Head-turning home a landmark in East Fremantle
When Barry and Julie de Jong embarked on an ambitious project to curate a head-turning home in East Fremantle, they had no inkling their design dream would be so admired by passers-by who regularly stop to take photos.
Created in collaboration with award-winning designer Shayne Le Roy and built by Spadaccini Homes, the eye-catching property has been attracting attention since 2017 for its out-of-the-box design, pops of red, and enviable, unobstructed riverfront location.
Cleverly designed with the main living areas upstairs, the commanding two-storey abode incorporates three bedrooms, two bathrooms and knockout views of the adjacent playing fields, Blackwall Reach, Minim Cove and the city skyline.
Planned as an “upside down house”, the home presents as an ‘apartment’ on the upper level with a master bedroom, ensuite, living area, dedicated office, kitchen and scullery. Downstairs, there are two additional bedrooms, a library and a family bathroom.
It heralds two artworks by renowned local sculptor Tony Jones, including a cardinal marker near the front door, which compliments the signature red colour in the façade and pond, which is adorned with red glass Italian tiles. The commissioned cardinal is in keeping with the artists sculpture on the Wauhop Rd roundabout nearby.
“For this streetscape, our home has certainly set a benchmark for design,” said Mr de Jong, former Deputy Mayor at the Town of East Fremantle.
“When we bought the property, there was a small bungalow on it, however we wanted to create something iconic that presented proud to the streetscape.
“It was really important to us that we had that connection to the river. People these days drive into their houses and shut the door, retreat and don’t interact with the outside world. The Tony Jones sculpture gives the sense of place and oneness with the river.
“We have a firm belief that this property has a certain way of life attached to it. We’re close to river, five minutes from Port Beach, five minutes from Fremantle and so therefore, you’re not just buying a house, you’re buying a lifestyle.
“We’re quite happy to admit that we live on a busy street but that’s OK because when we’re outside we look at the world going by, watch the cricket on the weekends, watch the sailing boats all the time and sit on our balcony on Australia Day and watch the fireworks in the city. When you close the doors, it’s a calm, private sanctuary.”
The considered, seamless design creates a minimalist, yet homely vibe and an abundance of space, with a floating Tasmanian Oak staircase, series of plinths, cantilevered granite kitchen benchtop, floating cabinetry and plenty of panes of glass to make the most of the million dollar views. The free-flowing design features continue with large format vitreous floor tiling.
There is also a climate-controlled, insulated wine cellar and 50sqm balcony with noise-proof stacking doors and an alfresco kitchen. All bedrooms have double glazing allowing privacy when required.
Despite their affection for the home, the couple has reluctantly decided to list it for sale as they prepare to downsize and build another property nearby.
“We’re really proud of the result and I would probably go as far as saying there’s nothing we would change. Space and feel, it’s like living on a permanent holiday,” Mr de Jong said.
“We love our house. We think it’s awesome. The only reason we are selling is because we’re planning for the next stage of our lives. We’ve bought the next property that we’re going to develop, which is in Attadale.
“It will be a sad day when we do leave, but we hope we can find a buyer who will love and respect this place as much as we do.”
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