26 April 2023

'You have to see it to believe it': heritage home with underground movie buff's lair ready for next discerning pair of hands

| Travis Radford
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5 Dirrawan Gardens, Reid.

The unassuming 1920s home features an underground level with a ballroom-cum-art-gallery and home theatre. Photos: LJ Hooker.

Behind the humble heritage facade of this 1920s Reid property at 5 Dirrawan Gardens is a home worthy of every real estate superlative.

Awarded house of the year by the Master Builders Association on completion in 2010 (eight years after works commenced), the judging panel hit the nail on the head when they said, “You have to see it to believe it”.

“It’s hard to even describe,” admits LJ Hooker licensed agent Stephen Bunday, who says the property is “kind of a cross between an art gallery, a ballroom, a home and a cinema.”

front of house

The humble, classic exterior gives no indication of the incredible renovations.

Stephen says one of the biggest wow factors of the home is the subterranean movie theatre which he likened to a miniature suburban version of Canberra’s Palace Electric Cinemas.

The fully equipped theatre features tiered leather recliners, a wide-screen curved projector screen (with a dedicated projector room) and a surround sound system.

Behind the cinema is a break-out lounge area for post-movie socialising, where Stephen suggests you could enjoy a quiet gin and tonic, brandy or glass of red with guests.

Walk out of the cinema, and you’ll find yourself in an expansive, open-top ballroom-cum-art-gallery, with a curved staircase adorned in travertine tiles leading up towards the entry.

The over 600 square metres of indoor living space (the most Stephen has come across in his nearly 30 years in real estate) continues upstairs, where art deco meets contemporary comforts.

Heat-treated curved timberwork, hand-crafted cornices and marble and travertine mosaics are blended with a security system, intelligent CBUS control system and lead-light windows.

Intricate parquetry floors extend in all directions from the light-filled reception area, which faces a glass-panelled wall looking out towards the outdoor living space.

To the left, there’s a spacious formal dining room, family room and contemporary chef’s kitchen complete with a butler’s pantry.

On the right-hand side of the home, there’s a lounge room, three bedrooms (all with ensuites) and a study which could also be converted into a fourth bedroom.

Other sweeteners include an almost 200 square metre five-car garage, a 70,000-litre rainwater tank, a fire-proof strong room and two guest powder rooms.

Even with all those indoor living options, Stephen says there is still substantial outdoor living space on the more than 1,300 square metre block.

“There’s a big terracotta-tiled alfresco area out the back and then still enough room to install a swimming pool, subject to approval,” he says.

If you were waiting for the catch, well, there isn’t one. The home is centrally located in Reid’s leafy Dirrawan Gardens.

“There’s probably three or four absolute blue-chip addresses in the inner north, and Dirrawan Gardens is certainly one of them,” says Stephen.

“You’re also on the fringe of the city, and you’ve got Lake Burley Griffin within walking distance and Mount Ainslie not too far away.

“So you’ve got this incredible, enviable lifestyle, and yet it feels like you’re living in a parkland.”

A tennis club and preschool are also within easy walking distance of the home.

But Stephen says it’s the kind of home you simply must experience for yourself.

“I hadn’t been there for a couple of years, and I walked in and went, ‘Wow,'” he says.

“It’s just the sheer effect it has on you when you step through that heritage facade.”

To learn more about 5 Dirrawan Gardens in Reid, contact Stephen Bunday on 0416 014 431, and be sure to check out all the latest listings on Zango.


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