Hamptons heaven in Bicton

11 June 2022

When the Ouwendyk family embarked on an overhaul of their home in Bicton, there were a few non-negotiables – the original stone fireplace, limestone basement cellar and swimming pool had to stay.

Rather than a complete ‘bowl and build’, they decided to retain key features of the home at 43 Reserve Street and commissioned Perth-based building designer Shayne Le Roy in 2013 to come up with a workable design. The new home was completed in 2017.

The result is a magnificent six bedroom residence which ticks all the boxes for family living and entertaining, with a dedicated gymnasium, office, two theatre rooms and a custom designed music space in the attic.

Set on an expansive 1004sqm block, the riverside estate is perched atop Point Walter and the cliffs of Blackwall Reach; and offers an incredible 885sqm of living space in a generously proportioned home.

Owner Lejo Ouwendyk said he had retained the large stone fireplace from the previous 1980s house as the a centrepiece in their new abode.

“It’s an unusual fireplace but it’s very nice. It gave a lot of warmth to the previous house and we wanted to keep it central to the new house because of the feeling it gave,” he said.

“I had a lot of forethought to the end product and mixing French themes in the kitchen. We built in local timber and added some more stone.”

While channelling timeless Hamptons elegance, the property also entwines several out-of-the-box features that make the home unique.

Mr Le Roy said the property had presented in its original state and the brief was to create a new home, centred around the existing stone fireplace. Maximising the beautiful vista was also integral to the brief, as was keeping the swimming pool and limestone walled basement.

“One of the few features we retained was the existing stone chimney, but other than that it was basically a brand new house,” Mr Le Roy said.

“Retaining some features fixes those areas so you’re landlocked in those areas. It becomes a challenge in itself but something you embrace with the whole design process and work that solution around it.

“Sometimes too much freedom can give you too many opportunities to do other things.”

Mr Ouwendyk said his three daughters had provided elements of creative licence too, decorating the attic music room with music-themed newspaper clippings as wallpaper.

“I presented them with a very well painted, neat and tidy, gyprock walled room to which they all said: ‘Dad, I don’t think this is going to work for our band’,” he said.

“So we went to a lot of shops and got a lot of West Australian and Sunday Times newspapers and got the wallpaper glue and got into it over a series of weekends,” he said.

One daughter had another creative win with the design of a bedroom, which unusually features a bicycle in its ensuite.

“One of my daughters when choosing the wallpaper and colour for her room was right into triathlon and all she wanted was a brick style wallpaper and a very simple industrial looking space. So she asked: ‘Can I have a bike holding up my basin?’ And we were like: ‘Err, sure.’”

In addition, there is an integrated aquarium, limestone basement cellar and a garage with capacity for four vehicles. There is a studio apartment above the pool pavilion, which includes an outdoor kitchen.

The interior draws together a range of finishes including south-west Blackbutt timber, granite, marble and travertine.

Mr Ouwendyk said the entertaining areas were among his favourite features of the home, which enabled the family to simply “enjoy the space”, but he said it was time to downsize now that his children were older.

“There’s only one daughter left at home so the house needs to be handed over to new owners,” he said.

Mont Property Managing Director Matthew Podesta said the exemplary property was a one-of-a-kind.

“Opportunities like this do not come up every day,” Mr Podesta said. “This is truly a unique proposition in one of the most captivating riverfront locations in Perth.”

He expects the property to fetch a sales price in the mid to high $4 millions.

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