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FEATURE LISTING: Luxury living on the Henley Beach esplanade

This modernised Henley Beach character home is the masterstroke of owner-renovator Ros Herbert and husband Bob, who are downsizing from the luxurious esplanade address with its ocean views and unique pool.

Prospective buyers who attend an open inspection at the gorgeous 225 Esplanade, Henley Beach, might be surprised to be greeted at the doorstep by the owner, Ros Herbert.

Ros is not only the owner behind the renovation of this stunning four-bedroom character home, she is also the agent selling her own address.

“Being the agent and the owner-builder makes for interesting open inspections,” says Ros, director of Fasari Property.

“I’ve been very upfront with interested people and it seems to make the conversations much warmer. It’s been quite engaging and I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Ros and her husband, retired businessman Bob Herbert AM, purchased the home in 2013, completed a renovation in 2016 and have since relished five years of beachfront living.

The couple is now selling the four-bedroom home to downsize, with plans to build their next home in the same suburb.

The property will be sold by auction on Wednesday, October 27 at 6.30pm.

Before Henley Beach, Ros and Bob had lived between cities for years; first Sydney and Adelaide, then Melbourne and Adelaide.

When the couple finally decided to settle here, Ros took on the project of finding a more permanent base and making it their own.

They were lucky to get a second chance at purchasing this esplanade home, after the previous owner withdrew it from market and then listed again a year later.

“I think it’s getting harder to secure property at Henley Beach and in particular Esplanade properties, which are like hen’s teeth,” says Ros.

Having completed several other renovations in the Henley Beach area, Ros set out to retain the home’s original character while creating stunning modern living spaces with neutral tones that would complement the couple’s artwork and furnishings.

“My style for renovating tends to be adapted to each property and for this one it was pretty obvious that we had to keep the character but just bring it up to date,” says Ros.

“It is a gracious home with everything you need in terms of mod-cons. The size of the house is deceiving from the front, which is one of the things we like about it; it creates a “wow” response when people enter.

“It’s such a lovely place to live in and it’s going to be hard to leave, but it’s too large for us these days.”

The cellar beneath the bedroom captures an underwater view, with a laminated acrylic window that peeks into the side of the pool.

“I sit down there looking through the window into the pool waiting for the mermaids to go past,” says Bob to which Ros laughs; “They don’t eventuate; I lock the gate!”

Bob says he’s proud of what Ros has achieved.

“She’s renovated six other homes in the Henley Beach area and she also did a couple in Melbourne before we came over here, so she’s got a very deft hand doing this and has gathered a bit of a following for her expertise,” says Bob.

“What is particularly important to me is that Ros has preserved the original arches and high ceilings.

“For me, retaining those features of the past in a modern era is what’s so attractive about this home.”

To make the most of the ocean views, Ros has created an enclosed sunroom where the verandah once stood. This has become one of their favourite spaces.

“We decided to keep the sunroom, which was a very good decision because it’s a great spot to sit on balmy evenings and calm mornings; it’s gorgeous,” says Bob.

“Our most relaxing times have been in the sunroom looking out over the water, watching the sunsets or the storms brewing on the horizon; those memories stand out the most.

“I love the location of the home and that has proved to be something that endures,” he says.

From the kitchen, that view is maximised with a mirrored splashback, allowing ocean vistas for guests perched on kitchen island stools.

In what could be such a public spot along the esplanade, the Herbert home retains its privacy with hedges and fencing that come up to just the right level to balance discretion and outlook.

Ros is a self-professed black and white freak, but natural materials and neutral tones creep in to broaden the colour palette.

The neutral tones allow the couple’s eclectic artwork to provide the colour and style to each room.

Out of a demolished wall came sandstone and bluestone, which has been used in the living room in a striking grid formation.

COVID has derailed the couple’s long-held dream of moving to Italy for six months at about this time of their lives.

Instead, they’ve decided to take a road-trip around Australia while they draw up plans for their next home.

“We’re going to get out of here soon as the borders open and have a look around Australia with our dog George,” says Bob.

Despite their well-laid plans, Bob says there’s no getting around the fact that they will miss their view and the sound of the waves at their doorstep.

“I can’t imagine having a more enjoyable place to be where I can look out over the beach with all the passers-by, the parents with the prams, people strolling along and the kids playing on the beach; it’s just so nice.”

The sale is being handled by Ros Herbert of Fasari Property.