When charm is a must, here’s a selection of properties with oodles to spare
In what is increasingly becoming a cookie-cutter world, individuality is valuable and often difficult to find.
The opportunity to live in a home unlike any other is rare, but there are brave souls all over the country who have built to the beat of a different drum.
Here’s our pick of the best properties with their own unique charm in cities, bush and beach locations around Australia.
2 beds 1 bath 1 car
In sophisticated Albert Park, just minutes from Melbourne’s CBD, a 1930s post office has been reborn as boutique apartments. The developer’s heritage and the legacy of the building come together in nine giant panes of glass fused with the face of Hermes, the messenger god, as it appeared on an early Greek postage stamp. For sale is a sleek, open-plan, two-bedroom apartment of timber and marble with a wide terrace, city views and luxurious fittings.
2 beds 2 baths 1 car
Built by architect Simon Cookes as his own home, The Box House is distinctive and stylish, with luxurious appointments. It has excellent city views, Miele and DeLonghi appliances and a private courtyard. Lighting in the downstairs hall was made from bottles found under the original house and recycled materials include cherry veneer from a Port Melbourne boatyard.
1 bed 1 bath
A passion for ancient Mediterranean villas and their frescoed interiors inspired this unfinished straw-bale house on about 57 hectares just west of Maldon, an hour and 40 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD. The first stage of this exotic country estate has two living rooms, a kitchen, bathroom and main bedroom.
3 beds 1 bath 1 car
Designed by Eddie Oribin, one of Australia’s most revered and inventive architects, this crystalline house is bolted directly on to a large granite outcrop. The award-winning and private retreat in the Northern Tablelands, in northern NSW, has a steeply gabled central living room flooded with light, and the main bedroom leads out to a small north-facing solarium shaped like a tube to catch winter sun from dawn to dusk.
3 beds 1 bath 1 car
A rare opportunity for lovers of mid-century style, this charming house in central Wollongong, with an even more charming address has 21st-century amenity in a stylish white palette and a studio or large entertainment pavilion in the garden. It’s close to restaurants, cafés and shopping.
3 beds 2 baths 1 car
Koalas, echidnas and kookaburras are regular visitors to this laid-back, low-maintenance and impeccably presented family home about 20 kilometres south of Adelaide. Bushland surrounds the three-level house and the tranquility is tangible. The hill block is about 2511 square metres and within walking distance of Upper Sturt Primary School and transport.
3 beds 1 bath
This stone cottage was built in the beautiful historic township of Penola (in south-eastern South Australia) in the 1860s as a private home. In the 1930s it became a hospital and later housed emigrant Catholic families. In 1985, St Heliers once again became a home. It has high decorative ceilings, formal living and dining rooms, informal living areas, a cellar and workshop, as well as many original features, including working fireplaces.
3 beds 1 bath
Offers over $395,000
St Michaels and All Angels Church is 20 minutes from Bruny Island’s famous surf breaks at Cloudy Bay and minutes from the jetty and boat ramp. It featured in an art-house film called Lunawanna Kiss – a copy of which will be given to the new owners. The conversion is sensitive to the 1928 building, and it operates as short-term accommodation.
4 beds 2 baths 4 cars
A glorious stained-glass window shines out over the blackwood kitchen and living room in this stylish and well-appointed conversion of an 1840 sandstone church, about 45 kilometres north-west of Hobart. On the first floor, three bedrooms have internal balconies overlooking the living area. Curved, pressed-tin ceilings, timber floorboards and sandstone accents enhance the character. It has a C-bus control system, solar hot water and electric heating.
4 beds 2 baths 5 cars
Surrounded by lush palm-filled gardens and with 60 metres of frontage and direct access to the water, this two-storey house on 15,000 square metres is a private tropical getaway. The house has views to Redland Bay and a separate apartment at the rear of the property.
3 beds 3 baths 2 cars
Created in 1992, with a free-flowing open and flexible floorplan, soaring ceilings and treetop valley views, this house (about 33 kilometres south-east of Perth) on 2048 square metres is spread over three floors. The kitchen has stone benchtops and a walk-in cool room. There is airconditioning and a slow-combustion wood heater.
1 bed 1 bath 1 car
Yamaroshi, in the Braddon retail precinct, is still under construction and surrounded by shopping, dining and entertainment possibilities. The apartment, of more than 60 square metres, will have double glazing, ducted air-conditioning and heating, Smeg appliances, 2pac joinery and stone benchtops in the kitchen and Astra Walker bathroom fittings.