It’s made to mea­sure for en­ter­tain­ing

A stylish fa­cade hides a Hyde Park home’s rear yard which boasts a ‘wow’ fac­tor, writes Amy Noo­nan.

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IN 2001, busi­ness­woman Ste­lanie Alexan­der bought a former tennis court in Hyde Park and built Belle Matiere – a home made for en­ter­tain­ing with her per­sonal stamp on it. ‘‘I de­signed the home my­self be­cause I have a real pas­sion for in­te­rior de­sign and de­sign in gen­eral,’’ Ms Alexan­der says.

‘‘I was able to tap into my own cre­ativ­ity to cre­ate dif­fer­ent zones of the house and dif­fer­ent flavour through­out the house.’’

She be­lieves the show­stop­per is the rear of the home, which has a 15m glass frontage over­look­ing a lap pool – tiled with a Ver­sace me­dusa head – and raised gar­den beds.

‘‘The house was built as an en­ter­tain­ing home. I wanted to bring the out­side in. It’s al­most like re­sort liv­ing,’’ she says.

The home’s rear has for­mal and in­for­mal en­ter­tain­ing ar­eas over­looked by a kitchen.

Twin Kleemaid self-clean­ing ovens, glass racks that hold up to 80 glasses, an in­built Miele steamer and cof­fee ma­chine are among the kitchen fea­tures.

There are three court­yards scat­tered around the home, al­low­ing for par­ties of up to about 160 peo­ple, Ms Alexan­der says.

‘‘Peo­ple me­an­der around the house and it’s very pri­vate,’’ she says.

‘‘Off the bed­room there’s a Frenchin­spired court­yard, where the boy’s room is there’s a Ja­panese-in­spired rock gar­den and then there’s the rear court­yard with the lap pool and the wood oven.

‘‘I think peo­ple come here and their jaws drop: they just don’t re­alise what’s back here.’’

The prop­erty has four dou­ble bed­rooms with one cur­rently con­fig­ured as a study. There are three bath­rooms and a dou­ble garage.

The front of the home is un­der­stated but still ul­tra-stylish, Ms Alexan­der says.

‘‘The house is clad in Western Aus­tralian lime­stone – I’ve had peo­ple knock on the door and ask what it is.’’

The home has se­cu­rity gates and a Clip­sal CBUS sys­tem.

‘‘It’s very pri­vate - the only en­trance to the home is thor­ough the front.

‘‘I think se­cu­rity was one of the big­gest things for me.’’

Now Ms Alexan­der is look­ing for a new project: to ren­o­vate or build a new home again.

‘‘It’s just time . . . I want to do it again,’’ she says.

‘‘I’ve been look­ing at some other prop­er­ties at the mo­ment.

‘‘I’m go­ing to do a bit of prop­erty de­vel­op­ment and I’m do­ing some in­te­rior de­sign cour­ses this year to com­ple­ment what I al­ready know. I just love it.’’

She says the home would be a per­fect fit for a young fam­ily or re­tirees look­ing for easy care liv­ing once they down­size.

‘‘This is the per­fect home be­cause they’ve down­sized from the huge homes with tennis courts.

‘‘It’s still big enough for them to have an am­ple prop­erty but to be able to lock up and travel the world,’’ she says. ‘‘The in­spi­ra­tion is for easy liv­ing – open­ing the door, be­ing able to re­lax and en­ter­tain.’’

And, of course, there’s the rear court­yard with the coloured light­ing for night-time im­pact.

‘‘I think that’s the ‘wow’ part of the house – it’s only when peo­ple come in they see the big wow sur­prise at the back,’’ she says.

‘‘That pop of colour when the lights are on is just amaz­ing.’’

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