Homes Warming up for winter
STYLE GUIDE H t How to achieve that country look
Heating H eating s solutions olutions for for indoors indoors & out out
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6 Australian Country HOMES
8 Editor’s letter 17 Marketplace 10 A natural high When art teacher Jan Owens moved from Sydney to Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains she gained a blank canvas for her garden aspirations 18 Vintage edition For this scion of the famous winemaking Brown family, home is an 1860s residence at All Saints winery 26 Hilltop hideaway Michelle Simons has traded her city existence for a cowgirl’s life on a farm in the middle of a volcanic caldera in NSW 34 On the sheep’s back It may have been a moment of insanity, but Andrew Morphett and Peter Hayward took on 175-year-old Anlaby station nearly a decade ago and remain dedicated to reviving and rejuvenating it 42 The heat is on Home heating has upped its game and we speak to the experts who are revolutionising the industry, one ﬁreplace at a time 48 Provenance & providence Penny Hanan combined her father’s vision, her brother’s acumen and her own elegant aesthetic to create a range of accessories that showcases the talents of a variety of Australian artisans 58 Balance point Texture, balance and symmetry deﬁne a great wine. But they are also hallmarks of the home and garden Nigel and Dorothy Gallop have created in the middle of a vineyard at Margaret River 68 Mountain high An exceptional eye for detail sets this rural retreat apart from the rest 78 Set in stone Cooradigbee station in the NSW Brindabella Ranges preserves a remarkable slice of Australian grazing history and world-renowned fossils 86 A proud tradition Six generations of the Grubb family have called Strathroy station home
Subscribe today Receive four issues of Australian Country Homes for just $29.95. See page 66 for details of this amazing offer. COUNTRY
s HomeH omes AUSTRALIIAN
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HOMES ISSUE NO. 1
3 HOMES ISSUE NO.
Warming up for winter
STYLE GUIDE t to H How achieve that country look
Behin Behiind d the gates gattes s of of THRE REE E
INSPIRING DESIGNS Homes from al rural & region Australia NO. 3 AUS $8.95* NZ $9.99 (both incl. GST)
COUNTRY TRY ESTAT TES S
the doors on theirs o IVAS open DIVAS haven ESIGN D DESIG D hideaways & rustic d , hid steads home h NO. 120 VOL. 20 NO. 3 AUS $8.95* NZ $8.90 (both incl. GST)
94 Best of both worlds A Brisbane family enjoys all the beneﬁts of country living just 10 kilometres from the CBD 100 Beachcomber Artist Andrew Munn and his wife, Maggi, have turned their Fleurieu Peninsula home into a fabulous showcase for his work and collections
108 Travellers’ tale Souvenirs from many years living and working abroad embellish a charming bungalow in Melbourne’s south-east 114 Design and detail Diana McInnes’ many lives as a stylist, graphic designer, ski instructor and avid collector inform her alpine home in the NSW lakeside town of Jindabyne
ell XSm roses On the Bellarine Peninsula
AM 19/04/2018 8:35:55
The Darling Downs & Brickendon Estate
124 Hunter gatherer Deb and Scott McKay’s Adelaide home is the culmination of 25 years’ travelling and collecting 132 Life in the saddle A love of horses has transformed an adventurous Queenslander’s life and led to a business helping travellers explore the world by horseback HOMES Australian Country 7
elcome to the third issue of Australian Country Homes. We’ve taken some of our favourite stories from our sister title, Australian Country magazine, and given them a fresh update by adding Inspired By pages at the end of each article. This means that whatever the country look, from grand colonial and elegant homestead to rustic hideaway and cute cottage, you will have a head start on ﬁnding the accessories and trimmings you need to give your home that signature style. As this issue went to press winter was well and truly looming and our thoughts turned to heating in its many guises. Our service feature looks to the latest innovations for keeping cosy both indoors and out and comes up with a few old-fashioned solutions that are enjoying a bit of a renaissance. We were surprised to learn that hydronic heating is once again enjoying popularity and with good reason as it allows heating to be zoned and is therefore cost effective. And, as a long-time fan of the bush television, as the campﬁre is often called, I was delighted to hear that the ﬁrepit is the new water feature, as style-savvy owners and designers are introducing them to their outdoor spaces. Thanks to everyone, from our generous home owners, who allow us to photograph their properties, and our much-valued readers, who keep us in business, to our hard-working contributors and production people for making this issue happen. We look forward to doing it all again with the next issue, which goes on sale August 2.
KIRSTY MCKENZIE, editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor Kirsty McKenzie A COLLECTION
Design Rachel Henderson
HOMES ISSUE NO. 3
Contributors Bronte Camilleri, Meryl Hancock, Kim Woods Rabbidge, Tahn Scoon, Tamara Simoneau
Photography Ken Brass, John Downs, Anastasia Kariofyllidis, Kim Selby, Ross Williams
Features Editor Alice Griffin
Warming up for winter
STYL ST TYLE TY GUID GU UIDE H w to How Ho t achie ac chieve ieve ve e that tha at count untry ntry ry y loo look ook ok
Heati H eatin ng gs soluti olutions ons for for iindoo ndoors rs & o out ut
INSPI INS SPIIRING R RIN IIN NG DESIG DES SIG GNS NS Home Hom Ho H om o omes m s from from m rural rural ral all & r region egion g on gi nal Austr Austra strali trali ralia ali ali lia NO. 3 AUS $8.95* NZ $9.99 (both incl. GST)
DESIGN D DESIG DIVA IVAS open o the doors home h stead ds, hid hideaways & rusticon their havens H003_OFC_Final.in
19/04/2018 8:35:55 AM
Chairman/CEO Prema Perera Publisher Janice Williams Chief Financial Officer Vicky Mahadeva Associate Publisher Emma Perera Finance & Administration Manager James Perera Creative Director Kate Podger Editorial & Production Manager Anastasia Casey Marketing & Acquisitions Manager Chelsea Peters
To subscribe visit universalshop.com.au or ring 1300 303 414 Australian Country Homes (No 3) is published by Universal Magazines, Unit 5, 6-8 Byﬁeld Street, North Ryde NSW 2113. Phone: (02) 9805 0399, Fax: (02) 9805 0714. Melbourne office, Suite 4, Level 1, 150 Albert Road, South Melbourne Vic 3205. Phone (03) 9694 6444 Fax: (03) 9699 7890. Printed in Singapore by Times Printers, timesprinters.com. Distributed by Gordon and Gotch, Australia. Singapore — Car Kit Pte Ph 65 6 282 1960 magazines1source.com NZ Distributors: Needlecraft: (06) 356 4793, fax: (06) 355 4594, needlecraft.co.nz. Gordon and Gotch New Zealand, (09) 979 3018 This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the publishers. The publisher
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8 Australian Country HOMES
believes all the information supplied in this book to be correct at the time of printing. They are not, however, in a position to make a guarantee to this effect and accept no liability in the event of any information proving inaccurate. Prices, addresses and phone numbers were, after investigation and to the best of our knowledge and belief, up to date at the time of printing, but the shifting sands of time may change them in some cases. It is not possible for the publishers to ensure that advertisements which appear in this publication comply with the Trade Practices Act, 1974. The responsibility must therefore be on the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisements for publication. While every endeavour has been made to ensure complete accuracy, the publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. * Recommended retail price
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A NATURAL HIGH When art teacher Jan Owens moved from Sydney to Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains, she gained a blank canvas for her garden aspirations. -------------------by KIRSTY MCKENZIE, photography KEN BR ASS
Above: Jan and her husband, Arthur, traded in their city lives for a quieter existence near Jindabyne. Opposite: Sculptures crafted from found and recycled objects add extra flair throughout the garden.
10 Australian Country HOMES
passion for gardening is practically in the DNA of Jan Owens, who has devoted the better part of the past decade to transforming a bare paddock into a showpiece garden at Willawa, the property she shares with her husband, Arthur, near Jindabyne in the NSW Snowy Mountains. Jan’s earliest childhood memories are peppered with experiences in her grandparents’ gardens ... helping grandfather Eric store the dahlia tubers under the house for next year’s season, running up the backyard to grandmother Nell’s very own Mr McGregor’s garden ... and her parents continued the tradition. “Growing up at Corowa in the Upper Murray the ﬁrst thing we did when we arrived home from boarding school on holidays was wander around with our mother checking out the garden,” Jan recalls. “We’d check in with seasonal ﬂowers, new trees or a new garden framing a vista towards a particular paddock. We’d bring in bunches of ﬂowers, which my mother was so artful in arranging in her extensive vase collection. “Mum was a wonderful, inspirational gardener and she had no fear of what could be achieved. She used to draw designs for places they moved to that had no gardens at all and cajoled Dad to build endless rock walls and edges. Her copy of Edna Walling’s 1948 book, A Gardener’s Log, was kept on the shelf next to What Bird is That? and she’d dig and dig, pile on manure and transform nothing into beauty in such a short time. We heard about her plans for colours, shapes, wall gardens, ponds, bog gardens, shade gardens ... there was never a fear that these ideas could not be achieved. And there was never a problem about extending the garden as the fence was moved further and further into the paddock.” The apple clearly hasn’t fallen far from the tree, so when Jan and Arthur decided to trade their city lives and move to Jindabyne,
HOMES Australian Country 11
Clockwise from opposite page: Built in 1992, the cottage and pioneer-style homestead was designed to evoke historic character; a relaxed living room; a warm welcome; the sprawling garden is open to visitors once a year; Jan says she has learned to love every season since she moved to the farm permanently in 2005.
12 Australian Country HOMES
where they’d enjoyed many skiing holidays, Jan managed to persuade Arthur to tackle the task of turning the snow gum and boulderstrewn landscape into a showpiece garden. “It’s been a huge transition for Arthur,” Jan says. “For someone who confessed when we ﬁrst met that his idea of a garden was a small patch of lawn and one rose bush, he’s come a long way and he’s my right-hand person when it comes to every new project and our open days. When we travel overseas or in Australia we always incorporate garden visits and these days, Arthur is just as likely to be the one adding to the list of must-visit gardens.” The property came with a cottage and a pioneer-style homestead, constructed from split Victorian hardwoods to look as though it had been there for 100 years. In fact it was only built in 1992, with decorative beams and mantelpieces recycled from the original 1886 Dalgety bridge. Although the Owens bought Willawa in 1998, they rented the homestead to friends and used the cottage when they came down on weekends. When they moved down permanently in 2005 and took up residence in the homestead, the cottage located beside the winery shed became overﬂow accommodation for visitors and friends. “The cellar doubles duty as a ﬁre shelter,” Arthur says. “So you can drink your heart out while you wait for the ﬁre to pass.’’ Arthur has made the transition from ﬁre control officer to farmer/gardener/vigneron with apparent ease and happily tends his acre of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. “I’ve learnt by observing and asking questions,” he says. “We’ve been lucky enough to visit wineries all over France and Italy and I’m always learning more. You’re not supposed to be able to grow grapes at 1150 metres, and with late frosts, sometimes we lose the lot. But depending on the season we usually make about 400 litres, which is plenty for family and friends. Our claim to fame is that as far as we know we are the highest red wine vineyard in Australia.” There’s food aplenty at Willawa as well, with Hereford cattle in the paddocks, chickens supplying eggs, and a grove of Mission and Spanish Queen olives providing extra virgin olive oil. Tomatoes, pumpkins and melons are grown in a glasshouse and the permanent beds produce strawberries, leeks, rhubarb, potatoes, asparagus and artichokes. The vegies are rotated annually through leafy, legumes, root and crop types in four beds to create
HOMES Australian Country 13
Clockwise from top; The pioneer-style home was made from split hardwood and recycled timbers; artworks and oil lamps continue the rustic ambience; vintage vessels on the slow-combustion stove cooktop.
