When you step through the front door at 19 Simpson Parade, Goodwood, you may feel as though you’ve crossed over its bluestone threshold into some far-flung corner of the world, although it’s hard to put a finger on exactly where.
And there’s a good reason for this.
Homeowners Tony and Sharon Blunt started the renovation last year, soon after returning home from a 13-month trip visiting dozens of countries around the world, including surf spots in the Maldives, Mentawais and Sumatra.
They began renovations in May – right in the middle of the coronavirus lockdown – and started renovating with newfound worldly influences.
“I picked up a lot of ideas along the way, from places we stayed and the things we saw while travelling around. It’s a real eclectic mixture,” says Sharon.
“We were gone for 13 months and I wish we could go again; it was the best year of my life.”
Tony established AJ Blunt Painting Contractors in the early 1980s, about the same time that the couple met. Today the business is one of Adelaide’s largest painting companies, now run by the couple’s sons Tyron and Zac.
Sharon and Tony purchased their first home in the 1980s and have since flipped several properties over the years.
“We bought our first home when I was 18, and Tony was 22, and that was in Parkside, so we’ve been doing up homes for many years,” says Sharon.
Since listing the house on the market, the feedback from buyers is that they want to buy not just the home, but everything in it. The same thing happened at the couple’s last two properties, including an incredible beachfront home at Glenelg.
“When sold our house at Glenelg, the guy that bought it also bought all of my things in the house – the furniture, the pictures on the wall and everything, it was crazy,” Sharon says.
Although she has been asked to style other people’s homes, Sharon proclaims she is not an interior designer and has simply enjoyed renovating her own properties.
“It’s very much an interest of mine,” she says.
“Most homes on the market that you to look at, something’s missing. I don’t know what it is, perhaps they’re not brave enough to do something bold.
“This home is different. It’s a mixture of things but it blends together, all with the same colour palette.
“It’s unique and it just feels right. When you walk in the front door, you just want to go further; ‘what’s down there?’”
When they purchased the property in 2018, Tony and Sharon were particularly attracted to its street frontage, being close to the street and with an elevation that is more like the homes in Melbourne or Sydney than those usually found in Adelaide.
They also liked the layout of the home, which was in good shape, with an addition designed by Williams Burton, and overall just needed some new bathrooms, modernising and a bit of “pizzazz”.
The property was built in 1884 by John Joseph Fox of Goodwood and is one of only a couple of bluestone homes on the street.
And, like each of their previous properties, Sharon was sure to give it a name.
“Belvedere means beautiful view, and I took a bit of liberty with that one, because we’ve got a bit of a view to the creek on the other side of the street,” she says.
Completing the renovation during 2020 meant that Sharon sourced much of the fittings, fixtures and tiles online, rather than visiting showrooms.
Sharon says she “finds some crazy things online” including the extractor fan above the cooktop, which looks like a retro lamp.
The dining room was the first to receive the wallpaper treatment with a product from Luxe Walls that can be removed without damaging the wall.
The couple continued to use wallpaper in other rooms. The en suite is adorned with glamorous copper-toned paper, while the main bathroom is all tiled.
The kitchen is certainly one of a kind, with secret doors, fluted cabinetry and rattan cupboards; an idea Sharon came up with.
“I liked the idea of rattan furniture and I thought well, let’s do that for the cupboards, and it grew from there. Finding a cabinet maker to do it was the challenge. I have these ideas in my head and it’s then about finding the right person to execute them.
“I love secret doors. The fluted wall in the kitchen has got secret doors that you don’t know exist unless you push them.”
Three arches open up the hallway space, with the third arch fitted with a modern glazed steel door.
The cellar previously had to be accessed by climbing through an outside window. So, the couple installed a spiral staircase — something which took some searching for — that now provides easy access.
“It took a lot of work and a lot of ideas. I’m the ideas woman and Tony’s the hands-on guy.”
The renovation has provided an immensely satisfying creative outlet for Sharon.
“Now the house is finished, what’s next? I need another project. Plus, it’s too big for the two of us in a four-bedroom house. There needs to be a family in here enjoying all the different spaces.”
The couple re-landscaped the gardens and paving to create a lush backyard.
The original living room provides a cosy retreat for winter with a marble fireplace and windows that have been enlarged to bring in more winter sun, while the light-filled living and kitchen space features large-format Willunga slate tiles.
Sharon usually takes her favourite pieces with her to the next home, but she has decided that two of her favourite pendant lights are staying here: a piece from Space Furniture in the dining room, and a pendant from Espo Lighting in the casual living and dining space.
“I’ve had the dining room pendant light for quite a few years and I’ve moved it to several homes, but I’ve decided it’s found its home and is staying here.
Although some furnishing will go with the house, one thing that Sharon won’t be parting with is her curved couch: called Ploum Settee by Ligne Roset and purchased from Domo in North Adelaide.
“It’s the best couch ever. It just envelopes you when you sit down; it’s like memory foam formed in such a cool shape. That’s my favourite piece of furniture,” she says.
“It will absolutely be leaving with me – no one can have that.”
The sale is being handled by Michael Stentiford of Ouwens Casserly Real Estate.