Discovering the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home at 28 Alexander Street, Largs Bay was like stumbling upon a treasure in The Lost Gardens of Heligan.
When Julie Vaux purchased the immense property in 2013 it had been overgrown with masses of wisteria and cedar trees so thick the house couldn’t be seen from the street.
“My mother actually found it when she was out for a walk and it was very much an overgrown property,” Julie says. “To be honest, I never even knew it existed because it was very covered up and private.”
Julie has always adored living in and around the Semaphore area, and fell in love with Largs Bay and its quiet streets and five-minute walk to the beach.
“I was looking for something to do internal renovations on and to work with an existing structure instead of adding a big extension,” Julie says.
“It was on a lovely size of land which was appealing and there are beautiful features within the home.”
Julie began renovations with the home’s interior, working room-by-room to restore and maintain original features as well as give the home a modern touch.
“It now has a really nice blend of old-world charm with some beautiful existing features that we have married in with a nice, contemporary feel.”
The front door and ornate screen are complemented by original leadlight windows by H.L. Vosz, a German man who emigrated to South Australia and started a business on Rundle Street in 1853 as a painter, glazier and paperhanger.
Even with the contemporary touch ups, each rooms boasts original cornices, chandeliers and fireplaces. The floorboards are also originals that have been polished and prepared to survive for more decades to come.
French doors open to the garden from almost every room, letting in light and gentle sea breezes, while a sunroom on the home’s eastern side soaks in light through elegant, gothic arch windows.
“The way the living rooms are set out, there are beautiful double doors so you can open it right up or close rooms off.
“It is very flexible in the way you can use the space and even though it doesn’t have the typical massive extension, it has just as much space.”
Julie had many ideas for transforming the garden, sketching them down before hiring a professional landscaper to bring her vision to life.
An alfresco dining space offers oodles of entertaining possibilities beneath a stone-walled arbour that acts as an outdoor room.
Box hedges create spaces within the yard and nectarine trees and a herb garden give plenty of fresh produce alongside the raised vegetable beds.
“My granddaughter has really loved the garden and I think that is a real gift to give children; to be out in nature and learn about the worms. It has been a treasure and I will cherish those memories with her.”
Ready to downsize, Julie is selling her home after a decade of memories, but hopes to stay by the beachside she loves.
“I hope somebody else will come and love it. It is your own piece of paradise by the beach.”
The sale is being handled by Kate Smith and Jett Matthews of Harcourts Smith.