14 Australian Country HOMES
healthy soil, and companion planting negates the need for pesticides. The orchard contains apricot, quince, cherry, apple, peach and plum trees as well as blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. The herb beds are chockers as well and the chooks are fed any leftovers, which they convert to great fertiliser for the soil. With frost and drought ever-present realities, hardiness and gale-force wind tolerance are the deciding factors when it comes to plant selection. Jan brings an artist’s sensibility to the garden and planned it with an eye for symmetry, framing views of the paddocks. She makes use of the warming boulders and protective trees within the beds and selected deciduous trees for the northeastern side and evergreen for the south. She favours curved paths and echoes the curved forms of the boulders with circular or semicircular beds, all with drifts of colour. Leaf texture is selected to add interest, particularly during the dormant winter period, and tones from pale to bright are another subtle tactic. Whole beds may be devoted to a single hue, several harmonising ﬂowers may be used to mix it up visually and occasionally several beds of contrasting colours add vibrancy. An avowed advocate of the no-dig garden — ‘‘with so many rocks, why would you try to dig it up” — Jan builds new beds by layering saturated newspaper, compost, mulch and manure and allowing the elements to mature the soil. Silver-grey plants are favoured because they blend so well with the rocks, and groundcovers are enlisted to retain moisture. Sculpture, made mainly from found and recycled objects, adds interest throughout. Arthur collaborated on a study of a couple in a tender embrace which consists of chunky bits of old wood. A tribute to family war veterans is ﬂanked by Flanders poppies in the spring, which in this part of the world is not until November. It’s at this time of year that the Owens open their garden through Open Gardens Australia, with local artists and craftspeople displaying their works, the CWA serving scone teas, the local Lions Club ﬁring up the barbies and Arthur providing wine tastings. “It’s all hands on deck getting ready for the visitors,” Jan admits. “But what is a garden if it’s not shared? There are advantages to every season as we’re ringed by snow, and sometimes even submerged in it in winter and autumn, and spring days are just divine. Even summer is beautiful, though I must confess, at any time of year I don’t like howling winds.”
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Inspired by ... 3
Statement sculptures, country comforts and lots of ďŹ‚owers adorn this Snowy Mountains property. Follow Janâ€™s lead with these charming accessories for indoors and out. -----------compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN
1 Long Plains print, $259.95, sheridan.com.au 2 Stoneware teapot, $49.95, shop.oxfam.org.au 3 Spring mirror, $1445.10, chaplins.co.uk 4 Ovela shelving unit, $169, kogan.com 5 Outdoor steel designs, prices vary, lisasarah.com 6 Dallas Tresse iron chair, $179, schots.com.au 7 Imperial glass vase, $53.10, audenza.com 8 Blaze alarm clock, $56.95, zanui.com.au 9 Annie Sloan chalk paint in Lem Lem, $59.95 for 1L, anniesloan.com
16 Australian Country HOMES
Marketplace Things we love that you are bound to want in your life.
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For gifts, homewares and quilters’ materials look no further than Somethings Country. Janelle Frohloff has personally curated an amazing array of accessories for the home. From bedding, quilts, timber bins and laundry hampers to spice racks, braided floor rugs, curtains, tin signs and enamelware, there is something for every taste and budget. There's also a fabulous selection of chic, retro-inspired French country clocks. So pop into the store in Kingaroy or browse online at your leisure and start shopping now. somethingscountry.com
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Love that elegant, laid-back country look and want to inject a little pizazz into your home? Country Touches features a wide selection of homewares and decor to enhance your home. Select from a variety of candles, frames, wall art, tableware, skincare products, kitchen appliances and even a beautiful range for the little ones in your life. Come and browse the Atherton Tablelands store or visit the online shop. countrytouches.com.au
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HOMES Australian Country 17
This image: All Saints was the first of the local growers to exhibit abroad. Right: Nick and Lucy live in the nearby homestead.
18 Australian Country HOMES
Vintage edition For this scion of the famous winemaking Brown family, home is an 1860s residence tucked behind the splendid All Saints winery. ----------------by KIRSTY MCKENZIE, photography KEN BR ASS
s ﬁrst impressions go, it’s hard to beat the entrance to All Saints winery near Rutherglen in north-eastern Victoria. The road is lined with an avenue of 120-year-old elm trees that reveal at the end the splendid late19th-century castellated winery building. As the elms change with the seasons, visitors are presented with a new vista each time they arrive. It’s a view vineyard manager and winemaker Nick Brown and his wife, Lucy, get to enjoy on a daily basis as their home is also at the end of that avenue, a lowslung weatherboard-and-brick homestead that was originally built for the winery’s founder, George Sutherland Smith. George and his business partner, John Banks, came to Australia from Caithness in
the far north of Scotland in the early 1860s. Carpenters by trade, the enterprising duo headed for the gold rushes in the north-east of the state and set about leaving their mark on the towns of Albury, Wahgunyah and Beechworth, where they were responsible for building the Presbyterian church and part of the gaol. They settled on the banks of the Murray River at Wahgunyah and planted their ﬁrst vineyard in 1864, although it was destroyed by ﬂoods several years later. They bought a paddle steamer and made a good living from the river trade. They then added into a saw mill, processing the river red gums that were at the time so prevalent in the area and became the common timber for building everything from sheds and houses to wharves and railway tracks. From the
proceeds of the mill they went on to plant the ﬁrst vines at All Saints in about 1869 and by the early ’70s their vineyards had grown from six to 100 acres. Meanwhile, George had travelled back to Scotland to marry his partner’s sister, Elizabeth Banks, and he brought his new bride home to the timber cottage, which is now Nick and Lucy’s home. Sadly, Elizabeth passed away in 1871. By the time George Sutherland Smith remarried in 1873 (to Sarah Parsons Runting), work had started on the splendid winery building, with its turrets believed to have been inspired by the 16th-century Castle of Mey, later the Queen Mother’s residence in County Caithness. Bricks were made from a clay pit on the property and the rear of the homestead was also extended with a brick addition. HOMES Australian Country 19
20 Australian Country HOMES
Clockwise from left: Cute floral arrangements, a traditional cooker and plenty of wine are the hallmarks of the Browns’ country-style kitchen; the charming
When asked how they came to choose the name All Saints for the winery, George is alleged to have responded that the Great Western region had St Peters and St Ethels and Lilydale (now the Yarra Valley) had St Huberts, so they thought they might as well enlist as much support as they could by trying all the saints. Something was going in their favour, as in 1873 the winery was the ﬁrst local grower to exhibit abroad, winning an honourable mention at the Vienna Exhibition with a sweet red made from Shiraz and Muscat. In those days, Australia was John Bull’s vineyard, supplying fortiﬁed wine to a thirsty
UK. North-eastern Victoria quickly established itself as a ﬁne spot for producing Port, Muscat and Tokay, and many of the families who established wineries are continuing those traditions to the present day. The current generation of Campbells, Gehrigs, Killeens, Bullers and Morrises are now the ﬁfth and sixth generation of their families to make wine in the region. The Sutherland Smith family is also represented, with George’s greatgreat-grandson, Andrew, making wine at his Warrabilla winery. By comparison, Nick says he and his sisters Eliza and Angela are relative “newcomers” to
living room marries period features with modern comforts; the property’s interiors are almost as impressive as the unusual castellated winery building.
the region, as the fourth-generation of the family that established Brown Brothers at nearby Milawa. Their grandfather bought St Leonards winery in 1980 and then their father, Peter, and his brothers bought All Saints in 1991. In 1996, the brothers opted out and Peter continued with both wineries on his own at the same time as maintaining his share holding in Brown Brothers. There were clouds and silver linings in the properties the Browns set about making their own. The winery buildings themselves were in disrepair and for several years they transported the grapes to Milawa for winemaking. When this proved cumbersome, they made the best of what they had and restored the wineries to working condition. They also inherited some very old vines, which lend great character to their labels, but possibly are not as proliﬁc or as robust as younger vines. But perhaps the greatest legacy came with the fortiﬁed stocks they inherited, the base wines of which have been added via a solera system in the vast oak casks in the barrel hall for more than 80 years. “Our most precious Shiraz comes from an 80-year-old block that is very low-yielding,” HOMES Australian Country 21
Left: With chic original wallpaper and a subtle green and yellow palette, this spacious and elegant bedroom also boasts beautiful bay windows. Below: Nick and Lucy
Nick concedes. “But it produces incredibly intense fruit, which results in a wine that is rich and full of ﬂavour. But because of the age of our vines and their windy trunks, about 60 per cent of our grapes have to be harvested by hand, which is obviously much more labourintensive than doing it mechanically. We have replanted some of our vineyards to replace the port and sherry vines with more popular varieties such as Shiraz, Durif, Tempranillo and Marsanne to keep in touch with the current drinker. But at the same time we are maintaining tradition by continuing to make Tokay and Muscat.”
22 Australian Country HOMES
The Browns again made a virtue out of necessity when they cleaned up their original wax-lined concrete open fermenters and dusted off the old basket press, which had been brought from Europe in 1883, and started making their wine in the traditional way in stainless-steel-free zone. “We make wine by an oxidative rather than reductive process,” Nick explains. “It’s riskier, but in the long run it’s better because we’re now producing wines of the style we want to achieve.” When Peter Brown was tragically killed in an accident in 2005, Eliza assumed the CEO’s
and the rest of the Brown family welcome guests to the All Saints property, hosting popular annual events such as Dinner in the Vines and the Winery Walkabout.
position. Nick stepped up a notch or two in his responsibilities in the vineyard and winery with assistance from senior winemaker Chloe Earl, and Angela took over brand development and the export market. “We are extremely fortunate that we are all good mates and we think very similarly about the direction the wineries should be going in,” Nick says. “Apart from getting the word out about our wines and getting as many people as possible to taste them, we’d love it if more people came and visited us. There’s always something going on in the region. We have A Day on the Green in March, and Dinner in the Vines — when we set up a big, long table in the avenue — is a hugely popular event. There’s Winery Walkabout over the Queen’s Birthday weekend in June, the Tour de Rutherglen is popular with cyclists and we have a Spring Fling at St Leonards. In the winter of the even years we hold the Brigadoon Ball in the Barrel Hall. We love to party and everyone’s welcome, so check out our calendar and come and join us.” For more information on All Saints and St Leonards wineries visit allsaintswine.com.au and stleonardswine.com.au.
THE SHOP THAT TIME FORGOT Imagine... You’ve just walked through the doors of a department store... the year is 1925, what would you expect to see?
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Your home may not have 150 years of history under its belt, but charming accessories can bridge the style gap. You can start with these. -----------compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN
8 1 Plonk stackable wine rack, $30, bendo.com.au 2 Melina wall shelf unit, $62.40, pib-home.co.uk 3 Charnwood country stove, $106.85, ludlowstoves.co.uk 4 Stoneware condiment pot, $49, lecreuset.com.au 5 Cole & Son Mariinsky damask wallpaper, prices vary, radfordfurnishings.com.au 6 Patina Haze wallpaper, prices vary, radfordfurnishings.com.au 7 Amber lab jar candle, $35, r2designs.com.au 8 Hessian-wrapped glass jars, $4.45, gingerray.co.uk
24 Australian Country HOMES
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HILLTOP HIDEAWAY Michelle Simons has traded her city existence for a cowgirl cocky’s life on a farm in the middle of a volcanic caldera in northern NSW. -------------------by KIRSTY MCKENZIE, photography KEN BR ASS
hen Michelle Simons “went browsing” for the perfect site for her new life in the country, her shopping list had very speciﬁc requirements. It had to be within 15 minutes of services and a decent cup of coffee, within an hour’s commute to an airport, and be able to access a city in a single day’s return trip. The property she found near Tyalgum in the Tweed Valley region not only ticked all the boxes, but added a few extra features that she’d barely dared to imagine. “Tyalgum is a small village but it has all the services, including a great cafe,” she says. “Murwillumbah is about half-an-hour away and it has all I need in terms of shops and restaurants. Brisbane is less than two hours’ drive away, the Coolangatta airport is 40 minutes away and then it’s an hour’s ﬂight to Sydney.” The bonus was the truly spectacular setting the farm had to offer. Surrounded by the Border Ranges with the towering Pinnacle overlooking her front yard and Wollumbin (or Mount Warning as it was named by Captain Cook) at the back, the property has postcard views in every direction. It’s just far enough off the beaten track to afford an extra level of privacy, yet is within striking distance of civilisation whenever Michelle feels the call. Local Aboriginal lore holds that Wollumbin is a site of great ceremonial and spiritual signiﬁcance and it has the distinction of being
Right: Always a keen rider, Michelle traded her city surrounds for life on the land back in 2003, and the move has been more rewarding than she ever expected.
Opposite: The house may look remote, but close proximity to a cafe, good services and an airport were high on Michelle’s wishlist for her new country home.
26 Australian Country HOMES
HOMES Australian Country 27
the ﬁrst place on the Australian mainland to be touched by the sunrise. The Bundjalung people who lived in the lee of the volcanic plug believed that the spirits of the mountains of the surrounding region were warriors who inhabited the area. Evidence of their battles can be seen in the scars on the sides of the mountains, and the thunder and lightning that is common in the area recall their conﬂicts. Even to the uninitiated, Wollumbin, which translates as “cloud catcher”, is an omnipotent presence. Predictably on the late summer’s day when we visited, both it and the surrounding mountains were shrouded in cloud. Periodic clearances provided tantalising glimpses of the mountainous battlements that surround the 100-acre sanctuary. “I was born in Port Macquarie and educated in Sydney,” Michelle explains. “Dad came from a family of farmers, and I grew up loving horse riding. I enjoyed a satisfying career in IT, but always had this nagging feeling that I wanted to go back to the land. I found what I was looking for in 2003 and have been here on and off ever since.” The property had only rudimentary access, no house, no mains power, no fences and no phone when Michelle took over. While the homestead and guesthouse were being built, she continued to commute between work in Sydney and the farm. Then she added a herd of Charbray (Brahman/Charolais cross) beef cattle, and gradually the tail started wagging the dog so she scaled back her city
Clockwise from opposite page: Michelle’s antiques are on display throughout; a statement ﬁreplace is the perfect addition to the contemporary country
home; picture windows frame the site’s stunning mountain views; from IT contracts to mustering cattle, Michelle’s life is vastly different in northern NSW.
