Alphington Family Home
It was a farreeezzing Melbourne morning the day I visited this house. It was raining heavily as l juggled coffee with my almost frost bitten fingers. I was extremely happy to thaw out in front of a huge glowing fireplace in the main living room. Picture a welcoming country style home with the smell of beef massamum cooking on the stove. Ahhhh…<insert satisfied face here>.
Today’s home is a gorgeous Californian Bungalow that belongs to my lovely former neighbours, their beautiful 3 year old daughter AND a wee baby yet to grace us with its presence. Congratulations guys! They moved from Clifton Hill to a tree lined street in Alphington about 3 years ago because they outgrew their little Victorian. This new home is a spacious 3 bedroom house that’s full of natural light, even in the depths of winter.
Front Entrance. “My husband loves maps…..if he had it his way our house would be like a museum!! He bought this one above the sideboard on ebay. It’s a map of the South Australian and Victorian coast from early French explorers” says the owner. The sideboard was purchased from Mr Wood in Fitzroy. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Hallway. This is one of the widest hallways I’ve ever seen! The Armadillo rug was bought from Southwood Home in Fitzroy. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Living Space. The couples 3 year old daughter is playing here with her lovely nanny. One of the couples most prized possessions, besides their daughter, of course, is their antique meat safe (seen on the right). They purchased it when they moved to Melbourne 10 years ago. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Kitchen. “My husband is pretty good at cooking Cypriot Lamb. It’s a Tessa Kinross recipe” says the owner. One of their favourite wines at the moment is Gala Estate from Tasmania’s east coast. “I stopped by for some wine tasting when I was in Tassie in the summer and joined their gold membership! Photo by Briony Skeen.
Kitchen details. The previous owners were planning on taking this island bench with them but luckily for this family, they didn’t! The owners love these ceramic pieces from Mud Australia. You can just throw them in the oven and the dishwasher and they still look great. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Kitchen. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Master Bedroom. A family of keen readers as you can see! “I read 3 books last week on holiday” the owner says. ‘Resilience’ by Anne Deveson, ‘Past the Shallows’ by Favel Parrett and ‘The Children Act’ by Ian McEwan. All were thoroughly enjoyed. The quilt is from Bed, Bath and Table. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Bathroom. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Backyard. This shed would have to be one of the tidiest I have EVER seen. I asked them the secret to achieving such shed perfection. They said “My dad tidied it up!”. Ha, ha…cheats! The couple really enjoys their garden, but as with cooking, never get the time. Luckily, the garden is very low maintenance. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Front door! Photo by Briony Skeen.
The couple bought this home in 2012. They fell in love with the house the moment they walked through the front door. “We looked down the hall straight into the garden and knew it was the one. The elm tree in the back garden took me back to memories of my grandparents’ garden” says the owner. I would agree that the huge, sprawling garden in enviable! It looks so effortless and natural. I love the way it surrounds the whole house and connects with the indoor living spaces. It’s not often you see a garden of this size in inner city Melbourne.
The family were able to move straight in. The only changes made were the addition of a blind in their daughter’s bedroom and the removal of a wine rack in the kitchen, replaced with shelving for cook books. Down the track the couple are looking at adding an additional bedroom. There’s also talk of a pool. They certainly have the room for it. Lucky things!
This house has a very calming influence with its neutral earthy tones and clean whites. There’s a real sense of comfort and homeliness. Nothings too crisp and shiny – just the right balance for a young family.
The couple describes Alphington as a small suburb where you’ll find people from all walks of life. It’s full of families and has a lovely community feel. They love walking down by the creek and under the bridge on Heidlelberg Road to Fairfield Boathouse. A bowl of chips or scones is always nice!
Yarra Bend Public Golf Course is also a lovely spot along with Alphington Park for its playground and BBQ areas. There’s also a great dog obedience school held at the Alphington Park on Saturdays. I can vouch for this, as I take my dachshund there!
- Fifteen Pounds – For great coffee. John and his team are very friendly.
- Lime Fresh Produce – For home delivery of seasonal fruit and veg. The owner is an old school friend.
- Johnny F’s – Another great place for fruit and veg. They only stock local Australian produce.
- Brenta Meats – Excellent family owned butcher.
- Alphington Meat Supply – Another great butcher on a tiny strip in Alphington. The owner has been there for 40 years!
- Fairfield Farmers Market – Especially for the potato man!