has an imposing set of gates leading to the white gravelled driveway. Driving by, I have always thought that the gates were perhaps a little too grand for this house. There is a reason for that.
The gates do not really belong to this house. ...
They in fact originally sat at the entrance to this house:
Wombalano, built in 1884 to a design by James Twentyman for John Munro Bruce (father of Stanley Bruce, who became Prime Minister of Australia in 1923). The Bruces sold the house to the Baillieu family at the beginning of the 20th century, who renamed it the more palatable Heathfield. It was then sold to Sir Keith Murdoch who moved his family, including little Rupert Murdoch in 1933. (Can you imagine Rupert Murdoch as a baby? I can't). It was demolished in 1951, after use by the US Army during WW2 and as accomodation for nurses.
(One day, wrist slashing though it may be, I will do a post on the many houses in the area, Just Like This One, which were demolished in the 1950s and 1960s in our mad rush to modernism.)
But really the surprise to this house, perhaps built originally as stables, is this amazing central room.
Quite Parisian. In fact I am certain the owners of this house are either French, or have spent time in France.
The house reminds me of this little boite of perfection, in a Hausmanienne building in Paris.
Everything about this apartment is wondeful. From the well chosen little tribal artefacts, to the incorporation of key modern pieces in a way which is casual rather than 'look at me'.
(suprising Hans Wegner chairs)
(1950 Zora Starck painting, chairs by Francois Liguri)
to the curved hidden door in the hallway with th elight fitting which looks like a coven of mad white albatrosses have come to nest (in fact the light fitting, by Ingo Maurer, is called 'Bird's Nest');
to this magical magical ceiling - how wonderful to nap under this:
(Images (1) to (3) Kay and Burton (4) Stonnington Historical Society (5)- (8) Cote Maison France)