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HOMES Australian Country 29
commitments until she ﬁnished her last contract, which was about ﬁve years ago. “It’s such a different life, but it’s so rewarding,” she says. “It’s much more physically demanding than being in an office, but that was my heart’s desire. Mustering the cattle by horse really is combining my passion for riding with work.” The homestead is positioned to maximise the stunning views, with picture windows in all rooms framing the outlook. Michelle says she was lucky to ﬁnd a builder who understood her brief for a contemporary farmhouse, and incorporated the many ﬁttings, antique doors, shutters, windows and gates she had collected through the years. “My dad collects and restores antiques and has been a great support to me,” she adds. As idyllic as Michelle’s lifestyle may appear to the visitor, she is the ﬁrst to admit that being a “lady on the land” can be extremely challenging. As well as being isolated by ﬂood waters on several occasions, she has had two major accidents, one from her horse and one on a quad bike. Neither has dimmed her enthusiasm for the farm. “There’s always work to be done,” she says. “There’s constant ground maintenance in good seasons and hand-feeding in tough times. Cattle work and sales seem to ﬁll up every available spare minute. When I ﬁrst came here I imagined I’d go back to Sydney at least once a month. But now I rarely want to leave.”
Above: The design brief was for a rustic, yet contemporary, country-style kitchen. Right: Despite the change of pace that comes with a move to
the Tweed Valley region in northern NSW, Michelle rarely wants to spend time away from her rural home. Hardly surprisingly, she has plenty of visitors.
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Inspired by ... I Industrial farmhouse meets French p provincial in Michelle Simonsâ€™ hilltop hid hideaway. Mix and match these pieces for in interiors that speak to your dual style. -----------compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN
1 Viceroy luxury chess set, $1105.50, artisanti.com 2 Navy pillowcases, prices vary, elkieark.com 3 Industrial metal folding chair in dark gold, $89, schots.com.au 4 Marseille panel mirror, $538, vavoom.com.au 5 Lovely linen, prices vary, casaecucina.com.au 6 Preston armchair, $1430, mayvninteriors.com.au 7 Classic felt fedora, $69.95, countryroad.com.au 8 Haymes Texas Yellow paint, $39.80, haymespaint.com.au 9 Colin chest of drawers, prices vary, oficinainglesa.com
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Celebrating 150 Years
be part of the history
Boarding 1875 Since opening our doors, BGS has welcomed boys to make BGS their home-away-from home. If this photo is anything to go by, boarding has become a lot more fun since 1875. #BGS150
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On the sheepâ€™s back It may have been a moment of insanity, but Andrew Morphett and Peter Hayward took on 175-year-old Anlaby station nearly a decade ago and remain dedicated to reviving and rejuvenating it. ----------------by MERYL HANCOCK, photography ROSS WILLIAMS, styling BRONTE CAMILLERI
HOMES Australian Country 35
Clockwise from this page: Stained glass features in many windows; the formal dining room; a piano has pride of place in the library sitting room; more casual dining in the homesteadâ€™s kitchen.
36 Australian Country HOMES
dmittedly their checklist for a long-term retirement project was large — period house, sprawling gardens, stables, an arbour, but the most essential requirement for Andrew and Peter was to secure a property with a sustainable business attached to it. It seemed fanciful, yet Anlaby near Kapunda got under their skin and after a year of negotiation, the sale ﬁnally went through. The oldest Merino stud in South Australia, Anlaby, with a rich and regal history, had more recently been “put out to pasture”. In its purchase state it was certainly not a viable commercial proposition. “All the various elements of the property needed restoration, renovation and renewal. The house and buildings had to be rewired, the garden’s decades of overgrowth required cutting back, the fences needed upgrading and the Merino stud demanded serious attention,” Andrew explains. Although raised on farms, both Andrew and Peter had been living corporate lives so rather than brawn they initially applied their project management expertise to fuel their vision. Their focus on the bigger picture illustrated certain tasks required skilled labour and they set about contracting experts to assist the revival.
The Dutton family had established Anlaby almost 175 years earlier when an attempt to capitalise on the Adelaide wool market failed. The family had driven 5000 sheep from Goulburn, New South Wales, to Adelaide but by the time they arrived, the market had collapsed. Instead they “put down sticks”. In the early days Anlaby spanned 160,000 acres, with a grazing stock of 60,000 Merinos and yielded the ﬁrst bale of wool from South Australia to be auctioned in London. Fourteen gardeners were employed to tend the Gardenesquestyle planting that together with the stone homestead provided an elegant backdrop for many lavish parties and social gatherings. The property was a successful and inﬂuential wool producing station. Andrew and Peter bought a more manageable proportion — 500 Merinos and 500 acres (202 hectares). “When we moved here it was mixed cropping and we’re reverting back to the original industry and putting down pastures,” Andrew says. “We’re establishing new fence lines, putting in laneways and rebuilding the Merino stud. Our aim is to work sympathetically with the landscape using modern technology and science to put biomass back onto the land.” A copy of the original garden plan from HOMES Australian Country 37
From top: Book-lined walls in the expansive sitting room; Andrew and Peter have done extensive work on the gardens; Anlaby stud Merino lambs graze around the station outbuildings.
1860 has allowed them to recreate identical walkways and axes to those strolled along by the Dutton family and their visitors. The 10 acres (four hectares) of planting include formal rose gardens, mature cedars, gum tree carriageways, native trees in plantations, a restored rockery and beds with the Victorian vibrant palette of orange, red and hot pink. In restoring the gardens, Andrew, Peter and their lone gardener began at the house and worked outwards before sharing their triumph with 2000 visitors in the Open Garden Australia program in October 2014. The tree population at Anlaby draws attention as the largest collection of signiﬁcantly registered trees in Australia, the many rare species highlighting the Duttons’ arboreal passion. “There is a pastiche of style as various personalities within the various generations expressed themselves,” Andrew says. “Some individuals were into orchids, some were into rare oak trees and this overlay is not only evident in the garden but also in the farm.” The Merino stud is all about providence, as Anlaby is the oldest continuing Merino stud on the mainland. The sheep today are the great-great-great-great-granddaughters of the original ﬂock, making authenticity a major focus. Atypically the wool is not carbonised
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to retain natural lanolin, as Andrew and Peter have employed sustainable farming practices requiring labour-intensive processes to ensure their product is the absolute best. Fine Merino scarves, babies’ blankets and wraps are crafted using the old-fashioned techniques of washing, scouring and combing and a virtually archived process known as “top making”, so the wool is soft and buttery when spun and woven. Overseeing all this requires immeasurable energy dictated by the natural rhythms of the farm and Andrew admits to serial exhaustion. “Shearing, sheep management, the breeding program and all the other practices demand attention,” he says. “I manage scouring and oversee spinning and weaving in Tasmania and I’m actively involved in marketing, sales and distribution channels. As the garden also operates as a business with tours, weddings and functions, our diary ﬁlls quickly.” Like a grand old dame, Anlaby’s future relies on continuous love and adoration. Andrew explains that sharing wonders with family, friends and the public ensures Anlaby won’t disappear into obscurity. “Anlaby offers us contentment and a rightness of place and we feel a sense of achievement in preserving its value,” he admits. For more information visit anlaby.com.au.
Inspired by ...
Sumptuous period features abound at the grand Anlaby station. Adopt these nostalgic accessories for similar interior elegance. -----------compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN
1 Quinn pendant in brushed chrome, $169, beaconlighting.com.au 2 Blackbird hanky, $26.60, annabeljames.co.uk 3 Tilly grey runner, $213.65, frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk 4 Algrove Terra Rossa cushion, $79.95, sheridan.com.au 5 Dali cushion, $50, adairs.com.au 6 Delia aged leather chair, $605, vavoom.com.au 7 KitchenWalls wallpaper splashback, $195.85, limelace.co.uk 8 Horse head bookends, $106.75, annabeljames.co.uk
HOMES Australian Country 39
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D n Brrad Dea adley ey
This page: Vintage style seekers are bringing panel heaters back into favour. Opposite: Victorian architect Dan Gayfer designed the perfect wintertime retreat for this country home.
arbecues, beach trips and bush walks; Australia’s national psyche is born in the outdoors. It is only right, then, that our homes and gardens cater to this. A mild climate means we can make good use of our outdoor space throughout most of the year, but what about those winter days when an extra jumper just won’t cut it? Enter one of the most gratifying and vital features in home design: heaters. Here we speak to the design experts who are changing the game in both indoor and outdoor heating. STEP INSIDE ... No matter what we tell ourselves, there will be some — albeit brief — times where we’ll need to retire indoors. For those rare rainy days, we’ve uncovered the best products and advice in indoor heating. Turn back time You may have dismissed hydronic heating as old school — and it is — but the panel heaters are making a comeback among Australia’s cool crowd. Many have taken to the hotwater radiant heaters not just because of the vintage utilitarian design, but also because the heaters provide one special drawcard: the ability to organise home heating into sectors, allowing occupants to pick and choose which parts of the home are heated and when. For both these reasons, the homeowners of High House chose hydronic heating when
THE HEAT IS ON Australia’s home heating has upped its game. Here we speak to the experts that are revolutionising the industry, one ﬁreplace at a time. ---------------by ALICE GRIFFIN
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HOMES Australian Country 43
renovating their narrow terrace home. Under the guidance of architect Dan Gayfer (dangayfer.com), hydronic heating services the house in style on those days when it’s just too cold to be lounging on the deck. Make a statement Where hydronic heating panels are subtle, hanging ﬁreplaces are just the opposite. One of our favourite suspended ﬁreplaces comes all the way from the south of France. Crafted from hand-shaped and -spun steel, the Bordelet Tatiana 997 wood ﬁreplace offers 360-degree rotation, and is sought after by designers around the world. Here in Australia, Bordelet Tatiana 997 is stocked by Woodpecker (woodpecker.com.au), a retailer of heating and cooling solutions. Wood you rather? Thanks to new technology, wood ﬁreplaces are enjoying a resurgence in popularity, garnering a new following as being one of the more environmentally friendly home heating options. Heating experts from colder European countries have made it their business to hold our hands in this brave new world of sustainable heating. Bringing the latest in stylish and efficient European wood heaters to our shores, Euro Fireplaces Australia (euroﬁreplaces.com.au) is one such industry leader. Kim Bergmoser, a representative from Euro Fireplaces, has two suggestions for wood-heating novices. “Firstly, always check how many kilos of wood a ﬁre will burn when comparing heaters. High efficiency doesn’t always mean low usage,” Kim says. Kim’s second piece of advice? “If you have high ceilings, a ceiling fan can assist in moving warmth to where it will beneﬁt you most.”
Clockwise from opposite: Cheminée Philippe fireplaces (cheminee.com.au) are modern, elegant and efficient; Woodpecker’s Bordelet Tatiana 997 fireplace makes a statement; for sustainable heating solutions look to Euro Fireplaces Australia; a honed masonry wood fire enjoys pride of place in this outdoor room.
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HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GLOW? Whether you enlist the help of an architect or decide to DIY, it takes careful planning — and often a fair bit in the way of dollars — to create an outdoor ﬁreplace that ﬁts the bill. Queries about council regulations, foundations, fuel, smoke and even wind direction all need to be answered before you can light up. Christos Papadopoulos from the Melbourne-based outdoor ﬁreplace
HOMES Australian Country 45
Above: Jetmaster’s Universal Outdoor wood fire is far from your average fireplace and comes with a grill. Top: The steel firepit from Lime Lace (limelace.co.uk) is stylish and portable — just don’t forget the logs.
