Call it the Dendy Beach Refrain: “These bathing boxes are so adorable! I could live in one, if only it was, like, a bit bigger …’’
Just up the dunes and across the Esplanade, Green Point is that bathing box writ large.
A lathe-and-plaster cottage that became a mansion, this weatherboard beauty has gazed out to sea since 1884.
However, the house is more modern than Victorian. In the 1980s, designer John Coote deftly added the slate-roofed second storey, though it’s impossible to tell where old and new meet in the front rooms; the upper floor has the high ceilings and tall bay windows of the rooms below.
Coote unified them with the balmiest palette this side of paradise, its pale greens, blues and yellows ushering in the colours of the beach and bay.
These days Green Point is large and comfortable, with three living areas, five bedrooms, a pool and a panoramic view from Portsea to the city and around to the You Yangs from its first-floor balcony.
The four-car garage has hosted some seething dance parties – approved by the dad of the house, who says his three kids’ happy, congenial attitude might never have flourished had the family not moved to Brighton 20 years ago.
“In Caulfield, I don’t think they moved off our quarter-acre block,” he says.
“Here, during summer, they roamed the beach and swam and had a glorious existence. They made a lot more friends because they were outdoors more. To this day, those friendships have lasted, and they’re all in their 30s now.”
Green Point, he says, “fitted us like a well-worn glove. It isn’t too precious. It has a lived-in feeling”.
In the front living and dining rooms, the mood is of light-hearted splendour, with bay windows that catch the sparkling light across the hedged garden.
Both have hand-painted faux marble woodwork and friezes of leaves, garlands and grapes picked out in pink, green and blue with gold details.
The living room has a grey marble fireplace.
That’s that for the old house. Follow the sandstone central hall past the butler’s pantry, which eases the separation between the dining room and kitchen.
Next door is the main bathroom, tiled in green marble with a bath, shower and twin basins. The laundry has external access.
Along the hall are three carpeted double bedrooms with built-in wardrobes; the larger opens north to a side courtyard.
The rear kitchen, meals and lounge area, 12 metres long, was very vogue in the ’80s and still looks good.
On its north side, five pairs of french doors open to the terrace and glass-fenced pool. The grey granite kitchen has timber cabinetry and Miele cooktop, grill, oven and dishwasher.
The lounge has a marble fireplace and a door to a powder room with pool access.
The attached outbuildings include a concrete-floored gym, workshop and four-car tandem garage.
This first floor, atop the scrolled staircase, has the second living room, with fireplace, bookcases and the most glorious view; climb out onto the balcony for the full experience.
Double doors lead to the main bedroom, which has a walk-in wardrobe and pink marble en suite with spa and shower. There’s a fifth double bedroom with a built-in wardrobe.