Binstead – Hunters Hill sandstone magic
It’s thought stonemason Ponziano Cavalli purchased this land in 1867 and built Binstead from local sandstone.
Nearby at 7 Campbell Street, a stone structure remains that was one of his outbuildings or stables and the home spent some time as a girls’ grammar school in the early 1900s.
But it’s the Binstead of today that has become one of those once-in-a-lifetime magazine-shoot homes. It wowed buyers, selling quickly last month.
With an interior designer touch, the current owners have restored its original features while adding substantial renovations that doubled the footprint of the house. With the poolside gardens now fully established, it’s a sophisticated setting for cooking, entertaining, and backyard leisure.
Renovated with sensitivity and attention-to-detail, the classic details shine alongside high-end additions. With an idyllic north aspect to the rear, it takes in impressive natural light and views over the gardens.
The site is just elevated enough, and gently sloping, to make the most of its aspect. You’re looking out into the surrounding treetops, and it’s private from any surrounding homes.
A 4m-long window bench is the best seat in the house. Beneath an in-roof projector and a 3m retractable screen, this space also transforms into a family media retreat.
Concertina doors ensure the home integrates with the entertaining deck, overlooking the lawns and pool.
The marble kitchen is full of luxury inclusions. A French oven from La Canche and a farmhouse sink are the elegant centerpieces, setting the desired scene. With two ovens, an in-bench steamer, integrated fridge/freezer and polished nickel handles, no expense has been spared.
A cabinetmaker added the handmade oak butcher’s block, and the pendant lights, imported from Italy, hang from the 3.3m ceilings.
In the old rooms the original plaster and ceilings are perfectly intact, a testament to the solidity of the home. The original chandeliers have been preserved and wherever possible, that 1800s detail is celebrated.
A museum-quality cabinet is a thought-provoking addition. It houses an array of items unearthed when renovating, including an 1873 soda flask and an antique Champagne bottle.
To fuse the old and new spaces, French antique doors were included in the mud room. Original sandstone blocks from the verandah and the old staircase treads have also been reintroduced to the extension.
At the entry, guests step onto Carrara and Thassos marble tiles while the brushbox timber floorboards come from recycled water tower in Queensland.
Family touches have been addressed from the gas fireplaces and ducted air conditioning through to the sandstone BBQ, drinks fridge and outdoor shower.
Upstairs the rooms have water glimpses and out towards Riverview – a sandstone castle of a school that’s floodlit at night.
In one of the Hunters Hill Peninsula’s most sought-after hubs, this quiet position has handy ferry access at the end of Alexandra Street.
It’s easy to see why Binstead has been used for photoshoots, magazine events, and commercials in the past. But take some time to explore what ties it together so well here.