There is no doubt that Melbourne is Australia’s capital when it comes to European-style sophistication. You only need to drive along the tree lined streets of Toorak, Caulfield or Brighton to see how Melbourne homes have been influenced by this classic style. The moment however that you arrive at the rustic iron gates of this 20 acre equestrian estate in Melbourne’s southern suburb of Harkaway it’s very apparent that this multi-award winning property is something quite extraordinary.
With an owner involved in commercial construction with a vision to create an authentic French farmhouse that paid homage to the trades of old, this home was destined to be quite special. Meticulous detail has gone into the aesthetics of the home to create a beautiful home that exemplifies the classic French Provincial style, however it is perhaps what is not visible that makes this home truly remarkable.
Local custom home builders Quality Built were engaged for the construction of the dwelling where both quality of materials and methods rarely seen in private residences were utilised to create a home of exceptional standards. Extensive groundworks were undertaken to stabilise the foundations and offering more energy efficiency than standard double brick construction, the external walls of the home were erected using steel reinforced concrete panels set on concrete piers 6m deep and have all been insulated, whilst internal walls are up to 360mm thick to replicate early European construction.
Planning of this project commenced many years before with the owner sourcing materials from around the globe to meet his demands for both quality and authenticity. The list of imported materials is extensive and includes roof tiles from Spain and cobblestone and floor tiling from Europe.
Traditional clay chimney pots were spun locally and wrought iron gates and external light fittings were handcrafted by a local blacksmith to the client’s specifications and then aged to create a rustic quality that would blend with the many authentic French antiques that had been procured over time by the client. Iron Bark logs were located from East Gippsland forests and milled for reuse and installed as natural but aged veranda posts
The exquisite finishes and intricate details inside the home are as you’d expect of a grand European home with nearly every facet of the home custom made to exacting specifications. French antique doors were painstakingly rebuilt for all external doors an doors from the Sacred Heart Convent in Paris feature inside the home as well as some glass inserts that date back to the 1700’s.
The exceptional craftsmanship in the stunning kitchen saw builders Quality Built receive a Master Builders Association of Victoria award for best kitchen over $40,000. Detailed joinery blends with a mix of black granite and a spectacular Onyx counter-top on the island bench. The butler’s pantry is nearly the same size with yet more Onyx.
Although the master suite is certainly of regal proportions t is the intricacies and detail that sets this home apart from any other. All furniture hardware was made to order to be stylistically consistent with traditional European homes, and brassware pickled to give it an aged appearance. All tapware was handmade in Europe with crystal details.
The unbelievable master ensuite is just one of two bathrooms that were also recognised by industry professionals for their exceptional quality finishes awarding Quality Built two further MBA’s for Best Bathroom over $30,000 and Best Bathroom under $30,000.
As you might expect of a client with a background in commercial property development, the quality of build in this project was of paramount importance. Starting with nothing more than a cleared paddock, all work was undertaken with a ‘built to last’ mentality. Services, roads and fencing were integrated at a quality level consistent with commercial properties inclusive of two 250,000 litre rainwater tanks which flow over to two dams, then used to reticulate the beautifully landscaped gardens.
It’s impossible to outline every outstanding feature of this incredible estate however in keeping with the calibre of the home the property also includes an award winning indoor pool with a mosaic tile finish, horse stables, tennis court, hay shed and multiple paddocks along with extensive landscaped gardens all consistent with the quality and period features of the home.
This stunning French provincial style home was featured in our 2017 luxury homes annual Melbourne Custom Homes. See more from award winning custom builder Quality Built Pty Ltd