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FEATURE LISTING: Luxury Kensington Park home with historic coach house

A Moreton Bay fig tree takes centre stage in this architecturally designed Kensington Park villa, built in 2007. After 17 years, owners Annemarie and Nicholas Pyne are now looking for a new family to call it home.

Annemarie Pyne, an interior designer, her husband Nicholas and their three children have called this Kensington Park villa home for the past 17 years.

When the couple bought the vacant lot in 2007, which was once part of the historic Carlshurst mansion next door, they could envisage building an architectural marvel.

“The street is filled with heritage homes, so we’ve got the best of both worlds – building a new home, but in a heritage area,” says Annemarie.

“We’re very hidden from the street behind a high brush fence. So, there’s lots of garden and textured plantings – dappled light.

“People were always wondering what was behind the fence – what the house looked like. As you merge through the garden, you start to see the house, which has a lot of western red cedar features.”

Although they opted for a modern design, Annemarie and Nicholas were at pains to honour the history of the property.

Designed by John Diekman Architects and built in 2007, the contemporary-style bungalow centres around an historic Moreton Bay fig tree, while the original Carlshurst coach house has been retained and converted into a teenager’s retreat.

“When we bought the block, there was a beautiful Moreton Bay fig tree in the front yard, so we designed the house around that,” says Annemarie.

“We worked very closely with the architects to create this tree house feel, nestled in nature and greenery.

“We still have some bamboo, which was the original bamboo from 50 years ago in front of Carlshurst.”

Stepping into the entrance hall of 2 Pembroke Street, Kensington Park, you will find the living room to the left, while the master bedroom with its spacious walk-in wardrobe and ensuite is to the right.

Making your way to the back of the house, you enter the large open-plan kitchen and living area, Annemarie’s favourite part of the house.

“Sitting in the back room with the northern lights in winter is really special,” she says.

Upstairs, you will find three more bedrooms, a home office and a separate bathroom.

Outside in the luscious green backyard, landscaped by Amanda Pyror, is the pool and shed, while the house also has a vast cellar.

“We have deciduous plants around the pool, but we also had to do special plantings around the Moreton Bay fig tree to make sure that thrives and is the feature of the front garden,” says Annemarie.

The teenager’s retreat at the rear of the property is entirely self-sufficient, with its own living area, kitchen/dining space, laundry/bathroom and a bedroom upstairs.

“We’ve had lots of interstate family members over. I put them in the coach house to stay – we created an extra bedroom … when our son started university, he moved out there and he had his own private space,” says Annemarie.

“We’ve done a lot of entertaining over the years, where we put the caterers out in the coach house and then we have a marquee.

“We’re able to use all of the back area and we’ve had all our 21st, 50th and 60th parties out there. We’ve enjoyed the space for the past 17 years.”

But after 17 years of calling Kensington Park home, Annemarie says they are now looking to downsize.

She says she will miss the back room the most, with its spectacular view.

“I don’t know whether we’ll be able to find another house with that same aspect looking out to the garden.”

The sale of 2 Pembroke Street, Kensington Park is being handled by Sally Cameron from TOOP+TOOP.