When admiring the historic character frontage, it is a surprise to find this cottage at 4 Clyde Street, Parkside in fact has four bedrooms and three bathrooms across two storeys.
Donna and Brian Green purchased the home in 1996 and have spent the past 26 years lovingly modernising and expanding upon it while maintaining the original 1890s charm.
“We wanted to be sympathetic to the original cottage, but it needed to be brought into the 20th century,” says Donna.
“It is a quaint cottage at the front but then it keeps opening up and it’s surprising all the way through with all the storage and all the space we have created.”
The home reveals an open-plan living space that is perfect for entertaining family and friends with multiple living areas and semi-enclosed outdoor spaces.
“We have connected rooms to continue the flow and the consistency through the home,” Donna says.
“You walk through and it is a beautifully-restored cottage, then when you reach the back of the home it has all the modern conveniences with beautiful Caesarstone and all the entertainment areas.”
When it comes to entertaining, Donna and Brian are the perfect hosts – Brian has a passion for cooking – and the couple is always eager to spoil guests with gin and tonics on the back deck or a bottle of wine from the cellar beneath the staircase.
“We do a lot of entertaining and I really love it when all our family and friends come over and we just sit on the deck and chill down there on the little outside area,” Donna says.
“Then we come inside and enjoy our family time at the dining table and will have sing-a-longs at the grand piano.”
The outdoor deck offers all-year-round entertaining, with shutters that can be opened during the summer months and closed off to keep cosy in the winter.
“Typically, homes in Parkside can be quite cold, so we installed double-glazing and double-insulation to make sure we could create the warmth we needed in winter and keep it cool in summer,” says Donna.
As part of the renovation, Brian, who is an engineer, added a second storey to the home that has two large bedrooms with walk-in-robes, a home office and craft space, and a walk-in library and CD cabinet.
“I asked him to be really clever and create this beautiful space upstairs,” Donna says.
“It doesn’t feel like an attic space because, even though we were building up, it’s so open with the skylights. It has created this beautiful room up there with the master bedroom and the en suite.”
Even with its modern luxuries, the home remains true to its cottage roots, with Donna and Brian effortlessly blending old and new.
“We did a top-to-toe refresh, so there was no expense spared and no stone unturned because we wanted to create that luxury and a beautiful space that we could fall in love with,” Donna says.
“We have painted ceiling roses and have done beautiful railing down the entrance with the half-wallpaper that carries through to the fireplace in that middle sitting room.
“The four working fireplaces have been restored and all the mantlepieces have been redone.”
It is through Donna’s passion for interior design that the house has been able to maintain the charming characteristics that make it so unique.
“Attention to detail is something we do and we wanted to create that visual wow-factor everywhere we go in the home,” says Donna.
“I even designed all the leadlight features above the doorways because I wanted to capture some of the colours that we were putting throughout the home to pick up on the flow of what we wanted to achieve.”
As much as Donna and Brian love the home, they are ready for a new adventure now that their three children have moved out.
“It has been a beautiful home over the years and we have lots of memories here as we raised our family. It is a little sad to think about it as an era that has gone,” says Donna.
“But, at the same time, it is nice to hand it over to someone else who can love it as much as we have.”
“It’s so suited to another family and we will do something that will work well for the two of us but still create those family entertaining spaces that we so do love.”
The sale is being handled by Georgie Todd and Lucy Johnson of Harris Real Estate.