Time after time
FROM derelict fl ats to a modernised period home, this West Hobart house has seen many changes over its history. Having taken on extensive renovations of older properties in the past, Tim and Karen Glazebrook have been progressively working on the mother of all restorations over the past seven years.
In between his day work as a mechanic, jack- of- all- trades Tim has delicately stripped back the imposing character home to reveal a property which despite its past 50 or so years as apartments looks as if it were always a well- looked after, grand family home.
The state the house was in when the couple fi rst found it would scare away most renovators or builders.
The rear of the home was condemned, a single separate fl at stood in the rear garden, the internal stairs had been pulled down and replaced with a hideous external concrete set at the front of the house and tiny kitchenettes had been installed in the corners of all the bedrooms.
Despite the mess and repairs that needed to be dealt with, there were many redeeming features. Fireplaces with decorative mantels in all but one bedroom had miraculously been left in excellent condition and much of the plaster work, arches and cornices were also untouched.
“We knew it would be a lot of work,” Karen said.
“There were a few builders who looked at it and didn’t want to touch it. “It’s been the biggest project we’ve done. “We lived in it as we went along and I don’t think I’d do that again.
“It’s been hard sometimes to source materials like wrought iron to match what would have originally been there.”
Downstairs comprises two living rooms, a bathroom, dining room and kitchen which all have a French- inspired theme from Karen’s interior decorating touch.
Up the Tasmanian oak staircase with iron fretwork wrought by Tim is the bedroom wing that leads out to the front verandah which was carefully restored and saved.
Having been recently fi nished, the family is keen to know more about their home.
“We were told it was from the 1920s but I’m not totally convinced, I think it might be earlier,”
Karen said. “We went to the council and they don’t have any history on it so I would like to find out more about the house.”
The Glazebrooks had cut their teeth on a 1925 New Town property a couple of years before buying the West Hobart home which gave them a good idea of what they would be in for.
“We got a bit hooked after Clare St,” Karen said.
“As Tim would strip things away and replace skirting boards you’d often find old photos and things.
“We found an old one of the Clare St house, in its original kitchen, with an old fella in a bowler hat out the front.
“We’ve found some old bottles and odds and ends here and it makes it all quite addictive.”
And now that it has all come to end, Karen says it won’t be long until Tim is ready for a new challenge.
“I think he’s already getting the bug to do it again,” she said.
“I’d love to do another old house but at the same time I’m ready to have a go at something more modern.”