Rare historic mansion in listed South Yarra
Let’s cut to the chase. The sublime, sophisticated, whimsical, yet beautifully rock-solid vision that is 62 Park Street, South Yarra, is one of the loveliest places we’ve seen in some time.
Come here to Askew House for the exquisite stonework, stay for… well, everything else. The property has been renovated by interior designer Julie Johnson of Foxwood Design. It is rare to see something so brilliantly done; the superb contemporary update extends the splendid period elements in a respectful way.
But first, let’s talk about location.
62 Park Street, South Yarra VIC 3141
Park Street, South Yarra, is big business. Elegant terraces line the street, Fawkner Park sits at its southern end, with the Royal Botanic Gardens at the northern gate. Add in the chic coffee shop scene along Domain Road and nearby Toorak Road and you have one of the best spots in town.
Pause for a second on the decorative brickwork at street level before climbing the stairs to the entrance. Don’t forget to stop on the lovely curved terrace overlooking the street, it’s a start of atmosphere.
Beyond the deep portico you emerge into a splendid hall where wood paneling frames the thin lead glass of the doors leading to a dramatic dark-toned study to the left and a splendid formal living-dining area to the right.
Here is a black marble fireplace and parquet floors that flow down to the dining room. The printed fabric wallpaper is divine and the projected print brings depth and views.
This is a heart melting piece. A large round dining table is the finishing touch, making you feel like you’re at the Algonquin Hotel with Dorothy Parker by your side.
Before leaving the beginning of the 20th century, the entrance hall leads to a north-south passage. More of that divine woodwork accompanies you into an impressive powder room with marble trim and bird-patterned wallpaper.
At the opposite end, an open door reveals a butler’s pantry adjacent to the modern kitchen. It is only when the door is closed that its weight is explained by a brass plate, it is the original vault of the house, preserved and nicely fitted out.
Beyond the marble benches and sleek pea green cabinets, the kitchen proper is a thing of beauty, effortlessly transitioning the home from vintage to progressive. Marble benches and prep areas contrast with the burnished copper credenza and cabinetry. It’s a beautiful design alchemy.
Forward, the handsome family room features bright Japanese black-stained marine plywood panels, a fashionable contemporary nod to the hallway’s original wainscoting.
Another, more modern fireplace provides a warm focal point.
To the side of the kitchen, the mirrored dining area reflects the dramatic scene beyond a large north-facing picture window. A pretty pale blue pool nook hugs the glass, taking the eye beyond to the private garden.
You can exit here through stacking doors just off the dining room or across the wide deck from the family room. Either way, it’s a treat under the vine-draped pergola; you can easily imagine spending endless languorous hours here.
A row of stairs will take you to a gorgeous little bolt hole – a self contained studio/apartment/teenage dream retreat/guesthouse.
Whatever the application for this space – which has enough room for a bed, a living room, a kitchenette and a bathroom – it is an absolute gem.
Add to that your private entrance from the back driveway and a hidden door that leads you back into the house proper and you have a space brimming with cool charm.
Back at the central family room, you can take the stairs or elevator to bedroom level or descend to an impressive cinema, mirrored powder room and large cellar.
At the accommodation level, there are two attractive bedrooms, both with exceptional en-suites – the bedroom one has a lined, pitched roof.
Head to the end of the hall and the master bedroom fans pass through a vast space to admire a pretty bedroom with a glorious north-facing terrace and dazzling his and hers suites. Around here, behind artfully aged mirrors, are acres of storage.
Everything is so surprisingly light, so gracefully proportioned, so beautifully done; How much better could it be? Go back, to the top and to paradise.
Another large bedroom/apartment with a roof terrace is an absolute knockout. You feel like you can reach out and touch Melbourne, from St Kilda Road to the CBD.
Let yourself be enchanted, inspired, delighted by this place; it is pure bliss from the path to the sky.
Good to know
With a mix of residential/work parking permits and limited 2-hour spaces, your dinner guests, visitors, or just your large family will appreciate the huge four-car garage with abundant and conveniently located storage. An absolute bargain here.
What the agent says
“This house represents an incredible life experience. Beauty and tranquility embodied in a seamless transition between classic Melbourne splendor and understated contemporary glamour. Damon Krongold
This feature is part of a Domain Deluxe package.