growth and planting.”
Robyn spent plenty of time working with Cleveland Nursery to ensure the plantings would attract local birds and wildlife.
“When you’re working in a garden, the koalas and possums are just hanging out,” Robyn says.
“One day when I was working with the arborist, we were walking up the hill and in the front garden there was a deer standing in the way.
“The beautiful creature just ambled up the bank and headed off down the road.”
The garden now boasts several gorgeous spaces including a flattened lawn area for playing and entertaining, a seated area perfectly positioned for soaking in the sunshine and bluestone-walled garden beds.
“I do love the walkway leading down to the front entrance of the house because, until a couple of years ago, that was completely dense ivy,” Robyn says.
“Even yesterday when I was walking down the path there, there were little finches looking for seeds.”
Inside the home, Robyn and Nigel have lovingly created an open-plan living environment that delivers stunning views and frames the treetops from huge windows.
“We were able to put down some beautiful oak floors to add more warmth into the house instead of the old carpeting,” Robyn says.
“It lifted the house and gave it a sense of warmth and enhanced the sense of being in a beautiful setting.
“The next step was some lovely wooden shutters to match the beautiful oak flooring.”
The natural light creates an ideal living space for curling up in front of the fire, flowing through to a defined dining room with charming garden views.
“I think in the Adelaide Hills, as much as we try to be conscious of environmental issues, we adore our open fires,” Robyn says.
“I put a log burner in which elevates the vibe near those lovely, big windows.”
Robyn and Nigel have breathed new life into the property and are ready for a new family to take over and love the home.
“It’s really the point in our personal timeline that prompted the sale, and that in turn has prompted us to see what we need to do to maximise the house,” Robyn says.
Robyn and Nigel took this opportunity to update the home’s bathrooms and give the whole interior a fresh lick of paint.
“What it provided was a lovely, clean state and really enhanced the view to the outside world,” says Robyn.
“Some family, or some couple, or just someone will really enjoy it and we have done everything we can to ensure they can connect with it.”
The sale is being handled by Taylor Bishop and Colby Harris of Harris Real Estate.