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manufacturer, Estia Designs, shares his advice on the most important things homeowners should think about pre-installation. Location, location, location “The ﬁreplace should be easily accessible from the house and adjacent structures. If you already have a deck or patio, then locating the ﬁreplace in that area is ideal,” Christos suggests. Size things up “The design of the ﬁreplace should complement the surrounding area,” Christos says. “If there is a small outdoor space, choose a smaller ﬁreplace. A bigger ﬁreplace will just be overpowering.” Chill out “Create comfortable seating around the ﬁreplace,” he adds. “The surrounding area should be inviting so that family and friends can relax and enjoy the ambience.” As well as comfortable surrounds, food is always a big drawcard for visitors. Jetmaster’s Universal Outdoor wood ﬁre includes an optional grill and hot plate exclusively for the 850 and 700D models (jetmaster.com.au). A ﬁreplace that doubles as a barbecue is a great space saver for those with limited outdoors to work with. The pits Firepits are the new water feature. Or at least, that’s what experts including Jason Hodges are telling us. The Better Homes and Gardens celebrity landscaper loves them so much that he decided to build his own. He teamed up with Adbri Masonry to share his DIY ﬁrepit with the masses and you can ﬁnd his step-by-step guide online (adbrimasonry.com. au). “The ambience a ﬁrepit brings is worth the investment alone, providing an enjoyable feature for the garden and a natural gathering spot for socialising and entertaining,” Jason says. “It’s a great focal point; I like to describe it as nature’s TV. People are naturally drawn to the campﬁre-like atmosphere.” They say there’s no smoke without ﬁre and in the case of the buzz surrounding Australia’s home heating industry, they’re absolutely right. Despite our mild climate, the range of impressive heating solutions for both indoor and out continues to grow. Watch this space.
Freestanding & Inbuilt Plan ahead for the season with a Euro Fireplaces woodheater. Clean burning and highly fuel efficient, European made woodheaters use up to 60% less wood and can heat large areas without a fan. Come see the team at Mansfield, Melbourne or Adelaide, or visit our website to find your local dealer.
www.eurofireplaces.com.au 1300 733 705 / email@example.com 4/165 Mt Buller Road, Mansfield VIC 119 Beresford Road, Lilydale VIC Shop 5, 340 South Rd, Richmond SA
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Provenance & providence Penny Hanan combined her fatherâ€™s vision, her brotherâ€™s acumen and her own elegant aesthetic to create a range of accessories that showcases the talents of a variety of Australian artisans. -----------by KIRSTY MCKENZIE photography KEN BR ASS
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The old saying that you can take the girl out of the country but not the country out of the girl could well have been coined for Penny Hanan, creator of the artisan homewares and accessories label, 1803. The eldest child of Orange vet Andrew Hansen and his physiotherapist wife, Judith, Penny grew up and completed most of her education in Orange before heading to Sydney for university. “Dad started farming red deer 35 years ago, so I grew up with the farm and understanding what a wonderfully versatile meat venison is,” Penny explains. “It probably would have remained a hobby for Dad if my brother, Tim, hadn’t become a meat trader. In 2000 he decided to take things up a notch and commercialise the herd under the label Mandagery Creek Venison. In the early days Tim and his wife, Sophie, took their product to farmers’ markets in Sydney and country NSW, but now they’ve grown the business to the point where they have the largest red
deer herd in Australia and 95 per cent of their product is exported.” In the meantime, Penny studied agricultural economics at Sydney University, where she met her future husband, Campbell. “My name was Hansen and his was Hanan, so we used to be seated beside each other in economics exams,” she explains. “I went into banking and then recruitment and Campbell moved into commercial property, so our lives were very city focused. However, as Campbell’s parents live in Berry and my family is in Orange, we’ve always kept one foot in the country. Our daughters, Pippa and Stella, also love country life.” When it comes to hospitality, keeping open house and fostering community spirit, Penny says they do everything they can to live in the country tradition, albeit in an 1856 terrace house in the inner-Sydney suburb of Paddington. “Life has taken us down this path but it really is important to us to stay connected to the country in a tangible way,” she says. “So much so that Pippa is now at school at
Clockwise from opposite page: Penny runs the artisian homewares label, 1803, from her home-based studio in Paddington;
1803’s products are made from farmed Australian red deer; Penny’s business allows her to stay connected to her country roots.
HOMES Australian Country 49
50 Australian Country HOMES
Frensham in Bowral. I was a bit taken aback when she ﬁrst came up with the idea, but I now realise it’s a great opportunity for her to spread her wings, become more independent and keep a strong connection to the land. She is so happy there that Stella wants to join her so she will probably do that for high school.” While Penny says she had always been happy with her city career, she struggled to ﬁnd her true métier until she was in the States on a business trip with Campbell about ﬁve years ago. “I found these leather goods that were branded to a cattle ranch in Oregon and the penny dropped,” she recalls. “At that stage most of Tim’s hides were being sent to Germany for tanning for lederhosen. While that was ﬁne, it struck me that there was an opportunity waiting to be grabbed to turn the by-product of what was essentially a meat business into a genuinely Australian artisan range. I must also admit I saw it as a good way to maintain my country connections and also involve my dad, who had recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness.” Sadly Andrew passed away
recently but his legacy lives on in the name 1803, which he suggested as that was the year red deer were introduced to Australia for sport for the “gentlemen of the colony”. Penny swung into action ﬁnding talented Australian artisans who could realise her vision for a truly nose-to-tail ethos. Tony Scott uses 150-year-old tumbling barrels to treat the hair-on hides at his tannery in Port Elliot in South Australia, Matt Courtnay from Lara in Victoria creates the leathers for the bags, belts, pouches, coasters and scarves that Dandenongs-based leather craftsman Jarren Borghero creates. Jarren has also teamed up with Julie Patterson of Cloth who crafts the linen and cotton backing fabrics for 1803’s cushion range. Tasmanian Tom Hounslow takes the antler and turns it into handles for his exquisite hand-forged steel knives and a Cowra-based taxidermist turns the stags’ heads into decorative wall mounts. “It is a privilege to be able run any livestock on fertile open pastures,” Penny says. “Tim has built his business on ethical, sustainable
Clockwise from opposite page: Penny’s urban home has rural roots; the home’s interiors reﬂect the eye for style that has made
Penny’s homewares business so successful; 1803 accessories decorate the city home; chic storage solutions make a statement.
HOMES Australian Country 51
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HOMES Australian Country 53
principles. He’s introduced pod farming, which means he moves his stock a lot and intensively grazes the deer on small blocks to minimise their impact on the land. It’s just a matter of respect for the animal to then make the most of the whole beast, from the skins and hides to the antlers. While much is talked about provenance these days, Penny says that 1803 customers genuinely want to engage with her family’s backstory and connect with the farmto-ﬁnished-product journey. “We are committed to sustainable manufacture and keeping our product 100 per cent Australian made,” Penny says. “It goes against the tide from a cost and production perspective, but I believe that there is long-term gain in promoting local artisans and keeping ﬁrmly connected to the farm.” Penny operates 1803 primarily as an online business from her home-based studio. She hosts occasional open days and welcomes visitors by appointment so they can see the soft furnishings and accessories displayed in
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the light and airy studio setting. Her home is also a showcase for the 1803 collection, with cushions, rugs, throws and the odd stag’s head elegantly enhancing the contemporary interiors. It is at once a very urban setting with very strong rural roots. “I’m a country person who is city-based,” Penny says. “Until I started 1803, I hadn’t really found my place. I believe that every environment has something to offer whether it’s city, near country or the remote outback. If you are lucky enough to be able to mix it up, I think you’ve achieved a great outcome. 1803 is helping us to do just that and I hope our family will be able to continue to live this best-of-both-worlds existence.” For more information visit 1803.com.au.
Clockwise from right: Cute baby portraits make an engaging grouping in a bedroom; the family home is full of fabulous artworks; Penny and her family have kept their
country heritage close despite their Sydney address, with 1803 cushions, throws and antlers from deer bred on brother Tim’s farm dotted throughout.
MARINA ISLES SHOWROOM:
INSPIRED HOME HARDWARE
Mitchell Park, 24/22 Hudson Ave, Castle Hill NSW 2154 |
02 9634 7017 | www.marinaisles.com
Inspired by ... Penny Hanan lends her design savvy ps of to her own interiors where pops portant colour, loud prints and the all-important deer motifs have pride of place. ------------
compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN
4 8 6
1 Crystal pendant chandelier, $426.30, sweetpeaandwillow.com 2 Inverglen black deer head wall hanging, $95.50, artisanti.com 3 Ocean Swirl print, $85, artforourhome.com 4 Studio stepladder, $353.75, pib-home.co.uk 5 Romano silver metal platter, $130.90, artisanti.com 6 The Mox cabinet, $458.10, pib-home.co.uk 7 Ceramic tea plate dinnerware, $35.30, etsy.com 8 1803 rust leather and linen cushion, $200, thedesignhunter.com.au 9 Trentham throw in mustard, $69, lorrainelea.com
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BALANCE POINT Texture, balance and symmetry deﬁne a great wine. But they are also hallmarks of the home and garden Nigel and Dorothy Gallop have created in the middle of a vineyard in Western Australia’s Margaret River region. ---------by KIRSTY MCKENZIE, photography KEN BR ASS
ike many life-altering decisions, Dorothy Barlow’s return to Australia was a long time in foment, but swift in execution. She was living the dream in Italy, working for fashion designer and style guru Rossana Orlandi, travelling all over Europe and enjoying the intellectually and socially stimulating milieu. She says she wasn’t looking for change, or love for that matter, when she was lured back to Australia by Nigel Gallop, the IT consultant turned vigneron and driving force behind the prestigious Margaret River label, Fraser Gallop Estate. These days she’s exchanged her shoebox apartment in Milan for a sprawling château in the middle of the vines and her workaday concerns are more likely to be about the impact of the weather on the harvest than the latest trends for the winter and summer collections. “I’d been friends with Nigel and his wife, Heather Fraser, for more than 30 years,” Dorothy explains. “When Heather passed
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HOMES Australian Country 59
away, Nigel and I kept in intermittent touch, catching up whenever he was in Italy or I was in Australia. In 2002, however, the friendship turned to romance and the next thing I knew I was back in WA and helping out with the completion of the house on the estate.” Fraser Gallop Estate was established in 1999 when 55 acres of a 165-acre property at Wilyabrup were planted to vines, primarily the grapes of the Bordeaux region of France — Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Unlike Bordeaux, however, the Margaret River region is not restricted in the use of varietals permitted in the wines, so the team is also committed to making world-class Chardonnay. All the vines are unirrigated, cane-pruned and the fruit is hand-picked. Meticulous attention to detail in the vineyard allows the team to create high-quality wines that express the terroir of the vineyard and the region. Tanzanian-born winemaker Clive Otto has been with the label since its inception and supervised the construction of the state-of-the-art winery, which was completed in time for the 2008 vintage and has the capacity to process 300 tonnes of grapes. The rewards for all this commitment to quality have come in a string of awards, which include Decanter magazine’s world wine awards international trophy for the world’s best Cabernet Sauvignon for the 2007 vintage and nine gold medals for subsequent years. The winery also received 97 points and a trophy at the James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge for the 2011 Parterre Chardonnay and the Critics’ Choice New World Chardonnay — Australia for the 2013 Parterre Chardonnay at the Sommelier Wine Awards in the UK. When Dorothy arrived on the scene, she took charge of completing and furnishing
Clockwise from opposite: The dining room is the perfect place for entertaining; after a cooking course in Italy and later teaching cooking classes in the UK, Dorothy is at home in the kitchen; she also enjoys painting; the couple’s living room is an inviting space for displaying equestrian event prizes and ribbons.
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the two-storey, lake-fronting château framed by the vineyards. She was also responsible for designing and implementing work on the extensive grounds, which include an impressive parterre garden, masses of roses and a substantial kitchen garden. “My dad was a passionate gardener and I spent a lot of time with him,” she explains. “When I’m in the garden I often think of him. In spring the daffodils, hyacinths and tulips add splashes of colour and of course the hydrangeas and azaleas come into their own.” Come autumn she can now enjoy walks in the blaze of colour that lines the entrance driveway with her precious standard poodles, Henri and Hugo. A passionate cook, Dorothy thinks nothing of entertaining large groups in the splendid dining room with its table for 20. “I grew up in a large family, so I’m not scared of cooking for numbers,” she says. “I gained a diploma in Italy and even taught cooking in the UK. Of course we have chefs when we have big events such as our sundown soiree or long table lunch, but for most of the time, I’m very happy to be manning the stoves at home.” Any spare time that’s left over after organising winery events and entertaining is devoted to painting, horse riding and the sport of dressage. “I’ve ridden all my life, even as a child growing up in Kenya,” she says. “I was lucky enough to win seven ribbons at the National Championships in Perth this year … perhaps that should be my gelding, Presidente, and I were lucky. There’s an old saying that you never know what’s around the corner and I must admit, that’s a bit how I feel about my life. I’m incredibly fortunate to be living in such a beautiful part of the world and sharing all the opportunities with Nigel, who is a wonderfully generous man.”
Clockwise from above: Nigel Gallop is the driving force behind Fraser Gallop Estate, which is a prestigious Margaret River label; Dorothy swapped her small apartment in Milan for a sprawling château in Australia’s wine country; together the couple furnished and decorated the home with antiques and family memorabilia.
