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.
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.’’