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NZ Family focus for 50 years

Property Here - Saturday, July 13, 2013

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When Al Bollard speaks to people who know Mission Bay well, he finds they are often familiar with "the stucco house" towards the bottom of Dudley Rd. The stucco home at No 10, with its English-style leadlight windows and steeply pitched roof, has been home to the Bollard family for 50 years, ever since Al's parents Allen and Joyce bought it.

In 1963, the family moved from nearby Nihill Cres to "the larger, pretty house on the ridge". Al, short for Allen (not to be confused with the former governor of the Reserve Bank) has spent 34 years in this house - moving in as an 8-year-old and enjoying years of cricket and rugby on the front lawn before leaving home in 1977.

When Al and his wife Chrissi, and their daughters Georgia, 24, and Tessa, 21, returned from Melbourne in 1995, they settled into Mission Bay, temporarily at first and then permanently, buying the house from father Allen, who was by then a widower.

In 2000, the family embarked on a large-scale renovation to a design by architect Warwick Lee, which retained the home's character but added a double internal-access garage, two new bedrooms plus a north-facing casual living extension, terrace and 12.5m pool. Upstairs rooms were reconfigured to add his-and-hers walk-in wardrobes, plus an en suite to the generously sized, sunny master bedroom.

"It's been a very happy family home," says Al. Dudley Rd is near Mission Bay's beach and shops, plus the Bollard girls have enjoyed the pool with their friends. "It was like a bus station at times around here," he reflects.

When the girls were younger they liked to spend a lot of time in a loft above the garage, reached by a trapdoor and a mini-door from one of the bedrooms. It was also "Georgia's fashion studio", says Al proudly, recounting how as a teenager his older daughter would design and sew clothes for family and friends.

Georgia is now a fashion buyer for the Myer department store in Melbourne.

Student Tessa lives at home, where she uses a study near the family living area and granite kitchen, a space she took over from her mother. Al says that when they bought the house he had visions of making this room his own space with a big armchair and TV screen, but it has never come to pass.

At least the house has plenty of other spaces to enjoy. The casual living extension, with its open gas fire, has room for a dining table and outside the terrace leads to a loggia with a wood-burning open fire. Inside, off the entrance foyer, are the "old lounge" and formal dining rooms, both with original bevelled-glass doors.

The home's easy mix of traditional and modern touches is also reflected in the Bollards' art. Throughout the house, there's a variety of styles - some contemporary pieces plus traditional paintings by acclaimed landscape artist W. Allen Bollard (circa 1869-1943), a relative.

Outside, the cricket-pitch front garden of Al's childhood is now an elegant design by landscape expert Robin Shafer. Al's father died before the renovations were complete, but Al thinks he would have approved. "We put a lot of effort into it and it was a real work of love."

Al says it will be a wrench to leave but, with the girls now adults, it's time to downsize.