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FEATURE LISTING: Heavenly home in Hyde Park

Lauren and Graeme Smith are selling their much-loved character home in Hyde Park after 15 years of custodianship.

Lauren and Graeme Smith purchased the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home at 9 Commercial Road, Hyde Park in 2007 to be closer to their business, Blackeby’s Sweets’ primary location in the Adelaide CBD.

“We would enjoy riding our bikes together along the bike path and into the city,” Lauren says.

Lauren and Graeme have owned Blackeby’s Sweets for 25 years, and even worked alongside Paul Blackeby for some of that time.

“When we first purchased the business, it was mainly manufacturing and didn’t have a retail presence, so people didn’t really know the Blackeby name,” Lauren says.

Blackeby’s Sweets was first established in 1906 by William A Blackeby and is South Australia’s oldest manufacturing confectioner.

The Blackeby’s operated from the Central Markets– where stall number 33 still sells Blackeby’s Sweets – for generations before Paul Blackeby sold the business in 1987.

Blackeby’s Sweets changed hands twice more before 1997, when the manufacturing side of the business was purchased by Lauren and Graeme and the retail stall in the Central Markets was purchased by Graeme’s sister, Andrea.

Graeme returned to using the original recipes and techniques to produce the confectionary, ensuring it was made to the exacting standard of the Blackeby family.

Lauren and Graeme refocused the business away from supplying larger stores, choosing instead to supply specialist sweet shops, with the couple eventually opening their James Place confectionary store in 2004.

“Graeme is really passionate about South Australian history, so he was very keen to bring the Blackeby name back to the South Australian public,” says Lauren.

“I think we have been able to do that, which has been lovely.”

When the couple opened their Tea Tree Plaza store in Modbury, it was somewhat of a homecoming as they had grown up in the area.

However, Hyde Park has been their home for the past 15 years, perfectly accommodating the couple with its enviable location and beautiful character.

“It is such a beautiful house and the location is in such close proximity to everything, it’s wonderful,” says Lauren.

The 1910-character home is perfectly poised on a manicured corner parcel, its beautiful return veranda catching the eye as you enter the grounds.

The interior has been completely refitted and modernised by Lauren and Graeme, while still maintaining the classic, decorative features.

“In the front bedrooms of the house are these beautiful decorative ceilings,” Lauren says. “The height of it and the intricacy in detail is so pretty and you just don’t see that in houses anymore.”

The property’s previous owners extended the home, and 10 years ago Lauren and Graeme did a complete internal refit.

“We created a central arched hallway and made the home more open-plan, particularly in the kitchen and living space,” Lauren says.

“We made a huge laundry with an exit to outside and created a dressing room off the master bedroom, which is lovely.”

“My favourite part of the house is the open-plan kitchen and living area, which is light-filled and is really easy to entertain in,” says Lauren. “It’s good for having people over and then doing a quick clean-up afterwards.”

The living room opens to the striking kitchen with stone benchtops, high-end appliances and plenty of storage space around the central island, where Lauren and Graeme enjoy sitting for meals.

“The bay window is one of my favourite spaces,” says Lauren. “The lady prior to us created that in her renovations and we made it a bit more French provincial.”

A trap door concealed in the tiled hallway floor opens on remote command, leading down to a substantial wine cellar.

“The home feels welcome and big, but not overwhelming,” Lauren says. “You can have two people living here, or you can have a family with kids and it would still be space enough.”

The home’s elegance extends outside with perfectly manicured lawns and built-in barbeque facilities for entertaining.

“We have a beautiful verandah that the sun shines upon and I love sitting out there with my cup of coffee and just moving around chasing the sunshine,” Lauren says.

“Down the side of the house we have ornamental pears that create a lovely screen and beautiful blossoms during spring,” says Lauren.

Lauren and Graeme are selling their home as they move to the four-acre property in Oakbank they desired after it came on the market five years ago, but missed out on at the time.

“In hindsight, it worked well because we have the business that kept us in the city,” Lauren says. “But we kept our eyes on it and it popped up again and this time we were able to purchase it.”

However, the couple will miss the convenient location of Hyde Park and its nearby parks and cafes.

“We are next to the school where I used to work and all the children walk past and chat with the dog,” says Lauren. “It has a really lovely community feeling.”

The sale is being handled by James Robertson and Nathan Casserly of Ouwens Casserly Real Estate.