Behind the security gates and washed out industrial-chic exterior of this property on Benson Avenue in Melbourne’s leafy suburb of Toorak is a cutting-edge home that feels like a small luxury hotel or a celebrity’s playground in Beverly Hills.
Awash with color and filled with handcrafted materials and state-of-the-art innovation, it’s one of Australia’s most opulent homes, selling last month for a reported A$11 million (US$9 million).
Selling agent, Sarah Case from Sotheby’s International Realty Melbourne, was unable to comment on the sale price and did not identify the buyers. However, she said the successful purchasers bought the property to be closer to their adult children.
Sellers Peter Leslie Kerr and his husband, Australian Finance Group executive director Malcolm Watkins, told Mansion Global before they sold their home that they worked closely with Stylesmiths interior designer Alicia Villella to turn the 2015-built house into an avant-garde and opulent five-bedroom, six-bathroom residence spanning 1,000 square meters (11,000 square feet).
Mr. Kerr engaged Ms. Villella to turn the interior into something warmer and softer using furnishings, additional cabinetry, landscaping and adding more contemporary lighting.
Mr. Kerr’s and Mr. Watkins’s request to Ms. Villella was “to warm the house up” and to “inject color to the mainly white canvas.”
“We also had to work with the incredible mosaic tiling throughout the house and help to highlight it in the right way,” Mr. Kerr said.
“The overall brief was ‘masculine chic’” but they added inspiration from the photographs by 20th-century American photographer Slim Aarons, of glamorous poolside parties and social gatherings, which hang in their dining/living room and study, Mr. Kerr said.
Passionate about property and architecture, Mr. Kerr was determined to push the envelope while using luxury finishes. Sheer walls of glass and six-meter-high French doors in the principal living room reveal a two-meter wide starburst Bohemia crystal chandelier.
On the ground floor, a “rose room” bar decorated entirely in hand-painted Moroccan tiles opens to a resort-style pool and outdoor cinema.
A luxurious retail-esque dressing room adjoins the master bedroom, where a Champagne fridge and marble encased coffee machine rise remotely from the center of the room on demand.
Keen entertainers, the couple’s favorite feature of the house is the kitchen.“It’s enormous and has everything I need, I have even installed an herb garden on the balcony,” Mr. Kerr said.
“It has fantastic zoning so it’s very easy to entertain in but I also have my own space to continue to prepare.”
Attention to detail goes from top to bottom. A hidden panic room can’t be seen on the floor plan.
The four-car basement garage has been finished in bluestone and the elevator servicing all four levels is commercial grade. The couple listed the property in preparation to move onto their next residential project.
Even after having lived in the house for almost two years, Mr. Kerr said it continues to surprise and inspire him. “The incredible angles and voids in the main living areas will always draw my eye to something interesting. Entertaining here has always made us feel very proud of where we live,” he said.