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Palm Springs Daybed $1950, Palm Springs Mirror $315, Playa Cushion Range from $100. Comprised of beading, embroidery and crocheted trims, the collection is inspired by Caribbean beach clubs with a hint of the Hamptons. Itâ€™s fresh and laid-back yet classic and refined, the perfect way to bring a relaxed, beachy feel to your interiors. coastalfurnishings.com.au
RIGHT: Highland Lamp $240, Carillon Mirror $620, Playa Martinique Cushion $115 coastalfurnishings.com.au
BELOW: Boston Buffet Antiqued Natural $2600, Newport Armchair Charcoal ($1100), Brookline Lamp $240, Fable Piper Cushion $80 coastalfurnishings.com.au
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HOMES Australian Country 63
Inspired by ... Odes to the old world ﬁnd their natural home in the Gallops’ château. Use artful antiques to replicate the grand style. ------------
compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN
1 Clara mirror, prices vary, oficinainglesa.com 2 Glass House pendant light, $195, schots.com.au 3 Jarrah and Ash deco wall clock, $239, australianwoodwork.com.au 4 Vionnet cross bar cart, $1490, globewest.com.au 5 Antique globe, $107.40, balvi.com 6 Calais throw, $59, lorrainelea.com 7 Antwerp sofa, $1999, westelm.com.au 8 Artemis wallpaper, $329.65, houseofhackney.com 9 Posey Green paint, $39.80, haymespaint.com.au
64 Australian Country HOMES
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Mountain high An exceptional eye for detail sets this rural retreat apart from the rest.
-------------------by KIM WOODS R ABBIDGE photography BY JOHN DOWNS
Clockwise from above: Visitors never tire of the homeâ€™s magnificent views, which span from the ocean in the east to Mount Warning in the south; Robert and his furry companion; guests say swimming in the infinity pool is like floating on clouds.
68 Australian Country HOMES
ccasionally, a landscape steals your breath away. When Robert Maas sips tea on the deck at Skylodge, his contemporary Mount Tamborine homestead, he still marvels at the ever-changing ocean to the east and the many moods of Mount Warning in the south. And, sometimes, when he looks over the escarpment to worldheritage forest, he sees a brachychiton tree ﬂaming like a bright red exclamation mark. Although the mountain is only 35 minutes from the hurly burly of the Gold Coast, the cooler temperatures, clear air and bands of rainforest imbue it with tranquillity. For much of his life, Robert has worked in the hospitality industry, following the footsteps of his entrepreneurial Dutch parents who owned several restaurants both here and
overseas. However, his heart has always been in the country. More than a decade ago, when he moved from nearby Beechmont and bought an 80-year-old farmhouse relocated to the escarpment, he saw exciting potential. Grand specimens of red cedar, hoop pine and cudgerie were wonderful assets anchoring the site and contributing to the home’s sense of place. Several friends were surprised when he chose not to pull down the old place and start afresh. “It was a perfectly good building, so I had no intention of demolishing it,” Robert says. “Fortunately I knew that a good architect could interpret my dreams to extend it.” Gunther Lamprecht was engaged to do just that and the outcome is ingenious. Externally, the new addition incorporates the essence of the original dwelling, while HOMES Australian Country 69
70 Australian Country HOMES
With no TV in sight, the living room allows for total relaxation.
HOMES Australian Country 71
Clockwise from left: Grandstand seating is a clever addition to the pool area; an antler candelabra sets the scene; tribal motifs are seen throughout the home; instead of demolishing and building anew, Robert enlisted the help of architect Gunther Lamprecht to extend and breathe new life into the 80-year-old farmhouse.
72 Australian Country HOMES
inside it is high-tech elegance. The existing home, Robert’s own domain, was modiﬁed for contemporary living: windows were enlarged to take advantage of the views and walls were removed for better use of space. But it’s the long, linear, metal extrusion, seamlessly added on the southwest end, that’s made a statement. Magniﬁcent views are afforded from all areas of the extension, which includes a living room with kitchen facilities, a dining room and two suites accessed via a glassed-in breezeway. The Zincalume roof, mellowing galvanised posts and quintessential weatherboards painted soft silver all contribute to the understated facade. The project’s been a satisfying one for Robert, especially following the tragic loss of his son, Bodie, in 2012. “It’s given me lots to focus on,” he says. He’s unleashed his creativity to furnish a new guest wing. Robert’s work in hotels and restaurants
has given him an acute appreciation of the impact of ambience. “I wanted each space to have its own character and to be elegant but, ultimately, comfortable.” The living room blends luxury and cosiness. At one end, a stainless-steel V-shaped ﬁreplace is skirted by a chain-mesh ﬁreguard. TVs are conﬁned to suites. This room is purely for relaxation and that’s exactly what guests do: listen to music, laze on the sofa scattered with cushions and faux fur rugs, or pull up a hide-covered hassock in front of mesmerising ﬂames and sip cognac. As well as state-of-the-art additions, Robert included practical features. Ashes fall into a pit cleaned externally, and a wood box, ﬁlled from outside, is accessed inside. There’s always a spot somewhere to shelter from summer’s heat or, alternately in winter, to soak up the sun, especially on the HOMES Australian Country 73
expansive timber decks. A clever architectural ploy is the use of wide grandstand seating that gradually steps down to the pool level — negating the need for railings that would distract from the view. Robert says the inﬁnity pool’s a favourite with family and guests, who say swimming in it feels like ﬂoating on clouds. Lined with large, naturalistic tiles, it blends in and reﬂects clouds drifting by. “I keep it heated for most of the year,” the considerate host says. The two sumptuous bedroom suites are furnished exotically and include ﬂoating beds, lamp stands of kudu or buffalo horns, shades of ostrich feathers, antique blanket boxes, polished timber ﬂoors, fabrics from afar and, in complete contrast, crisp, pure-white linen. At any time of day, the dining room is a serene place. Glass panels, which are open to both decks, can be folded back when it’s warm.
74 Australian Country HOMES
In the evening, the mood’s set by dramatic faux antler candelabra that deliver a gentle incandescence. It’s a perfect venue for Robert to add a dash of drama with his ﬂambé skills, or gueridon service, when visitors dine in. Stunning sculptures grace the garden, which he says is a work in progress. Several, such as Monte Lupo’s whimsical Garden Dweller and Jesse Brown’s Rustic Twist alpacas, are from Gardener and Marks. Kaya Sulc’s work includes a copper hand-motif water feature and Richard Howie’s four iron totems ﬂex with each zephyr. They’re perfectly placed but, as Robert’s aesthetic eye is so keen, that’s hardly surprising.
Above: An elegant, safari-style bedroom is the perfect retreat. Right: After years
working in the hospitality industry, Robert knows how to style a room to make a statement.
Inspired by ... 3
Striking views aren’t the only reason we’re swooning over this hilltop haven. Safari style takes Robert Maas’ Skylodge to new heights — follow suit with these tribal pieces. -----------compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN
1 Florence runner, $349.95, holidaydesign.com.au 2 Cagliari antler chandelier, $1759, schots.com.au 3 Janis cushion, $45.95, zanui.com.au 4 Red prickle vase, $47.65, audenza.com 5 Arrowhead floor lamp, $220.95, zanui.com.au 6 Priti designer cushion, $124.95, atelierlane.com 7 Bamileke feather headdress, $375, safarifusion.com.au 8 Loren armchair, prices vary, essentialhome.eu 9 Runkö occasional table, $221.10, pib-home.co.uk
76 Australian Country HOMES
N O R F O L K
I S L A N D
www.bjsjewellers.com BJâ€™S JEWELLERS
Above: Helen Cathles recalls the verandahs hanging off all around the house when she and Ian purchased the run-down historic station in 1988. Right: They run both Merino sheep and Angora goats on the property.
SET IN STONE Cooradigbee station in the NSW Brindabella Ranges preserves a remarkable slice of Australian grazing history along with world-renowned fossil deposits. --------------by KIRSTY MCKENZIE, photography KEN BR ASS
hen Ian and Helen Cathles bought the 7500-acre (3000-hectare) Cooradigbee station at Wee Jasper in the NSW Brindabella Ranges, everyone told them the historic pisé homestead was beyond salvation. Built in 1911, when the ﬂooding of the Murrumbidgee River to ﬁll the newly constructed Burrinjuck Dam submerged the original homestead, Cooradigbee’s homestead was indeed a sorry sight when the couple bought the property in 1988. Closer inspection revealed that the walls made of rammed earth reinforced with barbed wire were actually quite sound and Ian and Helen went ahead with a year-long renovation. “The verandahs were hanging off all around the house,” Helen recalls. “But once you looked past that, the main part of the building was actually in reasonable condition. There had been water damage in the breezeway where there once was a greenhouse, but we were able to keep the original Cypress pine ﬂoorboards and cedar skirtings, architraves and cornices. The render is original and when we stripped back the masonite ceilings there were beautiful timber ceilings underneath.” Ian’s son and daughter-in-law devoted countless hours to sanding back all the timber surfaces and the interior spaces were rearranged, but kept simple with unadorned windows framing expansive views of the surrounding landscape. Early on, Ian and Helen decided that in order to preserve the homestead, it would need to generate an income beyond that of the ﬁne Merino and Angora goat ﬂocks they run on the property. So they decided to turn the homestead into a boutique conference centre and farmstay accommodation and continue living at their home on the other side of Wee Jasper. As well, they offer more basic self-catering accommodation in the shearers’ quarters adjacent to the shearing shed, which was built in 1940 after the 1939 bushﬁre destroyed the original. The ﬁre is one of the landmark events in the district’s history and the homestead’s front doors still bear the scars of how perilously close it came to being razed to the ground. Cooradigbee’s European history goes back to the earliest settlement of the Wee Jasper HOMES Australian Country 79
80 Australian Country HOMES
Clockwise from opposite: The home’s masonite ceilings were stripped back to reveal the stunning timber ceilings underneath; Ian and Helen enjoy welcoming guests to their home; warming reds in a sitting room.
Valley. In 1831, seven years after explorers Hume and Hovell walked through the region, William Hampton Dutton was given a land grant for his pioneering work bringing Saxon sheep to Australia and establishing the breed for the Australian Agricultural Company (AACo). When the sheep he moved to the valley died of salt deprivation, he moved on to South Australia and the property was sold to Colin McDonald. In 1866, Samuel Barber, one of the largest and wealthiest landholders in NSW, added the property to his already extensive portfolio. Four generations of Barbers continued to work Cooradigbee until the 1970s, and in more recent years, descendants of the founding family have returned to the valley. Ian came to Wee Jasper with his parents, Louis (Bill) and Grace Cathles who migrated from England after World War II. “Family folklore has it that they decided to leave during the particularly bleak winter of 1948 when the water tanks and pipes on their 200-acre farm froze,” Ian recalls. “Dad worked his passage to Australia in the merchant navy, which collected a load of guano from Algeria on the way. We arrived with Mum shortly after and my parents became entrenched in the valley and very involved in the community. They lived here until 1974, when Dad retired ... or at least we thought he was retiring. What he actually did was return to his origins by buying a cropping farm at Grenfell.” Ian went away to boarding school and then university and returned to Wee Jasper to farm the family property with his brother. Helen moved to the district when she met Ian in 1978 and they have devoted themselves to producing superﬁne wool and mohair ever since. Helen and Ian also ran a sheepskin coat manufacturing business from Wee Jasper from 1979 until 1996 and Helen has been intensively involved with local stakeholders and government in wild dog management. She was also one of the 1000 delegates brought together by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for the 2020 Summit in 2008. As well as preserving local rural and station history, the Cooradigbee property also has an extraordinary repository of Devonian fossils. Palaeontologists from all over the world come to explore the remnants of life on earth 400 million years ago that are preserved in the HOMES Australian Country 81
Clockwise from top: The home enjoys uninterrupted views of the landscape, which Helen believes is good for the soul; a classic country bedroom; Ian and Helen with some of the fossils found on the property.
