Shout it from the rooftop at lovely Bellevue Hill

New bamboo floors are among the many updates to the apartment done in the past several years. Photo: Supplied The huge rooftop terrace has views out to the harbour and Bondi. Photo: Supplied

The apartment is one of six in the art deco building. Photo: Supplied

One of the bedrooms at 6/73 Birriga Road, Bellevue Hill.

In the early years of the colony of NSW, lime and plaster of Paris were eye-wateringly expensive. Consequently, only the wealthiest people had decorative plasterwork in their homes, and even then it was meted out with caution.

Even in the grandest houses ceiling roses and cornices were only installed in public zones, according to a research paper published in Australasian Historical Archaeology.

From the 1830s, a range of factors, including growing affluence, fashion and technological developments such as gelatine moulds and canvas plaster, made it more affordable and fostered a thriving industry capable of producing increasingly elaborate and finicky designs.

This light and lovely top-floor apartment was built when the decorative plasterwork industry was going strong, and it has the beautifully patterned ceiling panels and cornices to prove it. The builder’s will to embellish did not stop with the interiors, either. The entire exterior of the block of six is covered in decorative dots, like a rash or a wedding cake, depending how your mind works. The building is scheduled for a full re-paint in February and the vendor has already paid her portion of the cost.

While the unit pays due respect to its past, it has plenty of 21st-century elements, too. Over the past eight years, the vendor has installed a new kitchen with Caesarstone benchtop, gleaming bamboo floorboards and elegant built-in wardrobes in both bedrooms.

The most recent improvement has been to re-seal the floor of the unit’s private, 82-square-metre rooftop terrace. The rooftop is on title and includes a cabana, a big laundry (there’s also a laundry space in the apartment’s bathroom), a storage space, a vast open area and bewitching district views that stretch from the harbour all the way across to Bondi.

The two bedrooms, the main with study, are notably spacious and airy, and they share the same view as the terrace. As elsewhere in the apartment, the bedroom windows would benefit from therapeutic attention.

The bathroom, while fine as it is, has lots of potential for improvement.

The ceiling light fittings are another striking feature of the property, but the spectacular one in the living room, which has attracted a great deal of attention during inspections so far, has been specified as an exclusion in the contract. Smitten would-be buyers could, of course, try lobbying for that to be altered.

The owner says: “I love the beautiful old, art-deco ceilings and the size of the rooms, but the biggest surprise is the magical view from the huge roof.”

Room for improvement: Most of the windows are in need of some TLC.

6/73 Birriga Road, Bellevue Hill $1.1 million + 2 beds, 1 bath Built Early 1900s Size 93 square metres internal, plus 82 square metres rooftop terrace Strata levy $1898 a quarter Inspect Saturday and Thursday, 10am-10.30am Auction December 19 ​Agent McGrath, 0414 400 345

Need to know: Last traded $900,000 in 2007 Highest recorded apartment price in Bellevue Hill (past 12 months) $4.3 million for 1/47 Victoria Road in October Median price for units in Bellevue Hill $963,000

Recent sales: $1.2 million for 2/267 O’Sullivan Road in November $1,165,000 for 1/18 Bellevue Road in July $1,115,000 for 2/70 Birriga Road in April Source: Domain Group

Surrounding areas: Bellevue Hill is one of the most affluent suburbs in Sydney and home to some of its most lovely heritage buildings, including Rona, Ginahgulla and Caerleon. Postcode 2023 also hosts Cranbrook School and The Scots College, two elite private schools with vast campuses, and rubs up against the manicured links of the Royal Australian Golf Club. Serviced by Buses Close to Double Bay, Bondi Beach, Rose Bay and Cooper Park, with its charming cliff walk and popular tennis courts. Bondi Junction’s multitude of shops and conveniences are about 10 minutes away by car or 25 on foot.

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