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FEATURE LISTING: Thrilling Thebarton

This 1920s bluestone cottage in Thebarton carries with it a rich history and a stunning renovation earning it a place in international architecture magazines.

This 1920s bluestone in Thebarton has a vibrant history.

At one point it was used as a squatter’s house by bikies who lit a bonfire in the spare bedroom, unfortunately damaging the karri floorboards.

One of the former owners was an elderly lady who taught music lessons in the front room.

Current owner Amy, a health professional, says that the owner before them was a chef who had a large industrial kitchen.

“He loved to cook and all their friends called it the party house because it has this nice, big, open kitchen and a really nice feel to it,” she says.

“We love using his old chef’s stone and he told us when we bought the house that we’re only allowed to have French Champagne in the kitchen.”

Amy and her partner Ben bought 1 Ross Street, Thebarton around 20 years ago.

Amy says that when they bought the property, it had a smaller footprint, but after a visit from their friend Kate Harry from Fabrikate, they decided it was time to renovate.

“We thought it was probably time for the mango-coloured kitchen to go and she just looked around and said, ‘Oh my goodness, we need to push out the wall here and we need to turn the lounge room into an ensuite and a study for you – just change around the footprint a bit’,” Amy says.

The 2018 renovation by The Little Build Co. was designed as a collaboration between Kate, Amy and Ben.

It blends Nordic, Japanese and mid-century influences and has been featured in Architectural Digest, Dezeen, Dwell and the Local Project.

The renovation involved creating an expanded kitchen/living dining area, an ensuite and a reading corner next to the fire – Amy’s favourite part of the house.

“I made a lovely little nook in the corner, a reading nook next to the fire, which is my favourite part of the house to sit and read and have a cup of coffee,” she says.

“The cats love that area too because they get the lovely sunlight through the window.”

The colour red also features prominently in the addition.

“We love red, so we’ve got a bit of red in the terrazzo on the kitchen bench and things and the red tap and things – so very much our little addition,” she says.

The three-bedroomed single-storey cottage includes a master suite with an ensuite, an open-planned living/dining/kitchen, a bathroom and a laundry.

Stepping outdoors onto the pergola there is a gym/retreat area, a spacious shed and a patio.

“We love productive gardens, so, it’s got a lot of productive fruit and veggies in it…we love that sort of kitchen-garden interaction – being able to cook fresh fruit and veg and herbs from the garden,” she says.

Amy credits Ben as the “man behind the garden”, with its citrus trees, cherries, apples, two olive trees, quinces, pomegranates, berries, seasonal vegetables, herbs, and its century-old fig tree.

“It’s probably as old as the property itself, which has got a little reading bench underneath it, so you can sit out in the sun and read a book or something under the fig tree,” says Amy.

Amy says that while they are hesitant to sell their Thebarton home, they are now moving on to a second renovation project in Goodwood.

She says they will miss the vibrancy and convenience of Thebarton, with its proximity to the city, the parklands, cafes, restaurants and pubs.

“We’re not leaving because we don’t love Thebarton. We’re leaving here because we love it. We want to do another project because we really enjoyed the renovation project,” she says.

“We’re replicating a lot of the things. To be honest, I think I’ll miss the garden the most.

“So, it’s a double-edged sword, isn’t it? Wanting to create a new garden but missing the old garden.”

The sale of 1 Ross Street, Thebarton is being handled by Thanasi Mantopoulos and Justin Peters from LJ Hooker.