Huntingtower - Church Street, Hawthorn

In the late 1800's boom period, the phrase `Marvellous Melbourne' was coined and Huntingtower, one of Hawthorn's most spectacular private residences was built, it is thought, under the watchful eye of famed architect, John Beswicke.

Originally the residence of Herbert Booth, son the of the founder of the Salvation Army, Huntingtower has ever since been a Hawthorn landmark with its three story viewing tower built so that Herbert could spot game from its structure.

Having endured a varied 120 year history, including periods when the house was converted into apartments and office space, Huntingtower was purchased in 2009 by Caecilia Potter, founder of award winning interior design and architecture practice, Atticus & Milo.

Since then substantial renovation and restoration work has been undertaken to create an extraordinary family home. As soon as you enter Huntingtower, you are immediately greeted by its eclectic personality. Here in the entrance hall, perched on a mirrored pedestal above the restored tessellated tile flooring, sits an intimate carving purchased in Africa - a continent with strong links to the family and whose influence is seen throughout the house.

Living areas flank the entrance hall on both sides. To the right, lies the sitting room with its furry `J.J.' armchairs by Antonio Citterio, zebra-skin rug and `Voyages' painting by Nic Goodwolf. Beyond the sitting room, is the conservatory with its views through to the lush and tranquil rear garden.

To the left of the entrance hall are the dining and billiard rooms. In the dining room, an 18th century French gilt chandelier hangs above the table, The billiard room (originally the butler pantry and kitchen) now houses a spectacular 1890 Alcocks `elevator' billiard table which can be wound down and a solid cedar top inserted for dining. The large country style kitchen, with its `Aga' stove is located at the rear of the ground-level. While the owners love the cosy feel of this room, a kitchen and laundry redesign is planned within a new pool pavilion and library wing. Outside the kitchen is a rambling garden and a natural swimming pool designed around a 120 year old peppercorn tree. No chemicals or salts are used in the natural pool, which is cleaned by a succession of ponds and rocks.

Upstairs is the main bedroom and ensuite, a den and the children's bedrooms. Here, there are abundant tributes to this family's sense of fun. A bowler hat pendant hangs in the bathroom. The powder room is painted in pink and orange reflecting the colours of Africa's savannahs at dusk and its walls are adorned with ceramic wildlife heads. In the Den, an Ingo Maurer's `Bang Boom' Zettel'z Cartoon Light animates the room and John Baird's stunning `The Arch' painting looks down from the marble fireplace.