Situated in the stunning Gascoigne Estate, one of Melbourne’s most desirable pockets, on a picturesque tree lined street, the striking period home of Marshall White director and auctioneer James Tostevin exudes style, luxury and tranquillity.
The space is functional and comfortable, with a clever floorplan suitable to a modern lifestyle. The design is all about family, entertainment and relaxation in an elegant but informal way. ‘The hub of this house is the substantial kitchen and living area. It’s where we spend most of our leisure time, where we spend time with family and friends. It’s where people gravitate,’ says James. ‘It is the complete family home in terms of layout and feel, with fantastic zoning and great flow,’ he continues. With six children ranging in age from two to 27, plus a grandchild and another on the way, the home needed to be versatile and adaptable to different ages.
Favouring neutral tones, natural light makes the space an oasis of calm. The home features white walls and an abundance of glass to take advantage of the northern orientation, while timber flooring and cabinetry adds warmth to the space. The family’s treasured possessions are given pride of place throughout the home, including the solid oak timber dining table James counts among his favourite pieces.
‘The warmth, comfort and ambience of a property makes a house a home. It is often a combination of décor, furnishings and natural light. It’s a hard thing to describe, but people either feel it or they don’t.’
James and his wife Sim moved into the Malvern East home ten years ago. Having recently sold, they will soon be moving to Hawthorn. James grew up in Boroondara and operates in the area. ‘The move is partly school related and partly for the proximity to work. Geographically it makes more sense to be based permanently in the area that I focus on day to day. We also really wanted to buy and renovate a Victorian home,’ says James.
For 33 years James has worked in residential real estate and is one of the highest ranked agents in Australia, noting the individual nature of the clients and houses in residential is what attracts him. Over the course of an impressive career, the stand out homes have included 12 Russell Street, Camberwell. ‘It’s a towering Victorian house with phenomenal street appeal. I loved being involved with that sale,’ says James. He also notes 57 Broadway, Camberwell as another definite stand out with an absolutely stunning renovation.
The Boroondara market is an exceedingly affluent market in high demand. ‘I feel very blessed to be in real estate in the area. Overall the streets are very good, the general calibre of property is impressive. There is also an excellent array of schools. A lot of people move to the area simply to be closer to these exceptional schools,’ says James.
In recent times, James has noticed a significant shift in the market competitiveness when it comes to fees. His advice to prospective sellers is to do their research. ‘Understanding the difference between the ability of the person involved, including their experience, negotiation skills, personal involvement in the campaign and auctioneering skills, are all pertinent and important factors to achieving the best outcome.’
James has also noticed a shift in the importance agencies place on training to fast track the success of younger or more inexperienced agents. His exceptional passion and track record is reflected by his own commitment to mentoring the next generation of real estate agents in his training sessions and seminars, run throughout Australasia where he shares his insights and processes that have underscored his esteemed career.