Stephen Akehurst awaits buyer for his own Mornington Peninsula home

Stephen Akehurst awaits buyer for his own Mornington Peninsula home
Stephen Akehurst awaits buyer for his own Mornington Peninsula home

The classically-inspired country estate designs of Stephen Akehurst are synonymous with the top end weekenders at Melbourne's pricey playground, the Mornington Pensinsula.

His own home at Flinders remains for sale through estate agent Chantal Hooper having come with an initial $12 million price guide.

The home, Lower Lower Steading is an imposing, but charming manor located on 7,500 sqm of manicured grounds, located 60 miles south of Melbourne in the coastal town of Flinders.

It is secluded behind trees on three sides with the fourth commanding an amphitheatre-like panorama over fields towards the ocean.

No surprise the five bedroom, five bathroom white weatherboard has strong elements of the American clapboard style popular in The Hamptons.

Stephen Akehurst awaits buyer for his own Mornington Peninsula home

Accessed by a private curved driveway between Main Ridge and Flinders, his escape was designed in accordance with classical principles under its gray bell-cast shingled roof.

“In designing Lower Lower Steading, I took into full account the stunning vistas the house commands over coast and country.

"Others may do this by incorporating walls of glass however that would not suit the classic lines of this house.

"I instead chose to maximise the views in two other ways: one by the provision of a wide and long terrace, covered at either end for year-round use; the other was to place a long range of windows upstairs and downstairs large enough to act as frames to the view."

There's perfect symmetry from its tall shuttered windows to its lateral dormer wings. Paired pencil pines aplenty too in the garden.

The front door under its pillared porch opens into a lofty galleried staircase hall.

Stephen Akehurst awaits buyer for his own Mornington Peninsula home

Every room on the ground floor has French doors opening onto a broad terrace that runs the length of the house overlooking the main garden and pool.

The terrace has a covered loggia at either end - one with a stone-built barbecue and pizza oven with outdoor summer dining area. The other is designed for outdoor sitting, with a stone-built fireplace for cooler weather.

There's an elegant library, a formal sitting room with open fireplace, chefs kitchen, home office with fireplace and an attic ceiling designed to be fitted as a cinema or gym.

A detached pavilion has been designed as self-contained guest accommodation.

Akehurst, who is selling because he would like to build a new one nearby, adopts three golden rules with his homes.

He says clients look for what excites them but they also want harmony.

The most important thing in design was to get the scale and proportion right.

"If they're wrong, you can never fix it," he advises.

The second is the right balance of light.

"A common mistake is when people think, 'we've got this wonderful view, we should just have complete glass'. And I say, 'you may want to look at the view, you don't necessarily want to be part of it'.

"The third thing is the orientation of the rooms; the living room should get the light or the bedrooms should be cooler.

"The house should have a unifying theme, but different rooms should have different moods."

The stately home's rich, textured and inviting interiors are the creation of Adrian Cannata of Akehurst Cannata Interiors.

Stephen Akehurst, who collects Mercedes Benz's, purchased the plot of land two decades ago. Construction of the 9,149-square-foot house began in 2005 and was completed in 2007.

This first appeared in The Weekend Australian.

Mornington Peninsula Flinders

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