Not surprisingly, several changes over the years had altered the exterior. Notably, the top veranda was closed in to provide a sun room. There was also an unattractive, tarsealed parking area at the sunny rear of the house.
Stephens says the restoration was designed to restore the house to its former glory. To this end, every detail was designed with authenticity in mind. The rusted iron lace fretwork, for example, was replaced with identical aluminium lacework. Gate posts were also replicated and hand turned to recreate the original fencing.
The entrance and formal living and dining rooms required the least amount of work, says Jones.
"These rooms were largely intact their beauty lies in their proportions and detailing. The pressed metal ceilings and wall panels in the entrance, which would have been imported from Australia when the house was first built, were still in good order. The grand, carved staircase was also intact."
Sharon Crossen of Layne Stephens Properties says stained glass windows were restored to replicate the original designs. Fireplace surrounds, architraves and round blocks with scrolls that marked the corners of the window frames, were also replicated.
"When you are doing a sympathetic alteration and restoring a house to its original glory, there are not a lot of short cuts," Crossen says. "Even the new and replacement doors and their hinges were designed by the architects, and manufactured to the exact size and thickness needed to maintain the correct proportions."
Structurally, the main changes were in the ground-floor kitchen and family living areas, and the first-storey bedrooms. Several walls were removed to create one large open-plan kitchen and living area. New bifold doors open up this space to a pool and landscaped courtyard.
"The ceilings in these rooms had been lowered at some stage, probably to create a warmer, more intimate space," says Jones. "We reinstated the original height with new ceilings that replicate the traditional board and batten ceilings that once existed."