Phil Silverstone runs the Australian arm of the largest event ticketing platform in the world. But when he’s not at work or at an event, he makes his home in a four-bedroom Edwardian residence in Melbourne’s Bayside area.
With a spacious open-plan living area and a roomy backyard with vegie patch, the property dates to around 1908, although the previous owners had done some renovations to create a sense of openness.
From the outside, the house offers clues to its inhabitants, with prams parked next to family-sized cars in the driveway.
Silverstone — Eventbrite’s general manager for Australia and New Zealand — and his wife Carla have three children: Toby, aged 6 ½ (the half is very important, The Weekend Australian is informed), Ella, 4½, and Beau, 18 months.
White Hamptons-style Adirondack chairs sit out the front, a reminder of the family’s previous stint living in the US.
Silverstone, a former GE executive, has spent much of his career working for US companies, and his switch to the San Francisco-headquartered tech unicorn was announced last year.
Inside, what was previously a formal dining room has been converted into a play room for the children, with a brightly coloured map lining one wall, another hint of the family’s love of travel.
The room leads on to a combined dining, kitchen and living space — “exactly what we were looking for”, he says, giving the house a mix of older-style character and newer-style open-plan living.
The living space allows the family to interact, rather than encouraging the kids to sit alone in their rooms.
“I guess we’d almost describe it as chaos in a way, but desired chaos. That’s why we had three kids,” he laughs.
The living area is decorated with a bright painting that represents their first foray into collecting art.
On another wall hangs a framed reminder of the Sicilian town of Taormina, where the couple got engaged.
They often take turns cooking, and weekends offer a chance to visit a market for fresh produce, although there’s also some growing in the backyard.
Silverstone enjoys gardening, particularly getting the kids involved, and the vegie patch is full of zucchini, herbs, strawberries, cauliflower, lettuce and brussels sprouts. Lemon, orange and lime trees line the other side of the grassy yard, which is dotted with play equipment.
Even so, Silverstone has a tip for parents: get out of the house as much as possible.
When going to concerts these days, The Wiggles are probably top of the list, although the family does enjoy exploring a food festival together, or attending a game of football.
The nearby beach is the perfect spot for a bike ride or a run, perhaps in the early morning to avoid interrupting family time.
Silverstone is also a keen traveller and enthusiast for getting off the beaten track, and is in the midst of planning a 10-year wedding anniversary trip next year.
A recent Macquarie report found more than three-quarters of millennials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than possessions, and Silverstone highlights the value of experiences at every age, even if a bit more planning is required for young parents.
“Being really conscious of the fulfilment that experiences gives to you … I think it’s a really important part of life,” he says.
As the family grows, it’s already time to think about future space needs. Entertaining is fine during the day but dinner parties can be noisy near the kids’ bedrooms.
“We love this house … but if we have the opportunity to continue to evolve it to suit us better then we’ll look to do that.”
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