Drive through Essendon and you’ll find residential streets lined with grand Federation-style houses on large blocks. Land sales in the area began as early as 1838 and, during the 1880s, when the discovery of gold led to Melbourne’s rapid expansion, the resulting land boom was felt particularly in Essendon.
The city’s population grew steadily for years. With it came the construction of many Victorian houses in Essendon, followed in later decades by Edwardian villas and Californian bungalows.
16 MONICA STREET, ESSENDON
From the outside, this house looks no different to many that line the streets in this part of town, but it’s full of surprises on the inside.
Renovated just four years ago, it’s on a quiet street and has a pretty facade. But the main attraction has to be the resort-style outdoor area at the rear.
Decking leads to artificial grass and onto a paved area, where there’s a covered entertainment area with a tiled roof and deck – just the place to lounge back and watch the kids play in the gas-heated pool and spa.
There’s no need for them to go running through the house in wet bathers afterwards; they can simply slip into the freestanding rumpus room beside the pool to shower and change. This impressive zone has a kitchenette, bathroom and built-in barbecue.
The open-plan kitchen, with its butler’s pantry, and the living and dining area overlook the backyard and pool. Next door is a long rectangular study with built-in cabinetry.
At the front of the house is the main bedroom. It has built-in wardrobes and an en suite with double basins.
A formal lounge and dining room is on the left. This zone has a fireplace and bifold doors.
Tucked behind the stairwell is a powder room and the cinema-style home theatre with six large brown leather recliners with cup holders and brown and gold-striped curtains.
Upstairs, there are four more king-sized bedrooms; all have built-in wardrobes and one has a study nook under a window.
In a clever use of space under the roof cavity at the front of the house, there’s a children’s retreat with attic storage on both sides.
At the other end of the hallway, a door leads out to a balcony where you can perch high above the outdoor area and watch the world go by while you indulge in a cup of tea made in the hidden kitchenette in a cupboard in the hallway.
You don’t have to head downstairs to take your dirty clothes to be washed, either. In a move designed to maximise convenience, there’s a laundry chute in one of the wardrobes.
There are two bathrooms – one with a shower and the other with a spa bath – and a separate toilet.
The house has all the mod cons you’d expect in a new renovation, including touch-pad security, infrared detectors and automatic light sensors.
The entire family, and half the neighbourhood, could easily fit in the spacious outdoor zones – that’s if they’re not relaxing in the Gold Star-style movie theatre.
If you need to get them out, just point them in the direction of Essendon station, which is a five-minute drive away, as are the shopping options of Essendon DFO.