Frank and Fiona Stephens of Benalla Travel divide their time between work in the high country of Victoria, and Melbourne where their sons study.
With a lifestyle that lives and breathes travel, Fiona jokes the family’s “third home is the Hume Highway.” However, with completion of their Melbourne base drawing near, she took time off the road to share the family’s excitement about their new home at Dux Richmond Hill.
How did you first hear about Little Projects?
Frank and I know Paul Little and Jane Hansen well and were familiar with their highly respected, award winning Little Projects developments. One evening we were talking about searching for a Melbourne base for our family when Paul said, “why don’t you look at something we’re doing?”
From there, the wheels were set in motion.
Did you have any experience of living in a Little Project prior to your purchase at Dux Richmond Hill?
Our sons, Harley and Henry, rent at Central South Yarra. Frank and I stay with them when we’re in Melbourne and our experience there definitely influenced our decision.
It’s been a pleasant surprise to find that with such considered design, apartment living can be so comfortable! Central South Yarra showed us the superior quality of Little Projects’ work, and the wonderful community their work attracts.
Why did you choose Dux Richmond Hill?
We fell in love with the art deco façade but were also excited about the interiors incorporating custom features, and the residences sense of space. Not to mention Bridge Road Richmond’s close proximity, and great access to the city’s art galleries and theatres!
Being from Benalla, we’re used to the open spaces and close-knit community that rural centres offer. Dux has that same feeling of openness through its outdoor area and nearby parks like the Fitzroy Gardens and Melbourne Park precinct.
The way Little Projects restored the art deco street level of Dux was so important to us. Their commitment to the heritage of the location and the history of its community gave us confidence we were making a meaningful investment.
How has your work in the travel industry influenced your taste in architecture and design?
It’s made me a bit of a hotel junkie! Frank and I are fortunate to have stayed in some beautifully designed properties around the world. We know that staying somewhere memorable is about more than just nice finishes – it’s about the stories behind the architecture and design that ground the property and make it special.
To me Dux feels like one of those iconic boutique hotels. Yes, it’s finished exquisitely, and it boasts that rich history of being connected the local area through the heritage facade it preserves.
What’s your favourite feature of your new home?
Our apartment has a large outdoor area with incredible views. We get to wake up and look out across quintessential Melbourne sights framed by trees and greenery. We know that we’re going to love it, and our dog Ralph is going to love it too!
We’ve also been so impressed with Mim Design’s interiors and Rothelowman’s architecture. Together with Little Projects they’ve created something that caters to so many, yet still feels intimate.
What are you most looking forward to about living at Dux?
It sounds simple, but we’re just looking forward to the time our family is going to be able to share together at Dux. Dinners with family and friends on the balcony, exploring the neighbourhood together, and having a wonderful space to come home to. It really is a privilege to be a part of it.