MISCHIEF – INTELLIGENCE – SKILL

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MISCHIEF – INTELLIGENCE – SKILL

THE HOFFMAN HOUSE

Shoreham has some special property and you’ve just got to love one that comes with a mix of mischief, intelligence and the divine skills of a landscape designer.  A combination delivering a lifestyle where the dwelling, the crafted gardens brimming with indigenous grasses, shrubs and border trees and the cattle and horse breeding enterprise all came together bit by bit, piece by piece like a pilot building the cockpit as the plane hurtles down the runaway. The glue is the one intangible skill that sees such endeavours come to life; pure blind instinct. An underrated measure of character that cannot be taught but its power so immense it’s attributed to much of mankind’s greatest advancements.

Current owners Josh and Emma bought the property thirteen years ago; back when it was a blank canvas of 50 pastoral acres, no fencing, trees, infrastructure or home. Josh, a successful property developer doesn’t use the phrase “can’t be done” was motivated by a photo in a lifestyle magazine. The Hoffman House in California, designed and built for Arthur Hoffman and his wife Mona by Austrian born architect to American wealth; Richard Neutra.  So, inspired; Josh rang the Hoffman Institute in the guise of an architect student and through that sheer ability for mischief had the original design blueprints sent to him. Together with Emma and their draftsman they hatched a plan of sorts to replicate the home on their patch of peninsula heaven, adding a few little tweaks of their own.

Fast forward thirteen years: An extraordinary home, polished concrete flooring, soaring ceilings, three living wings, 4 colossal bedrooms, ensuite’s, powder rooms, built in open fire place, designer kitchen with imported marble benchtops and an incredible display of floor to ceiling glass sliding doors and windows set the stage of this brilliant floorplan.  I had the unique experience to see first hand just how impressive this design feature is.  Standing in the master bedroom; Josh slid back the huge shards of glass, opening onto the North West facing deck, you immediately feel you belong to the undulating landscape, it’s just you and vast open greenery.  Emma, a talented landscape designer, has produced a series of protected and open spaces enveloping the dwelling.  Each space has its own theme blending into one another without compromise.  Steadfast in her use of indigenous flora the gardens and enclaves fuse coast and country, melding with the background contours, stone and pebbles matching the exterior cladding and plantings that thrive with little maintenance and a touch of hard love.  

The build orientation has considered every aspect of the environmental factors.  The larger wall structure guarding against the onshore winds from the East whilst the West is open, surrounded by decks facing the setting sun and overlooking the inground pool. This attention to detail has protected the home from the elements and maximised the outdoor living opportunities; where you enjoy so many extra days soaking in the surrounds and  summer evenings by the pool extend well past twilight. 

Emma’s passion for horses and equestrian pursuits has rubbed off on her daughter.  Together they go through their paces in the purpose built arena, maintain the stables and share the life learning of horse breeding and witnessing a new foul entering the world.  An education that extends to their cattle breeding where calves born on the property has become a family experience with all hands doing their bit.

Emma’s work sees her travelling most days. Josh spends his down time waiting for council approvals on his development projects, at the family home.  A quick trip to Flinders each weekday morning to drop the kids at the bus for their trip to school, followed by phone calls and paperwork from his private office and then slips on his sneakers and shorts and heads off for his morning run.  A round 5km trip up the sweeping driveway, down Tucks Road to the beach; often bewildered by how many tradies attend board meetings when a wave is breaking off second reef, back home refreshed from the exercise and nourished by his surroundings; daily pressures and stress melt away and good decisions become the norm.  

It hasn’t been all French Champagne and Red Hill Strawberries for this enterprising couple.  In the early days with limited; nah let’s be honest, no farming experience Josh acquired 23 heifers and let a prized Angus Bull loose in the paddock.  Now I’m somewhat of a spiritual man, especially when it comes to smoky peat from the ISLE of ISLAY; and if you believe in reincarnation coming back as a stud Angus bull wouldn’t be the worst punishment for your previous life indiscretions.  280 odd days later, the herd had doubled a very steep learning curve was required and Josh and Emma understood the deep end of farming.  Throw in the odd bogged tractor, hay bailing by hand and calling his neighbour; an 80year old war hero to fix broken fences and most of the mistakes have already been made.  This is a property of life education, an opportunity to explore and challenge yourself with the knowledge of an escape to luxury when farming stretches the gap between ambition and capability.  

If you’re new to the area and looking for a lifestyle property with the country and coastal vibe; it’s worth noting that Shoreham and the neighbouring districts of Balnarring, Red Hill and Flinders have become increasingly popular with younger families.  No longer considered a retiree’s haven; the social lifestyle for 40 something folks is alive and healthy. With quality private secondary schooling available in Mount Eliza; and bus services running from Flinders and Balnarring, this portion of the hinterland is family friendly. Mornington is a pleasant car ride for your domestic needs and a spot of people watching and Balnarring and Red Hill have outstanding sporting infrastructure for juniors and adults, boys and girls.  World class wineries and restaurants at your doorstep, bay beaches and surf breaks, golf, hiking, equestrian, whatever takes your fancy is all within easy reach. A doer’s paradise where there’s no excuse not to get involved. 

Yep life is sweet in Shoreham.

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