Now that the weather's turning chilly in Toronto, my thoughts are turning to places where the mercury is rising instead. This week, they've landed in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, where this lovely, price-upon-request brick estate is up for sale. If you acted fast, you could probably close just in time to enjoy the summer there. Let's take a look inside.
Most signs point to this being a serious property. Known as Redcourt, it was built in 1888 by a glass and timber merchant. It still has grand, historic looks and a whopping seven bedrooms and eight baths. But that statue of kids playing leapfrog out front makes me think this house retains some spark and kid-friendly fun to it.
Indeed, the interiors might be best described as eclectic. (The listing names three separate designers, who seem to have ignored the idea that there should be some flow between rooms.) Still, most of the design actually works. This monochromatic living room could have been bland, but a wealth of textures makes it fascinating instead.
The dining room has a bit more of a traditional bent, with carved chairs and a gilded mirror, but I love the modern effect of the charcoal skirting board and over-dyed ruby rug. Given that the property includes a wine cellar, "meat and cheese room" and an organic vegetable garden, I'd bet that everything served here tastes amazing, too.
Australian celebrity chef Shannon Bennett supposedly designed the quiet, clean-lined kitchen; obviously, its Miele appliances do not date from 1888. The windows look out on the neighbouring coach house, which has been converted to a separate guest apartment. The property itself is in the sleepy-looking town of Armadale, so you might not have too many visitors, but then again, the city of Melbourne is just 30 minutes away.
One of the seven bedrooms looks like it still has its original moulding, though it's been decked out with illustrations from children's books. I might not recognize (or remember) all of the characters shown, but I still wouldn't mind sleeping here. Outside, there's a croquet lawn, tennis court and "secret walks" for kids to explore.
Would this Edwardian beauty draw you to the other side of the world?
For more great kids' rooms, check out Katie Hayden's blog.
1–5: Ken Jacobs Real Estate.