Few properties have their own Wikipedia page, but D’Estaville isn’t like many other properties. Built in 1859 for Sir William Stawell, Victoria’s first attorney-general, this bluestone beauty is soaked in history and has idyllic, country-style gardens that make it easy to forget you’re just six kilometres from the CBD. It’s also the only residential design by Knight and Kerr, architects renowned for landmark public buildings like Victoria’s Parliament House.
KEW \ 7 BARRY STREET
- AGENT \ Abercromby’s Real Estate, 9864 5300
- PRICE \ $10 million – $11 million
- PRIVATE SALE
Nestled in the centre of the 2560-square-metre allotment, the house itself is a two-storey mansion, Anglo-Italian in style, with a red door that pops against the arched bluestone portico entry.
Inside, its heritage details are enough to make lovers of period dramas swoon and demand their smelling salts. Ceilings in the formal rooms have elaborate designs and ornate cornices. There are curved archways and rich-hued hardwood floors; leadlight windows and 10 open fireplaces, several with marble mantels. And charming original features remain, such as a hidden staircase that leads to what were once the maid’s quarters (now a guest suite).
But D’Estaville doesn’t feel like a museum; it’s a bright and airy family residence that’s eminently livable, thanks in part to the current owners’ meticulous upkeep and renovations.
Downstairs, there are six living areas to choose from, plus a billiards room, study and granite kitchen with Miele appliances. Formal spaces are at the front, a grand hallway carving through the middle, while more casual areas sit toward the back. Five bedrooms and a study are upstairs. The main (walk-in-robe and en suite) has parkland views.
The grounds that surround the villa are impressive enough to have been featured in Grand Melbourne Gardens, a recently published coffee table book by architect David Wilkinson and photographer Kimbal Baker. Designed by landscape architect Rick Eckersley to keep in tone with the house’s history, the gardens were planted in 2006 and include an orchard, and vegetable plots conveniently located outside the kitchen. Pergolas draped with vines and wisteria provide leafy canopies, and there are numerous walkways and paved sun traps to enjoy.
There’s also a swimming pool and gymnasium.
“A sympathetic garden further enhances D’Estaville’s rich history and period features. It also offers every modern convenience in this premier part of Kew.” Tim Derham, agent
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