82 Australian Country HOMES
limestone landscape. “Many people don’t realise that Australia has crossed the equator 16 times in the past 4.5 billion years,” Ian explains. “Four hundred million years ago, Wee Jasper was at the latitude of Cairns and this was the Great Barrier Reef. Since then the seabed has been turned on its side to expose the layers of sediment and the animals that were caught in it as it was deposited. So you can see remnants of coral reefs, algae and ﬁsh in the rock. Ninety percent of the world’s fossils are in shale or sandstone and they are ﬂat because they were compressed as the mud settled on top of them. But here, because of the way limestone forms, you’re seeing the actual bone, not a mineral replacement and it’s 3-D correct. You can trace the evolution of the nautiloid from its straight origins to the rounded form through fossils found on our property. It is truly like going back in time.” Ian says that growing up in Wee Jasper he was well aware that there were plenty of fossils around, but not that the region’s pre-history makes it such a special place for ﬁnding them. Since purchasing the property, he and Helen have become keen amateur fossil hounds and share their knowledge with specialised tours of the property. Another of the district’s attractions, Careys Cave, is also on the property and it is open for tours on weekends and by appointment. Although Wee Jasper is relatively close (75 kilometres) to Canberra, the mountainous terrain means it is actually quite remote and travellers should allow an hour and a half to drive from the national capital. The spectacular scenery more than justiﬁes the journey and in spring it is truly a sight to behold with blazing yellow wattle lining the route. Ian and Helen are generous hosts and love showing visitors around the property and its many scenic and natural attractions. “If you need a lot of people in your life, Wee Jasper is not the place to be,” Helen observes. ‘‘Yass is only 55km away, but it takes an hour, so you have to become fairly adept at stocking up on supplies and being self-contained. All is forgiven, though, when you wake up in this glorious valley. A pragmatic farmer friend of Ian’s father once observed that you ‘can’t eat scenery’ but I like to think living here is pretty good nourishment for the soul.”
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Inspired by ... Ian and Helen Cathles ďŹ nd interior inspiration from the ds, Far East, where deep reds, ant botanical motifs, and elegant nced accessories lend an enhanced sense of exoticism.
compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN
1 Yoko Orizuru dress, $272.90, australiaen.dawanda.com 2 Babylon lounge chair, $900, satara.com.au 3 Adelle throw rug, $95, schots.com.au 4 Oriental Botanica velvet cushions, $60.45, frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk 5 Empress JingĹŤ bowl, $329, theshopfloorproject.com 6 Katagami chalk wallpaper, prices vary, radfordfurnishings.com.au 7 Leilani round mirror, prices vary, sheridan.com.au 8 Hand-painted parasol, $71.40, iansnow.com
84 Australian Country HOMES
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A proud tradition Six generations of the Grubb family have called Strathroy station home. ----------------by KIRSTY MCKENZIE photography KEN BR ASS
picture may be worth a thousand words, but the portrait of William Dawson Grubb that hangs in the hallway at Strathroy in northern Tasmania is but an opening gambit on the life of an extraordinary man and his considerable contribution to the state’s history. The benignlooking bearded gent with the steady gaze must also have had a steely determination to make the most of the opportunities that came his way. Today William’s legacy permeates every corner of the grand old homestead where his great-great grandson, Beau Grubb,
86 Australian Country HOMES
and his wife, Liz, are the current custodians. Born in London in 1817, William was just 15 years old when he arrived in Van Dieman’s Land on the Sovereign with his sister, Maria, and her husband, Henry Reed. He worked brieﬂy for his brother-in-law before returning to the UK to complete law studies. When he returned to Launceston in 1842 with his wife, Marianne Beaumont, he set up a legal practice, which was continued by his son, Frederick, until the 1880s. But the law was just one facet of his complex career, which included a timber sawmill at Pipers Brook, diverse
mining and railway interests and a decade in the Legislative Council as the member for Tamar. Although gold was ﬁrst discovered at Brandy Creek, later renamed Beaconsﬁeld, in 1847, it wasn’t until 1877 that the Dally brothers discovered payable gold and intensive mining began. In October of that year the Dallys sold their claim for £15,000 to William and his business partner, William Hart. The mine Above: The iron-lace embellished verandah provides ample space for outdoor entertaining.
Opposite: The grand Strathroy station homestead was completed in 1888.
HOMES Australian Country 87
subsequently paid more than £700,000 in dividends and the Grubb name lives on in the Grubb Shaft, which today houses the Beaconsﬁeld Mine & Heritage Centre. William died in 1879 but some of his good fortune doubtless contributed to the construction of Strathroy homestead, which another son, Charles, commissioned Melbourne architects Terry & Oakden to design in the late 1880s. Launceston-born Percy Oakden had been a student at the prestigious Wesleyan school, Horton College near Ross, where Charles, Frederick and William also boarded. “Strathroy was originally established
88 Australian Country HOMES
as Kerry Lodge by Theodore Bartley,” Liz explains. “The Kerry Lodge Bridge completed by convict labour in 1835 is an early remnant of those very early days. From the arrangement of the trees around the homestead we think the original house was where the tennis court now stands. The present homestead, however, was completed in 1888. The bricks would have been ﬁred on the property. Beau doesn’t agree with me, but I think they used the prettier pink ones at the front and the darker brown ones at the back where they are not so obvious. Interestingly, there is a house in Launceston called Fairlawn, which is by the same architect
and has a very similar footprint. It doesn’t have the bell tower, but I think the Grubbs added that feature just because they could. It serves no purpose beyond providing elevation to give pressure to the water in the tank at the top.” Strathroy today enjoys renown as a producer of ﬁne Merino wool and Angus cattle. In doing so, Beau continues a tradition Clockwise from opposite page: The stately dining room has bold scarlet walls; Liz spends much of her time tending to the
property’s sprawling gardens; a grand entrance; the legacy of Beau’s ancestor, William Dawson Grubb, lives on.
HOMES Australian Country 89
established by William Grubb, who dedicated considerable resources to improving his stud by importing cattle from the mainland as well as England and New Zealand. Beau is assisted by his son and daughter-in-law, Ben and Amy, who also farm on nearby Fernhill. In recent years, with the help of water allocations from the Milford Dam, they have been able to diversify to grow hay and other feed crops as well as poppies and carrots. The homestead, with its iron-lace embellished verandahs and voluminous entertaining areas, straddles the line between
90 Australian Country HOMES
a bastion of pastoral privilege and a working farmhouse. “Times are very different from the good old days, when there would have been a staff of 30 including a full-time gardener, dairyman and household help,” Liz explains. “These days it’s just Beau and me and Barney, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.” A school psychologist at Launceston’s Scotch Oakburn College, Liz was introduced to Beau by mutual friends 18 years ago and the “rest is history”. She adds that moving into Strathroy was an interesting addendum to their marriage and that the garden has
been a source of seasonal delight. “It’s a big house designed for a family,” she says. “While it’s a wonderful place to live, it’s time for transition to the next generation and it will be a natural progression to have a young family living here again.”
Clockwise from above: Beau keeps the age-old traditions of Strathroy station alive, remaining committed to producing fine Merino wool and Angus cattle;
Beau’s ancestor, William Grubb’s name lives on in the Grubb shaft, now a heritage centre at the Beaconsfield mine; broad verandahs encircle the historic homestead.
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Inspired by ... Re Regal and reďŹ ned is the only way to sstyle the historic Strathroy station. H are the pieces you need for Here similar d ecor throwback. throwback. a similar decor ---------compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN
1 Cobham oak dining table, $2133.15, bridgman.co.uk 2 MUN by VG ceiling lamp, prices vary, vgnewtrend.it vgnewtrend 3 Kilim Vintage rug in Forest Greens, $531.95, frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk 4 Addison Spliced pullover fireball jumper, $39.95, cottonon.com 5 Pine cone finial, $96.05, frenchbedroom company.co.uk 6 Blue Blossom teacup and saucer set, $45, amitycreated.com 7 Annie Sloan Emperorâ€™s Silk chalk paint, $59.95 for 1L, anniesloan.com 8 Susan Louis XV sofa, prices vary, oficinainglesa.com 9 Air-printed canvas, $325.60, frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk
92 Australian Country HOMES
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94 Australian Country HOMES
THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS A Brisbane family enjoys all the beneﬁts of country living just 10 kilometres from the CBD. -------------------story & styling by TAHN SCOON photography JOHN DOWNS
s you drive west along Brisbane’s busy Waterworks Rd, eventually the heavy traffic lessens and the urban views give way to hilly vistas. You’re still in the city, only 10 kilometres from the CBD, but you’ve driven into The Gap, a peaceful suburb that is blessedly free from major shopping centres and the like and completely surrounded by hills. As the gateway suburb to Mt Nebo, Mt Glorious and beyond, the only time it’s busy is on the weekends, when day-trippers are heading out to bushwalk, picnic or ride. Long-time resident Jenny Hawkins says it’s the semi-rural feel of the suburb that she loves so much. The current property she shares with her husband, Simon, and their children, Caitlyn and Oliver, was found almost by accident when she was out bushwalking with friends one day. “I spotted this wonderful piece of land and one of my girlfriends said she knew the owner,’’ she explains. ‘‘He’d bought 100 acres in the ’70s and had recently got permission to subdivide. It wasn’t on the market yet, but I mentioned it to Simon and he jumped at it. We pretty much bought 10 acres on the spot, as it’s not often you get a chance to buy acreage this close to the city.” Jenny had a fairly clear idea of the kind of home she wanted to build … “a big barn crossed with an Australian homestead”. She envisioned generous open-planned living spaces with decadently high ceilings and a central open ﬁreplace. Timber ﬂoors were integral to the design as they’re hardwearing and don’t show up dirt. Wide verandahs
Opposite page: A charming rural-style verandah provides extra entertaining space.
Left: Apart from the vegetable garden, the outdoors were kept decidedly native.
HOMES Australian Country 95
96 Australian Country HOMES
would be both aesthetically pleasing and provide relief from the heat, while banks of louvres would allow for cross ventilation. “There was some discussion about whether we should design a smaller house for environmental reasons,” Jenny says. “But with so much land available, it seemed a wasted opportunity to not build something a little grander.” Simon, who works in a managerial role for a construction company, drew up the rough plans before handing them over to the architect, Greg Noonan, to ﬁnalise. He also oversaw the project as owner-builder, which saved a considerable amount of money. Within a year, the home was complete and the family moved in. Jenny called upon her friend Ellie and her assistant Patrice from furniture and furnishings store Blake and Taylor to help her decorate. “I wanted it very natural,” she says. “I’m particularly attracted to ﬂower and bird motifs, which makes sense given the home’s setting.” Ellie, who’s very well known for her love of vintage items, also inspired Jenny to try her hand at repurposing some old pieces. Most notably, a clever vertical garden was created using old louvred cupboard doors, which were found roadside and given a fresh lick of white paint. The doors were hung directly to the exterior wall in the outdoor patio, and hanging plants were simply attached with the help of inexpensive S-hooks. Entertaining, baking and cooking are important to the family, and a big kitchen was a must-have. High ceilings allow for an even grander sense of spaciousness and natural light Clockwise from opposite page: The design brief included an open fireplace; a large kitchen is essential for the
entertainers; the family pooch feels right at home; Jenny and her family love their semi-rural lifestyle; charming details.
HOMES Australian Country 97
pours into the Hampton’s-style setting. Hidden pantries allow for messier items to be easily stored and also provide access to the garden, which was kept as native as possible, as the couple didn’t want to pretend “it’s something it’s not,” and hoped to keep maintenance and watering to a minimum. However, the inclusion of generous vegetable and herb patches was an important concession. “Our goal is to become as self-sufficient as possible in regards to our table needs,” Jenny says. “Earlier this year we added three chooks for eggs, though we can’t let them fertilise the gardens because of the foxes.” She adds that there are certain responsibilities that come along with living next to both a state forest and a national park. “Especially when it comes to weed control and maintaining pathways for the wildlife,” she says. “We have wallabies, turkeys and echidnas passing through — as well as pests such as foxes.” Some of the beneﬁts include privacy and space. The majority of the windows are unadorned as the home is so secluded that privacy is not an issue, “except for the odd lost bushwalker wandering up,” Jenny observes. Ample space means extensions or other projects can always be an option in the future, a rare privilege for a family who technically lives in a city. “The biggest drawcard though, is the lifestyle,” Jenny says. “We get to live in a country environment but with easy access to work, shopping and good schools. We really have the best of both worlds.” Left: The bathroom windows can remain bare thanks to the property’s secluded setting.
98 Australian Country HOMES
Top: Jenny aimed for a look that was somewhere between a barn and a grand homestead.
