5 Howitt St, Glen Iris, hides a surprising modern garden oasis at its rear behind a heritage California bungalow facade.
Classic 1920s California bungalow at the front, but a strikingly modern marvel out the back – this Glen Iris house is full of surprises.
Perhaps the biggest shock for the Ingber family, who have lived there for the past few years, was how a super-sized spa at the 5 Howitt St home completely changed their lives.
When they bought the then recently renovated and extended four-bedroom, plus study abode, the only thing missing was a pool.
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So, with advice from Pindara Landscaping, they overhauled the back yard as a tranquil space perfect for entertaining – not to mention a dip in the pool, or the heated spa that comfortably fits 12 people.
Not long after it was installed they found they were still heading outside for a dip once a week in the middle of winter.
The home’s facade exudes century-old period detail and character.
And the old-school cool continues inside with fireplaces and picture rails as well as decorative ceilings retaining its history.
The sliding doors that connect the garden to the home’s open-plan living zone were increasingly thrown open as they embraced an indoor-outdoor lifestyle they’d never given much thought to before.
Shelter Real Estate’s Zali Reynolds is selling the home for the second time since its extension and said the addition of the pool area, with an outdoor shower, had raised the bar.
“Given it’s got a north-facing rear, it’s improved the whole lifestyle aspect of the home,” Ms Reynolds said.
It has also accentuated the aesthetic shift across the home, from the heritage-protected facade you would expect in the suburb’s popular Toorak Estate to the timber and cladding wrapped contemporary class at the rear. She described walking through the home as a journey forward in time.
With a view like this, it’s easy to see yourself spending plenty of time in the spa — even in the cold winter months.
The open-plan living area is anchored by an impressive and functional kitchen.
A formal living room with a cosy fireplace and a seat built into the bay window is painted royal blue to highlight character features including ceiling roses and picture rails.
It has become affectionately known as “the blue room” and is a regular retreat for mum and dad when the kids take over the rear living zone.
Across a central hall, the main bedroom suite’s bathroom and walk-in wardrobe occupy what was another bedroom before the Ingbers decided to relocate the main from upstairs and designate the upper floor as the domain of their four children.
“But then you head through to the back and it’s ultra-modern,” Ms Reynolds said.
The soaring ceiling heights and polished floorboards are still on show, but a wall of glazing along the back wall and a bright, neutral colour scheme with minimalist decor takes over.
Home chefs will appreciate a timber island bench, warming drawer and Miele appliances in a kitchen that looks to the pool so they can keep an eye on children at play.
The main living room connects to the back yard via glazed doors.
The home office upstairs has glimpses out to the lights of Melbourne’s CBD.
Upstairs, the kids’ domain features two more bedrooms, a shared bathroom, storage space and a balcony looking out to the back yard. A home office on this level also captures glimpses of the city skyline.
A garage is set at the end of a long driveway and the home is close to a range of public transport, shops, schools and eateries.
And the $3.2m-$3.4m property has one more surprise: the neighbours. An annual street party shuts Howitt St for a night each year as residents break out the barbecue, the spit and some good cheer as they get to know each other.
Ms Reynolds said while most of the interest was likely to be from local families, there was one party who was eyeing it from the US – a chance for history to repeat after the Ingbers bought it while living in London.
Modern bathrooms provide comfort and a hint of style.
The vendors relocated the main bedroom to the ground level and extended it with an ensuite and expansive walk-in wardrobe.
The home goes to auction at 11.30am on February 18.
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Story Credit: news.com.au