The owners of this 1909 Queenslander waited a decade to get their hands on the property known as Croyde.
Karen Hartley said she and her husband first spotted the home at 84 Watson St, Camp Hill while walking with their two young children in 2005.
“We said wouldn’t it be a great place for entertaining friends and family for the kids to grow up in,” she said.
The property was placed on the market and over the ensuing 10 years the couple placed several offers on the home until one was finally accepted in 2015.
“When we bought it, it was a single storey house on stilts,” Mrs Hartley said.
“It was in OK condition for its age but was in need of a lot of love and care.
“There was only one bathroom in the house, a small kitchen, two proper bedrooms and the dining room had been converted into another bedroom.”
The original house was built by watchmaker and jeweller Ebenezer Jones in 1909 on an 1882sq m plot of land he purchased in 1908.
He mortgaged the land for 320 pounds and built a house with VJ walls and ceilings, pressed metal cornices, brick chimney, chandeliers and hoop pine floorboards, all of which remain today. Mr Jones’ glass storefront plaque also remains with the house.
The home passed through two more families before landing with the Hartleys, who undertook significant restoration work and renovations, working with the Brisbane City Architecture and Heritage Team and award-winning builder Corella Construction.
The heritage listed house was raised, built-in underneath and completely restored.
“The amount of time, energy and passion that went into this renovation, not only from our family but also our builders and trades, is evident in the finished product,” Mrs Hartley said.
“It is a true home, it’s not just a house.”
Today in the original upstairs space there is a front veranda, formal lounge and dining rooms and a galley-style kitchen opening to a rear deck, along with a bathroom, sitting room, master suite with dressing room and ensuite, and second bedroom.
A standout feature is the functional two-storey, double sided chimney with fireplace in the formal living room, a hearth for the cooker in the original kitchen and brick support column on the lower level.
Mrs Hartley said lower level of the chimney once had a fire pit with a copper pot sitting above for boiling laundry.
“We still have that copper pot — it’s been full restored,” she said.
And that is just the start of the restoration work done over a period of seven months, which followed eight months of planning.
“Upstairs the pressed metal cornices were restored, all the decking needed to be replaced and the original glass and crystal chandeliers all had to be restored,” Mrs Hartley said.
“A lot of paint had to come off, layers and layers of it.
“The breeze windows had all been painted closed so a lot of work went into them. My husband restored the original mechanisms that open and close the windows.
“The old gas light fittings have also been restored and they are still on the walls.”
The 1960s-era kitchen and bathroom were replaced with more traditional spaces but the original claw foot bathtub still takes pride of place in the bathroom.
“The kitchen is the hub of the home,” Mrs Hartley said.
“It’s a beautiful space opening to the deck. It has a 3m long Caesarstone bench with seating all the way around that takes in the city from the lights of the Gabba to the second arch of the Story Bridge.
“It’s the place we find ourselves most often.”
Mrs Hartley said early on in the restoration process they discovered a storage area with terrazzo flooring on the back veranda was once a bathroom, so they got permission to convert the space into an ensuite for the master bedroom.
The new area downstairs houses a wine cellar, second kitchen, games lounge, bathroom, laundry and three covered patios. There are also three more bedrooms, with ensuites, walk-in wardrobes and study nooks to two.
“Downstairs is clearly a new addition but it is in keeping with the grandeur of the house,” Mrs Hartley said.
The property also has a saltwater swimming pool with pavilion, manicured gardens, fire pit and a six-car garage.
“We created all the landscaping. When we bought the house (the yard) was an overgrown mess of shrubs and vines,” Mrs Hartley said.
But after restoring the heritage Queenslander and creating a beautiful family home, Mrs Hartley and her husband have decided to sell the now 2025sq m property.
“We thought it was going to be our forever home but we’ve found another one,” she said.
The property is being marketed by Joanna Gianniotis of Place Bulimba will be auctioned on Thursday, November 7.
Budget: $1.5 million
Time: 15 months