Inspired by ... 5
Style and comfort rule in Jenny H Hawkinsâ€™ Brisbane home. Introduce pl plants and classic furniture pieces to you your collection and youâ€™re well on your w to achieving this timeless look. way
-----------compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN
1 Artesa watering can, $12.40, kitchencraft.co.uk 2 Winchester Classic field tile in Moonstone, $266.45, originalstyle.com 3 Winchester Classic field tile in Emerald Green, $266.45, originalstyle.com 4 Baztan patchwork quilt, $266.15, hamabidesign.com 5 Astrid hanging planter, $39, lorrainelea.com 6 Hendrick side table, $1100, heatherlydesigns.com 7 Revolution fan, prices vary, beaconlighting.com.au 8 Apparentt Idle bench, $1738, handkrafted.com 9 Otis bar stool, $657.40, limelace.co.uk
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Beachcomber Andrew Munn was practically born with art running in his veins. Now he and his wife, Maggi, have turned their Fleurieu Peninsula home into a fabulous showcase for his work and collections. ----------------by KIRSTY MCKENZIE photography ROSS WILLIAMS styling BRONTE CAMILLERI
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HOMES Australian Country 101
s a child growing up in Adelaide, there was never enough paper for Andrew Munn to satisfy his prodigious appetite for painting and drawing. Nothing was sacred; the blank front pages of books were torn out and butchers cajoled into giving him paper for his artistic expressions. Full-time art school was not an option, so he opted for evening classes studying sculpture and life drawing while he forged an early career as a window dresser. At art school he was fortunate to come to the attention of celebrated sculptor Owen Broughton, who took a keen interest in Andrew and mentored him as his creative talents expanded. “At ﬁrst Andrew worked in metal and then he branched out into wood and carving,” his wife, Maggi, explains. “From there, he moved into driftwood, furniture making and at the moment he’s making chairs out of ladders,” she continues. “Artists always need to move on, but with Andrew it’s usually nature-based. Nature is the best sculptor of all and Andrew has the knack of being able to look into the landscape and ﬁnd the beauty in it.” The artistic bent was never far below the surface and before long Andrew had
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collected so many antiques that at the age of 18 he opened his ﬁrst shop. Never one to take the slow lane, by 20 he had diversiﬁed into men’s fashion under the label, Just Art Nouveau. His designs were little short of outlandish but it was the swinging sixties and his see-through lace bell-bottoms were adopted by local bands.
In the late ’70s he met and married Maggi, an education lecturer, and antiques remained his day job for a while as they raised their family. In the ’80s he opened his ﬁrst art gallery in the Adelaide suburb of Kensington showcasing his and other local artists’ work. In 1990, with the Munns’ children then independent, the couple
Clockwise from opposite: Andrew’s paintings reflect his love of landscapes and nature; the artist took a creative detour into making chairs from ladders; the couple in their element collecting driftwood at the beach; Andrew and Maggi made the sea change from Adelaide to Normanville in 1990 and have never looked back.
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The coupleâ€™s character-laden beach shack provides a place for all their collections.
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made the decision to move to Normanville, about 80 kilometres south of Adelaide. They’d owned a beach shack in the former port town since the early ’80s and felt the imperative to move there permanently. “The coast has been a big component in both our lives,” Maggi explains. “We’re both big beach walkers and I’m not really happy if I can’t smell the sea.” The sea change provided the opportunity for Andrew to move into working with driftwood, and subsequently using worn and weathered timbers recycled from boat sheds and wharves marked for demolition. “Unfortunately driftwood is a diminishing resource as not many boats are made from timber these days,” Maggi says. “Andrew’s brother was a ﬁsherman and he helped collect wood by taking a blow-up mattress into otherwise inaccessible craggy places to gather the materials that had washed up.” For a time the Munns ran an art gallery and gift shop called Seagull Droppings in Normanville. They showcased Andrew’s work alongside that of other artists and enjoyed the sense of community the business engendered. But recently they’ve scaled back the gallery and Andrew now works exclusively from his studio at home, with a display space at the front of the house for clients to come and view his work.
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These days Andrew’s restless creative energy is taking him in new directions yet again. In recent years he’s moved into painting, mainly landscapes, seascapes and nature studies on a large scale in acrylic on canvas. These works, alongside examples from previous artistic lives, ﬁll their colourful beach shack.
“Andrew’s been such a passionate collector all his life and I’ve added to that with my interest in African sculpture and basketry,” Maggi explains. Having said that, Maggi adds that they always ﬁnd room for special items. “We still look out for old oars and ﬁshing and boating memorabilia,” she says. “Collecting and art are lifelong passions. You don’t just grow out of them.”
Top: In recent years, Andrew has been drawn to painting seascapes, landscapes and nature studies. Above: Maggi’s love of African sculptures, basketry and design is seen most prominently in the bedroom.
Inspired by ... Make waves a and channel Andrew and Maggi Munnâ€™s Munn unique nautical style with vintage knick-knacks, k shabby chic furniture and copious coastal prints.
--------------compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN compi
10 1 Outdoor beach umbrella, $249, cranmorehome.com.au 2 Crystal Clear print, $549, ozdesignfurniture.com.au 3 Natural braided designer jute rug, $184.95, zanui.com.au 4 Knot cushion, $79.95, zanui.com.au 5 Sperm whale figurine, $81.35, thenauticalcompany.com 6 Kingscliff dining table, prices vary, ozdesignfurniture.com.au 7 Maritime keychain, $21.70, etsy.com 8 Coastal wall plaques, $42.45, thenauticalcompany.com 9 Roxanne outdoor chair in teak and white wicker, $2174, satara.com.au 10 Porcelain coat hooks, $139.55, en.dawanda.com
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Kailash and Melinda have transformed their Melbourne home.
uring the best part of two decades living overseas, management consultants Kailash Attawar and Melinda Waters have roamed across some of the world’s more exotic locales. Their home addresses have ranged from Russia and Uzbekistan to Amsterdam, Germany and the UK. Little wonder then that when they ﬁnally decided to return to Melinda’s hometown of Melbourne, they brought with them a treasure trove of carpets, cushions, artworks, photographs and other souvenirs from their many travels. Add into the mix Kailash’s history of being born of Indian descent in Malawi in southeast Africa, and countless holidays the couple has taken across Europe and Asia, and it’s little wonder that visiting their new Australian home feels a bit like reading the synopsis of one of Michael Palin’s world adventures. “When we arrived in Melbourne we found this house in Armadale and we’ve been gradually settling into it ever since,” Melinda explains. “We knew the house had good bones, but it needed an injection of fresh air to make it the perfect setting for our collection.” Scouring the internet for design inspiration, Melinda came across livebreathedecor.com, a blog run by interior designer Naomi Freier. Naomi also has an interesting backstory, having trained as a lawyer and studied journalism before she
TRAVELLERS’ TALE Souvenirs from many years living and working abroad embellish a charming bungalow in Melbourne’s south-east. -------------------by KIRSTY MCKENZIE, photography KEN BR ASS
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Clockwise from opposite: Through the years the couple has called Russia, Uzbekistan, Amsterdam, Germany and the UK home; light and bright interiors allow statement accessories to shine; Kailash has dreamed of owning a reading room for years; plants and flowers abound throughout the home.
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started her family. Friends who admired Naomi’s design ﬂair asked for help with their own homes and eventually Naomi started her own business, Naomi Freier Interiors, and gave up law altogether. “As soon as we met I knew that our aesthetics were very similar,” Melinda says. “We’ve not structurally changed anything, but the whole house is now so much lighter and brighter thanks to Naomi’s input. We couldn’t have done it without her.” The couple decided to stage their renovations in two parts and have left the kitchen and bathroom for the next round. “We ﬁght one another for the right to cook,” Melinda explains. “So it’s hard to imagine going without a functioning kitchen for the time a renovation will involve. We’re lucky we inherited quite a workable space with an island bench in the centre.” The revamp began with the couple taking a leap of faith and pulling up all the ﬂoor coverings. “It’s a bit of a risk when you’re not sure what’s underneath,” Kailash says. “But in our case it turned out to be Victorian ash in quite good condition. We had to replace a few boards, but then we just stained and polished them. Where we did need ﬂoor coverings we opted for sisal matting instead of carpet. It’s just so much fresher looking.” The next step was to paint the entire interior of the house white, replace the curtains with shutters and call on Naomi’s considerable ﬂair for lighting. “Lighting was probably the biggest impact thing we did,” Melinda says. “Naomi knows a great light from a good one and she replaced all the downlights with pendants. She then supplemented this with standard and table lamps, all of which added shades of subtlety to the rooms.”
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Clockwise from above: Streetscape photographs adorn the bedroom walls; at interior designer Naomi Freier’s behest, downlights were replaced with striking pendants to create better mood lighting throughout; each new trip is an opportunity to find more quirky, original and colourful pieces to decorate the home.
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Melinda and Kailash decided to revamp the formal lounge by lining it with bookshelves to give Kailash the reading room he had always dreamed of owning. Keen cooks and entertainers, the couple insisted on a separate dining room and used a cheeky Cachou Lajaunie poster to set the mood for the room. “Sharing food and wine should be a celebration,” Melinda observes. “The ad is to promote the tiny licorice pastilles that are supposed to be breath fresheners so the model is smoking, which suggests a bit of mischief, which we both kind of endorse, though not necessarily with cigarettes. We wanted to be able to seat 10 and the French apartment parquetry table was perfect for that. Kailash found the green leather chairs, which are more than 100 years old. I wasn’t sure about them, but now that they’re in, they’re perfect for the ambience we were trying to create.” Melinda adds that Kailash was also supportive of the bright pink peony Christopher Farr fabric and hand-blocked John Robshaw cushions Naomi suggested for the casual living space that opens on to the garden. “They are a good foil for the ox cart coffee table that we already owned,” she explains. “I must admit, when we came home and started opening all the boxes it was like all our Christmases had come at once. Then came the fun part, ﬁnding places to display all our treasures.” A platter from Uzbekistan, monochromatic street scenes from Amsterdam, a rug from Portugal and old Russian propaganda posters all have found a niche in the home. “As we continue to travel, doubtless new pieces will be added,” Melinda says. “Meanwhile it’s great to be in such a comfortable, easy living space that has memories in every corner.”
Inspired by ...
Treasure from around the world Treasures glo add global panache to this chic Melbour home. Whether youâ€™ve Melbourne travelle travelled the world or just wish you had, had use these accessories to create your own dreamy digs.
6 compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN co
1 Kathleen bedhead in luxe platinum velvet, from $1480, heatherlydesign.com.au 2 Solitaire rose gold glass pendant light, $80.25, artisanti.com 3 Baby pink cushion, $59, thetoucanshop.com 4 Dustin bedside table, prices vary, oficinainglesa.com 5 Royal blue chair, $864.70, frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk 6 Indoor Green by Bree Claffey, $45, upcyclestudio.com.au 7 Women I (after Modigliani) by Efren Isaza, $410, au.lumas.com 8 Monash three-seat leather sofa, $5600, ricefurniture.com.au 9 Drawer cart coffee table, $888, ricefurniture.com.au 10 Globe light, $133.25, annabeljames.co.uk
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The warmest of welcomes greets visitors to the Jindabyne home.
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Design and detail Diana McInnes’ many lives as a stylist, graphic designer, ski instructor and avid collector inform her alpine home. ----------------by SIOBHAN O’BRIEN photography STEFANIE LEES
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low-to-the-solar-plexus views pan over a luminous Lake Jindabyne and up to the Snowy Mountains range beyond. A mature, treeﬁlled garden that is golden honeycomb in autumn and rose scented in spring. Elegant European-inspired rooms ﬁlled with furs, antlers and old ski paraphernalia line the walls juxtaposed with a feminine oddity or arrangement of ﬂowers. This is the home of Diana McInnes, business owner, mother and bon vivant. She has a distinct style that spills from what she wears, how she lives and what she sells in her much-loved retail store, Design and Detail, in Jindabyne. It is set among cafes, restaurants and ski hire outlets but is much more than your usual shopping fare. It is a way to live. “The store features a carefully chosen assortment of new and vintage items, some familiar, others more left of centre,” Diana says. “I sell everyday classics that will not date but will mellow and improve with age and are destined to become favourites. It is an ever-evolving collection and one that is always interesting.”
It’s in this eclectic and fascinating space that Diana spends much of her working week. Either that or she is on the road sourcing new and unusual ﬁnds for her business and for her own home. “Most weekends I head to a local country clearance sale,” she says. “This is where I ﬁnd some of my treasures for the shop. Not only do I love getting a bargain at the sales, but it’s such a great place to catch up with other like-minded hoarders and also sample the CWA ladies’ scones at the catering van. I have been known to come home looking like the Beverly Hillbillies with everything but Granny tied to the roof.”
Diana moved permanently to Jindabyne in the late ’90s after a taste of winter seasons as a ski instructor. For a few years she also pursued this line of work in North America, but soon grew weary of life lived out of a suitcase. “I’ve lived many lives,” she says. “I’m a qualiﬁed graphic designer but I also worked as a ski instructor, restaurateur, visual merchandiser, stylist and now business owner.” Clockwise from left: Even the entrance is styled to perfection; Diana describes her interior style as rough luxe; Diana’s boots
aren’t just made for walking; the home has a distinctively European accent; old bottles are artfully repurposed in this Jindabyne abode.
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Dianaâ€™s store stocks a selection of vintage and new pieces, many of which can be found in her own home.
