A Handcrafted Hurstbridge Home With History + Heart


Susie Silverii and Laurence Parisi invested many years dreaming of purchasing land to elevate their increasing spouse and children on. They inspected several properties in Melbourne’s outer north-east to make a tree change materialize, which include numerous by well known local designer Alistair Knox (1912-1986), but none had been really ideal in their present-day state.

‘Many of these houses had very quirky flooring strategies that necessary way too much work, or they weren’t huge adequate for our developing relatives. I was only at any time geared up to make a tree alter if we found a best Knox match for us,’ explains Susie. ‘Fortunately, we came across this household on 20 acres of non-public bushland, and ended up fortunate ample to transfer in just before the pandemic exploded listed here in Melbourne.’

This certain residence in Hurstbridge (a town just north-east of Melbourne) was designed by Knox, but built by John Pizzey, who was Knox’s ideal hand gentleman for 15 decades right before setting up his very own architecture practice. Laurence and Susie loved the home’s ground approach, and discovering about its loaded history from the suppliers who commissioned the home again in 1978.

‘It was untouched, in wholly initial problem, and one thing we felt we could put our very own stamp on. We fell in adore with the sights, getting substantial up on a hill, and on 20 acres of incredibly non-public all-natural bushland. It experienced an fast, calming sense,’ Susie says. 

Via their discussions with the previous proprietors, Laurence and Susie have learned numerous particulars about the home’s origins. The mud bricks were manufactured from clay sourced from a area dam, the fire slate hearths and hundreds of bricks ended up salvaged from the primary Richmond Major Faculty timbers were sourced from a demolition property and the 3 leadlight windows arrived from a church in Briagolong, Gippsland! 

Approximately all of these unique details stay nowadays in the timber ceilings, restored mud brick walls, brick flooring, and open fireplaces wrapped in recycled apricot bricks. ‘There is not a single plaster wall in this dwelling,’ says Susie. 

Laurence and Susie haven’t produced any structural modifications to the home, though numerous rooms have been offered a sympathetic, cosmetic update. Most significantly, they renovated the bathrooms and laundry to function partially tiled and Dulux Whisper White partitions, and the pool has been restored. 

‘The renovation/restoration procedure typically concerned dilemma fixing,’ says Susie . ‘It was occasionally demanding to keep on being devoted to the first structure although attempting to adapt it for fashionable household dwelling, remaining inside of finances for each individual room, and doing work with the uneven floors and walls of this handmade residence.’

Susie enjoys so a lot of particulars of this home, but what she appreciates most is the way it makes her family sense. ‘It’s extra about the activities this dwelling is enabling us to encounter the reminiscences it is assisting us to make and the emotions it is building us truly feel,’ she says. ‘We really like that it is a sustainable household and that we are preserving a piece of neighborhood history.’


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