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Hawthorn Glen, Hawthorn

When entering the wrought iron gate of this beautifully restored Victorian residence, one would expect the remainder of the house to reflect the very modern front garden. With a large sculptural concrete bowl filled with water lilies, the house looks like it has gone through a complete contemporary make-over.

While it has indeed been subject to an extensive update, a wander through the house reveals many references to its 1890s heritage. The owners, who bought the property in late 2009 from a family who lived there for 50 years, describe their renovation as a "tongue-in-cheek" tribute to its Victorian past.

From the front gate, the chequer board pathway incorporates marble found under the house - possibly from the original verandah, and the two new jacarandas were chosen in tribute to the large existing tree. The two new trees are under-planted with David Austin "Glamis Castle" roses and bordered with a box hedge.

The front verandah has double verandah posts and lace work has been reinstated. The windows still contain original glass, complete with its inherent flaws.

The hallway is wide with two formal rooms at the front. On the left is the "Gentleman's Room", a cosy, masculine retreat with heavy furniture and Florence Broadhurst wallpaper "Cranes, featuring a gold slub background. On the right is the "Ladies's Parlour", a soft, feminine space with baby grand piano, muted furnishings and an eclectic mix of artwork and collectibles including six Wedgwood "Christmas" plates.

The dining room is the centerpiece of the house. An unabashed tribute to the over-the-top splendor of the Victorian age, the room features a traditional black marble fireplace. There is Florence Broadhurst wallpaper "Birds of Paradise" and heavy silk drapes with goblet-top detailing on the pelmet. An ornate central chandelier hangs over the mahogany dining table and a mahogany side-board displays the family silver!

The owners have opened the dining room to the kitchen, encouraging the day to day use of the space. The kitchen, while functional in white and stainless steel, is softened with the use of wood veneer throughout and a stunning green bamboo marble central bench. The oven, over 50 years old and from the previous owners, is a commercial "Waldorf".

The large lounge room is filled with a mix of interesting art works, collectibles and family heirlooms. The master bedroom sits at the end of the house and an extensive balcony provides views over the surrounding suburbs, towards the city in the distance.

The house is surrounded by new planting and a pool runs along the western fence, overlooked by beautiful old lilly pillies.