THERE’S nothing shy about Mike Walsh, so it’s no surprise his house is an absolute showstopper.
When it came to renovating his first property, the young Brisbane executive went all out — hiring the big guns to transform a basic three-bedder into an inner-city architectural masterpiece that literally turns heads.
“I’m a bit out there,” Mr Walsh said.
“I wouldn’t say I’m an introvert!
“I regularly get people driving past and stopping to take photos or come in to take a look.
“From a visual perspective, the entrance from the exterior and the combination of materials used — timber, concrete, the white picket fence — it definitely stands out in the street.”
Mr Walsh bought the original property off a friend five years ago when he was moving out of his apartment and looking for a project.
It was a three-bedroom house on a 445 sqm block of land in the heart of Teneriffe, with two street frontages.
“We were going to buy it, live in it for three or four years and develop two houses,” Mr Walsh said.
They ended up subdividing the block, renovating the current house fronting Harcourt Street and building a new one fronting Small Street, which recently sold for $1.925 million — a huge price for a home on a tiny 215 sqm block.
Mr Walsh recruited the best in the business to take on the challenge of redeveloping his house at 320 Harcourt Street.
It was designed by architect Joe Adsett and built by Graya Construction with Frank Developments.
“What Graya and Frank did really well is achieve that fusion of old meets new,” Mr Walsh said.
“My brief was simple in theory in that I wanted a contemporary, executive-style home but one that struck that balance between maintaining original character and delivering something that almost felt brand new, which was extremely challenging.”
Mr Walsh said the architect, Joe Adsett, came up with a clever design for the house that made it feel bigger than it actually was.
“Any small lot development presents pretty great challenges,” he said.
“When you’re inside, you do lose context of the fact you’re only on a 230 sqm block.
“The house itself has about 450 sqm of living space.”
The two-level house is built to the boundary of the property to make the most of the space.
Outdoor and indoor living areas are integrated and design features such as high ceilings create the illusion of more space.
Mr Walsh, who works in commercial real estate, spent more than $1 million to get the result he wanted — a contemporary, four-bedroom house with all the luxuries and conveniences of modern living with the charm of yesteryear.
“The first level is probably my favourite area,” he said.
“It’s where the dining, kitchen, living and outdoor areas all meet, with bi-fold doors opening it up and creating a sense of indoor/outdoor living.”
But the project was not without its challenges.
“Even for someone in property, this is the first house I’ve built and it was challenging,” Mr Walsh said.
“The excavation of the rock turned out to be a lot more costly than I expected and there were noise issues outside of hours.
“There were elements where I spent more money, but we were cost efficient in other areas.”
Must-haves for Mr Walsh included installing a plunge pool, LED lighting in certain areas like the walk-in wardrobe, keyless entry and high quality finishes in the kitchen and living areas.
“I know from an on sale point of view, (buyers are) going to be focused on those areas where most time is spent,” he said.
“And never having to carry house keys everywhere is great!”
The young executive said he planned to live in the property for “the next five to 10 years”.
“It’s my for now house — for where I’m at in my life now,” he said.
RENO FACT CHECK
Time taken: 9 months
Total spend: $1m