An appealing street name certainly can’t hurt the amount of interest in a property.
Along Glenside’s Allinga Avenue – which has a lovely alliterate ring to it – there is an obvious sense of house pride among the street’s beautiful character homes.
However, both the street and suburb changed names about a century ago and it is hard to imagine the now sought-after avenue by its previous name of Rice Street, Knoxville.
Number 6 was built in the 1930s, several years after the change of names.
Perhaps the new name of Allinga, based on an Aboriginal word, had at least some influence on the original owner who built a grand gentleman’s bungalow.
Greg and Samantha Holmes purchased 6 Allinga Avenue in 1996 and have relished the past 27 years living at the address, where they have raised their three children.
Greg can’t remember if the street name played any role in the purchase, but he vividly recalls being instantly captivated by the character home and its gorgeous facade.
“I do remember we looked at 30 to 40 houses over 18 months before finding this one,” he says.
“We immediately fell in love with the grand look of the property and the wide lawned verge out the front … we had to have it.
“It’s a stately house and a cut above a normal bungalow; the return verandah gives it a grand feel.
“I’m sure that when it was built in the 1930s people would have lived on that front verandah, which would have been the entertaining area.”
Entertaining has now shifted to the back yard where Greg and Samantha have built modern two-storey extension with a pool and al fresco dining space – all of which is hidden from the street view.
The impressive build includes a cantilevered al fresco space with upstairs balcony supported by structural steel.
“When we did the extension, I didn’t want to be able to see the top storey from the street, so you’d have no idea it’s a two-storey home – that was quite important,” says Greg.
“We didn’t want to detract from the heritage façade, so we spent a lot of time making sure that the roof line was not visible from the front of the home.”
The extension added three large upstairs bedrooms, a large bathroom, a living room and a balcony.
It has made a monumental difference to the family’s lifestyle, with the upstairs space serving as the children’s rooms with space for entertaining friends.
“Light was an important part of the design and in the morning it pours in,” says Greg.
“Sunlight comes in through the upstairs north-facing windows, filtering down the stairs and lighting up the kitchen.
“It certainly works well.”
The couple decided to keep their master and en suite downstairs, but the upstairs living room could be easily converted into a master bedroom with walk-in-robe and en suite, along with its own balcony.
“It would be fantastic to have the master up there, but we were attached to our bedroom downstairs,” says Greg.
“The flexibility is there if someone would want to create a master bedroom up there at minimal cost.”
The couple enlisted the help of interior designer Olivia MacDonald of LivMac Design to create the home’s current iteration.
With the character home reportedly already in great condition, the front half was simply given some cosmetic treatment.
“The character rooms are amazing and everyone comments on the domed ceilings – they’re awesome. The walls are probably half a metre thick, so it’s amazingly cool in summer,” says Greg.
“We’ve never had any cracking or anything like that, which is rare for this type of home.”
An added attraction is the home’s close proximity to Burnside Village – just a 10-minute walk away.
Allinga Avenue has provided a great backdrop for family-oriented living, but the owners are now downsizing, listing the home for sale by expressions of interest.
“It’s going to be very sad, but we’re starting a new chapter and hopefully we’ll find the next home to be as good as this one.”
The sale is being handled by Bronte Manuel and Jessica Crane of TOOP+TOOP.