March 12, 2020

PREMIUM SAHOMES: Lakeside luxury

The weekend retreat of Josephine and Victor Said, the founder of Rivergum Homes, this spectacular waterfront property at West Lakes is expected to fetch more than $1.5 million.

Josephine and Victor Said built their West Lakes home three years ago as a weekend retreat; a second home to their immaculate award-winning mansion in prestigious Medindie.

The home at 8a Dutton Grove, West Lakes Shore is this week on the market, expected to attract a price upwards of $1.5 million.

Victor is the founder and director of Rivergum Homes, a business he created 25 years ago. In that time the company has built more than 8500 homes, now employs close to 100 staff, and is one of South Australia’s most prominent residential builders.

Josephine says building the lakefront home was a passion project, combining her flair for interior design with Victor’s experience in construction.

Putting the stunning property on the market was a difficult decision, but the couple felt they were not getting enough use of the spectacular modern home, due to travel, work, and family commitments.

“We don’t get to the lake as often as we would have liked to,” Josephine says. “It’s just such a pity to have a house offering so much lifestyle just sitting there.”

“Our [Medindie] home is quite large and needs a lot of maintenance, our girls go to Wilderness, around the corner, and we like to travel.”

But the four-bedroom West Lakes home has provided a perfect weekend retreat for the family — and making memories on the lake with their twin girls has had special meaning for the couple.

After failed attempts at IVF, Josephine and Victor embarked on a brave journey to fulfil their dream of parenthood through a surrogacy program in Thailand. Victor and Josephine welcomed home their girls in 2015, just two weeks after their wedding.

Taking their paddleboat across the lake to make sandcastles on the adjacent sandy shore has been a joy for the two girls — now five years old — while they have also enjoyed casting a fishing line, but without great success.

“Living there, it feels like you’re on vacation all year round,” Josephine says.

“Living on the water is just beautiful. When you’re in the master bedroom upstairs you feel like you’re on a cruise ship, because you can’t see the walkway below. All you can see is the water when you look out the window. So you’re almost on a ship looking out the windows.”

“We get quite a bit of activity on the lake where we are, there’s always a lot of rowing going on.”

Designer pendants hang over the grand entrance and foyer, opening to the spotted gum staircase and glass balustrade.

The home has four bedrooms, including master suites on each level, both with walk-in wardrobes and floor-to-ceiling tiled en suites. There is a lift, 9.36kw solar panel system with battery storage, a security system and 3000-litre rainwater tanks.

“Everything’s been done to a high standard, with the best features. The home has beautiful granite stone and high ceilings,” Josephine says.

The spacious kitchen is equipped with high-end appliances, including a Fisher and Paykel pyrolytic double oven, glass cooktop, integrated fridge drawer, SMEG sink, and stone splashback.

Spotted gum timber veneer accents hug the living space, which opens up to the alfresco areas. Motorised Vergola louvres open and close to allow for winter and summer use, while a servery opens up to the outdoor area for entertaining.

“When you open the doors up, you could be anywhere in the world with the palm trees, and lake, which can be so calming. The sun goes down in the evening and it turns pink.”

Victor and Josephine met 15 years ago and have been married for five. “He was a builder and I had a passion for interior styling. We both love cars and football; we’re both Crows supporters,” Josephine says.

They built their dream home at Medindie, for which they travelled overseas to buy furnishings.

Their eye for design and detail is evident in their West Lakes property. “It’s completely different from the neo-classic home we live in at Medindie, so it was really nice to have an ultra-modern beachy home where you can open all the doors and see the palms we’ve planted, and the lake.”

The home includes a paddleboat shed on the lakefront, so the paddleboat can be launched straight into the water.

“My sister lives nearby and she’s got a paddleboat as well, so all eight of us would go off, bring snacks and a bottle of wine.”

Inside the secure front gates, there is a vehicle turntable, so when you drive into the driveway, the turntable spins the car around so you can drive straight out, instead of having to reverse.

The home has a flexible floorplan, with a large upstairs living space that could accommodate a pool table or a study.

The beautiful glossy tiles throughout the house reflect the colours and shimmering light from the lake, as do the dark marble benchtops. Upstairs bedrooms have sublime outlooks to the skyline and water, especially picturesque with the pinks and blues of dawn and dusk.

The home has been a joy for Josephine, as both a passion project and a family retreat for her family — something she once thought was not a possibility.

“It’s been a long journey, but we are so lucky and blessed beyond words.

“Becoming a mum has fulfilled a dream. Once you have the kids’ toys, the little tables and chairs, and scooters around; then a house becomes a home.”

The sale is being handled by Kate Smith and Liz Miles of Harcourts.

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