For Les and Dot Biggerstaff, it was love at first sight with Webb & Brown-Neaves’ Toorak display home – so much so, the couple built a replica of it.
Having moved into their new home at Ardross in July last year, Mr and Mrs Biggerstaff shared their building journey and the unique family history behind it.
“My parents moved from Toodyay to Perth in 1974 and bought this block for around $35,000,” Mrs Biggerstaff said.
“Les and I came out here often to care for my dad who was living by himself at the time.
“Since my father passed away, Les and I decided that we would keep the block and build our own dream home.”
It was during their time caring for Mrs Biggerstaff’s father that the Toorak first caught their attention.
“While we were looking after dad, we would drive through Applecross often, which is when we came across The Toorak display home,” Mrs Biggerstaff said.
“We’ve driven past The Toorak so many times and loved the look of it. It’s a distinguished-looking home.”
The Toorak, now closed, was inspired by classic French provincial design and made an impression with its magnificent slimline brickwork elevation.
A few minutes into their tour of the home, a decision was made.
“We walked into the display home and we hadn’t got very far before Dot said, ‘can we just pick this up and put it on the block?’,” Mr Biggerstaff said.
The existing home demolished and the block subdivided, the couple began the building process with Webb & Brown-Neaves.
Webb & Brown-Neaves Innovation and New Product Designer Joseph Calasara said the clients only made minor modifications to the display.
“They requested to maximise the garage and relocate the lounge closer to the study,” he said.
“They also added a lift in the middle of the house for accessibility and future-proofing.”
Mr Calasara noted the design’s adaptability and open-plan living had made it a popular choice.
“The symmetrical layout of the house makes it a flexible layout that can easily adapt to different lifestyles,” he said. “All the bedrooms have a dedicated ensuite and work quite well for multi-generational living.”
The central void, Mr Calasara said, was the home’s crown jewel.
“It creates grandness and allows for a breathing space in the middle of the house,” he said.
Mr and Mrs Biggerstaff have since made the residence their own, and each had a favourite aspect of their new home.
“It’s difficult to pick a special feature of the home and that’s because the house just flows,” Mr Biggerstaff said.
“You’re comfortable with where you are. But if I had to pick one, it would be the formal lounge. There’s just something about this room that feels comfortable and right.”
Mrs Biggerstaff agreed, saying she loved her space and considered the entire home a feature in itself.
“At the bottom of the stairwell I have two framed pieces,” she said. “One is a beautiful tatting that my mum did and the other is a bag that used to hold nut hulls from where dad managed an industrial extracts factory in Toodyay.”
Ultimately, the couple said the home meant family and history to them.
“The home is about succession, so we wanted a good piece of the history to flow from day one and we’ve achieved that,” Mr Biggerstaff said.
While the Toorak display is no longer available, current display homes can be found on the Webb & Brown-Neaves website.
CONTACT Webb & Brown-Neaves, 9208 9000, www.wbhomes.com.au