Wings of Light

It’s impossible to miss the influence of the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright as you walk through this stunning Bellarine Peninsula home.

There could be no fear of people getting in each other’s way in this large country house on the Bellarine Peninsula.

At 80-squares, the timber, render and limestone home sits atop a hill taking in views of rolling paddocks and Port Phillip Heads.

It drips with class, space and comfort, earning the HIA best western region house in 2002 and was placed in the top four in the state.

Did we say space?  It’s everywhere.

The owners, Tony and Petrina, gave much thought to what they needed now (they regularly have guests staying), and in the future for their three young children.

They devised the rough floor plan which has been effectively split into three distinct wings – service, living and bedroom – all warped around an outdoor deck and 17 metre infinity pool.  David McDonald said the design by Aequi Design was not overly elaborate, but heavily influenced by the style of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Its large eaves and open spaces catch the light and provide a comfortable, understated grandeur.

Mr McDonald said it took 12 months to construct, with attention to high quality finishings.

One of the dominant features of the house is a two-level limestone wall that houses open fire places at both ground and second storey level.  Petrina said Western Australian limestone was purposefully chosen because she originally hailed from the west.

The main entrance opens to an expansive kitchen and living area in one huge space.  It maintains a country feel through polished spotted gum floorboards and timber-sills on ceiling to floor windows that capture views from every wall.  The U-shaped kitchen features wide, stone benchtops and shiny Two-Pak – all in natural tones.  The stone is repeated in wet areas throughout.

A door hides a walk-in pantry that would make a chef salivate, featuring a wall of cupboards for groceries beneath rows of shelving to hold all that kitchen clutter.

A nearby door leads to a service wing, including laundry, storage room, gym, shower, toilet and a purpose-built wine cellar and garage.

There is a pattern here.  The owners not only like large, they like neat.  All storage items in the dedicated storage room are hidden behind cupbards, as are clothes in an upstairs walk-in-robe.  Television and entertainment units are also neatly tucked away behind doors fitted into the limestone wall both at both levels.

The third, ‘kids wing’ includes four bedrooms, a large bathroom and separate toilet.  One of the bedrooms has a spacious ensuite for guests, but a tick for forward thinking is the kids’ playroom that will in the future also serve as a teenagers’ retreat from the adults.

A timber staircase behind the limestone wall leads to the upstairs master bedroom and study that open to a deck overlooking the pool.

While Petrina says the kids love and use their playroom, their favourite rooms seems to be her ensuite, in which a spa bath nestles under a window with views towards the Heads.

Petrina called on outside help to custom-make furniture in chocolates, coffee and creams to properly fit the space in the living room.  In fact, the most striking use of colour is limited to a large oil painting in the entrance and pinks and purples in her daughters’ bedrooms.

The quality furnishings and neutral shades means the home will definitely stand the test of time as their young family grows.


Publication: GT Home & Garden
Date: June 2003
Author: Julie Hobbs
Photography: Reg Ryan

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