IAN Calder and wife Katerina Calder simply could not resist the charm of a New Farm cottage that was more than 100 years old – and they’ve given it a transformation to see it through the next 100.
“It’s the character of the front that drew me,” he said. “It’s a quaint cottage. We like that cottage look, that’s why we kept it like it is. A lot of people suggested we lift it and push it back but we left it the way it is, exactly where it was.”
It was an old cottage that had been listed for $1.35m when the Calder picked it up in mid 2018 for under that. The challenge was no one could quite place its age with the best guess being in the late teens, as in 1900s. “From what the neighbours said, circa 1800s or so. It’s more like early 1900s,” Mr Calder said.
The couple relished the challenge. “We like to renovate so we don’t see any challenge as being too big. We’re a bit strange,” Mr Calder laughed. “Most people look at it and think ‘too much work’. We like it 100 per cent. The main thing we try and do is keep the character.”
There was some groundwork required though to fulfil the vision the couple had for the home.
“We dug out a little underneath, a small amount, and just projected the rest of the home out from there,” Mr Calder told The Sunday Mail. “I did a lot of the work myself. We’re probably in excess of $1.2 million.”
“We had an architect but we had a lot of design ideas ourselves and he had a large input in making it work. We tried to design the living as not too separated from the entertaining, pool and backyard.”
He said they also tried to ensure that parents had space but were not too isolated from children.
“We tried trying not to segregate the master bedroom too much. There are a lot of young families that need to be near their kids at night. Some people don’t like massive separation.”
His favourite place in the home was the downstairs living and kitchen zone. “It’s quite integrated. I like it, it feels comfortable, cozy and welcoming.”
His advice to anyone contemplating taking on an over 100-year-old home was think carefully.
“Unless they’ve had some sort of experience, it’s a big job. There are unknowns that pop up.”
Right now, the biggest challenge was letting go for his wife Katerina, according to Mr Calder.
“She wants to stay. She has been thinking about it. I’m trying to sell it. So at some point, we will have to do another one for us.”
The price guide for the property was around the high end of the $2millions.
Real estate agent Ivo Kornel of Sixty Four Property New Farm has listed the property as having been “exquisitely renovated”.
“From its street appeal to its floor plan, the home offers something for everyone. A huge garage for the cars, boats and toys, a huge master bedroom for the parents to unwind in, a pool for the kids and for their friends to use all year round. All of this, just a stone’s throw from the James Street Precinct,” was how he described it.
The property was redesigned by Artelier Architects and built by Hayden Green builders and has among its charms soaring voids, cathedral lines, skylights and “usable grass” in the backyard. “Perfect for a game of cricket,” he said.
Among additions to the home was ducted airconditioning, walk-in robes, a salt water pool with lighting, solar-power, keyless keep out doors, a security system with monitors, a fireplace, library, new roof, butlers pantry, well equipped kitchen with Miele oven, wine fridge, combi steam/microwave oven, integrated fridge and Zip tap for instant hot or cold water. All the tapware, toilets, baths, sinks came from Roger Seller while the blinds and curtains were Luxaflex CBD Blinds, 2pac cabinetry by McInnes and Hill Designs, tiles from Ace Stone and Tile, Atom downlights, Clipsal Saturn Zen range power-points and lights and the backyard has an irrigation system.