Design and Detail was opened in 2003 at a time when Diana was doing part-time interior styling and felt that she needed to expand her business to include a retail component. She also sought more stability as she is a single parent with two sons, now adult. Like her business, her Snowy Mountains home has been an evolution over many years. The exterior is true Australian alpine style with organic materials such as timber, bush granite and glass a real feature. It’s a robust look that is entirely unique to Australia’s snowy regions. And, although it borrows much from its European cousins, it is an utterly Australian aesthetic. The interiors of Diana’s home offer a different story. The look, often referred to as rough luxe, borrows from the industrial, Victorian, vintage and modern aesthetics. It is a blend of the charmingly ﬂawed alongside the elegantly pristine. And unlike the exteriors of Diana’s home, there is a certain European quality here. Close your eyes for a moment and you could be in a swanky Swiss ski lodge. “My home, and the way I have designed and selected elements for the interiors, is highly personal and is a true reﬂection of my
personal quirks and eccentricities,” Diana says. “My favourite room is the lounge room. It is large and surrounded by all the things I love — timber, stone, glass, photos of my kids and a spectacular view of Lake Jindabyne and the mountains. In the morning I sit and watch the storms build up in the mountains and in the afternoon I watch the changing light show as the sun sets over the mountains.” The garden that surrounds Diana’s home is just as impressive. An orchard with a variety of fruit trees is towards the rear of the property, overlooking the lake. In close proximity is a formal garden complete with roses and the like, while the entry of the home features cool-
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climate plants and a ﬁshpond. The garden also features mature deciduous trees. “I moved here for the winters but actually I enjoy the summer and autumn more now,” Diana says. “Winter is business but the other seasons are when you catch up with friends and enjoy what the mountains have to offer. I love that I can see both the water and mountains from my house. They allow for a lot of soul searching.” Clockwise from left: A mixture of interior styles, the home is full of treasures; each room’s aesthetic has evolved
alongside Diana’s changing tastes; cute knick-knacks adorn the shelves; ﬂowers from the garden ﬁll the home.
â€œThe passionate people at Coomber Bros Jewellers made the process of designing and making an engagement ring a true pleasure.â€?
Inspired by ... 4
Take a page out of Diana McInnes’ book and embrace winter with cosy, cabinstyle decor. Think intimate ﬁreplaces, taupe faux furs and chic boots — they aren’t just made for walking. -----------compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN
9 10 1 Sabo reindeer faux fur cushion, $49.55, artisanti.com 2 Aspen table lamp, prices vary, beaconlighting.com.au 3 Habibib rug, prices vary, covethouse.eu 4 Shoemaker’s bookends, $88.70, pib-home.co.uk 5 Seattle leather trunk in vintage cigar, prices vary, schots.com.au 6 Brantley tan boots, prices vary, dianaferrari.com.au 7 Rue de Paris vintage monochrome wall clock, $265.30, artisanti.com 8 Sven armchair in charcoal, $799, thedesignedit.com.au 9 The Best Of Grand Designs Australia, $60, thedesignedit.com.au 10 Retro ski sign, $30.95, oakdenedesigns.com 11 Recycled glass bottle, $35.30, gardentrading.co.uk
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HUNTER GATHERER Deb and Scott McKay’s Adelaide home is the culmination of 25 years’ travelling and collecting. -----------------
by KIRSTY MCKENZIE, photography ROSS WILLIAMS, styling BRONTE CAMILLERI
hey say home is where the heart is. After decades of living and working all over the UK, Europe, the US and Asia, not to mention in four Australian cities, Deb and Scott McKay realised their hearts were in Adelaide. Deb and Scott grew up, if not as best friends, in each other’s orbit. Scott’s family lived in the remote Gawler Ranges at the top of the Eyre Peninsula and he came to live with his grandmother in Adelaide as a nine-yearold so he could go to school. Deb attended the same primary school and their families both holidayed at Robe on South Australia’s Limestone Coast. “We were reacquainted in
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high school when I was invited by girlfriends to a boarders’ social,” Deb explains. “But it wasn’t until after uni that we actually got together as a couple.” While Scott studied accountancy after school, Deb trained as a physical education teacher with a major in economics. “But I never taught a day,” she recalls. “Instead I was lucky enough to get a job with [Adelaide department store] John Martin’s as a fashion buyer. It was a wonderful job as I travelled several times a year to all the fashion shows in Europe, the UK and the US and then came home through Hong Kong, China or Taipei, where the garments were manufactured.”
While not unhappy in his work, Scott was looking for “something more”. So in 1990, two weeks after he and Deb were married, the couple headed to London. There Scott found what he was looking for in a position in Robert Holmes à Court’s empire, then after the entrepreneur’s sudden death, working with his wife, Janet, closing down the European arms of the business. The McKays’ ﬁrst son, Hamish, was born in 1992. Deb secured a part-time job with the House of Fraser, which had scores of stores across the UK. The young family started a tradition of weekend forays into the near country. “We would often just drive, not with any particular destination in
Clockwise from left: Brick walls, high ceilings and spacious rooms formed the design brief for Deb and Scottâ€™s suburban home; treasures from around the world fill the McKaysâ€™ Adelaide abode; Deb has an eye for decorative odds and ends.
mind,” Deb recalls. “We didn’t worry about getting lost, the whole point was a journey of discovery. I guess you could call it my buyer instincts coming into play because along the way we would ﬁnd interesting shops and buy art works and decorative odds and ends.” Having gone to England with one suitcase, the McKays returned to Australia with a shipping container full of these acquisitions. They moved ﬁrst to Brisbane, then Newcastle and Sydney. Along the way, Harriet was born in 1995 and Molly in 1997. Deb’s design instincts were never far from the surface, and the weekend journeys of discovery continued. “Scott thinks nothing of driving four hours to visit a gallery or a junk shop,” Deb says. “I think we both love the thrill of the chase. I’ve always loved gardening, sewing and decorating, so I was never idle. My mother was born in the ’30s and she grew up in a time when you made
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your own clothes, knitted and repaired things rather than throw them away, so I guess I inherited that from her. I love repurposing objects and I can always see the potential in utilitarian things that might have outlived their ﬁrst purpose in life. I look at an old copper for example and see it as a planter.” While living in Sydney Deb “accidentally” landed a buying job with department store Big W and, with three small children, found herself thrust back into the hurly-burly of fulltime work, with a hectic travelling schedule. “Scott was travelling too, so we had a live-in nanny and were extremely busy,” she recalls. “By the time we moved to Melbourne, again for Scott’s work, in 2001, I was desperate to have a garden and develop a home. The children, as always, created an instant network of friends so we had a wonderful time wherever we went.”
By pure coincidence the McKays ended up buying a house in a street where some old friends from Adelaide also lived. “We were sitting around after dinner one night,” Deb says. “Someone asked what we were doing during the summer holidays, and I said ‘going home to Adelaide’. In that moment I think we both realised that Adelaide was indeed home, so we put our house on the market and moved back. My mother and Scott’s parents aren’t getting any younger and it just seemed right to be able to spend more time with them.” Roll forward a decade and Deb says they are very happily ensconced back in Adelaide. With their second renovation under their belt and their youngest ﬁnishing high school, she adds that they feel more settled than they have in decades. Their current home in innersuburban Adelaide is both close to the city and the freeway that expedites those weekend
Clockwise from left: According to Deb, chic home decoration is not about having money, but a good eye for style; Debâ€™s love of collecting is evident throughout the home; a cosy living room.
Clockwise from left: Books serve more than one purpose in the stylish McKay home; the pair decided to renovate the home, rather than to demolish and build new; a bold bedroom; Scott and Deb feel right at home back in Adelaide.
shopping expeditions in the country. When they initially bought their current home they thought they might demolish and build new, but Deb’s repurposing instincts kicked into action and they ended up renovating. “We looked at what we wanted — double brick walls, high ceilings and big rooms — and realised that the house had potential,” she says. “It took a while to see it, but we ended up keeping the footprint, lifting the windows higher, and knocking out walls to make the rooms larger. The kitchen area, for instance, used to be ﬁve small rooms. When I ﬁrst came back to Adelaide, I thought I should add some actual qualiﬁcations to my passion for decorating, so I did a design course at TAFE. While a lot of the process is instinctive, it was great to learn to draw proper plans and manage the building process. I found supervising the whole renovation process very rewarding.”
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As word of Deb’s activities has spread, friends and friends of friends have asked her for help with their own houses, and in sourcing speciﬁc art works or items of furniture. Scott continues to work as a consultant, and full-time employment has once again “found” Deb in the form of a job at the Adelaide Hills homewares institution, Living by Design, formerly known as Balhannah by Design. The store’s owner, Mon Bowring, is famed for her distinctive eye and has recently branched out with sister stores in Port Elliot and Tanunda. “Mon is an amazingly talented individual,” Deb says. “I love watching how her brain works. I’ve been lucky along the way to have worked with some amazing, creatively talented people. Creating a home is not about having money. It’s about seeing potential and arranging things. Most of the time I rely on gut instinct to know what is right for a
particular space. I’m not frightened of giving anything a go and I don’t really have a line as to what I can’t do. And if I don’t have the necessary muscle for a task, Scott can usually help out with that.” As she reﬂects on their peripatetic journey, Deb adds that she wouldn’t change a thing. “We’ve had a ball everywhere we’ve been,” she says. “We’ve made great friends along the way and had some wonderful adventures. People say ‘what about the weather’, but in fact the weather shapes your lifestyle. In Melbourne or London, for instance, you can develop wonderful gardens and cook hearty meals. In Brisbane you make the most of outdoor living, and in Sydney and Newcastle there are fantastic beaches almost on the doorstep. But now we are home and, while I’d never say we won’t move again, it feels very right to be here at this stage. I guess we’re just really lucky.”
Established in 2011, Pure Country has grown into a fantastic local retail store supplying the surrounding urban and rural communities with their Country & Western clothing and accessories. Stocking brands such as Thomas Cook, Akubra, Wrangler, Pure Western, Outback, Bisley, Corfu, Orientique and more.
Shop 1/34 James Street Malanda QLD 4885 (07) 4096 6297 firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspired by ... 3
A frugal frug gal 193 1930sâ€™ upbringing inspired a love of o upcycling upcy that Deb McKay just canâ€™t shake. shake Invest in these key pieces to sta art you start your own eclectic collection. -------------compiled by ALICE GRIFFIN com FIN
1 Metal palm leaf wall decor, $74.60, audenza.com 2 Miss Gucci original painting, $613, theshopfloorproject.com 3 Bernard Chandley low-back stick chair, $1150, handkrafted.com.au 4 Haus Aspen herringbone throw in natural, $103.20, beaconlighting.com.au 5 Bailey bedhead, from $1250, heatherlydesign.com.au 6 Climbing Blocks sculpture, $140.35, artisanti.com 7 City House, Country House by John Walsh and Patrick Reynolds, $80, penguin.com.au 8 Bentley candle holder, $145.70, artisanti.com 9 Red lacquer tapered cabinet, $2123.30, orchidfurniture.co.uk
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Life in the saddle A love of horses has transformed an adventurous Queenslander’s life. -----------------
by TAMAR A SIMONEAU photography ANASTASIA K ARIOFYLLIDIS
ive life to the fullest … for most of us that’s a nice sentiment on a greeting card or a lofty goal set ambitiously at the outset of a new year. For Kate Pilcher, it’s the only way to be — it’s her reality. The mother of two is passionate about her family (husband Steven and girls Finn and Winifred), the bush, and horses. These are the centre of her universe, so there’s no room for the normal stresses of a nine-to-ﬁve office job, a bumper-to-bumper highway commute, or deadlines she doesn’t dictate. She’s living a life she loves on her lush 17-acre (seven-hectare) property on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
“We don’t have a television in our house and we spend a lot of time outside,” Kate says. “Every afternoon before or after dinner (depending on the time of year), we’re in the paddock … hanging out with the girls’ pony, Minty Magic. Finn is learning to jump on bareback at the moment, and from an early age Birdie (Winifred’s nickname) was nuts about riding and had epic tantrums if we didn’t allow her on Minty. We love being aware of our surroundings and nature, we’re always identifying birds, lizards, lady bugs.” However, there was a catalyst for this picture of rural bliss that Kate has created with
Steven and their two girls. It all began back in 2006, when she went on a horse riding safari in Kenya’s vast and captivating Maasai Mara reserve with her dad. “That had a profound impact on my life and I came home a little lost,” she recalls. “Before leaving for that life-changing safari, I had a thriving business, a mortgage, a dog and a lovely boyfriend, Steven. When I got home, I was completely unsettled.” Opposite: Kate’s life and business centre around a love of horses — an affection she and
Steven have passed on to their children. Above: Kate likes to ride every day.
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So unsettled, that she had to leave again soon afterwards. With Steven’s blessing, Kate set out on a nine-month journey to ﬁnd a cure for all that inner turbulence. “I travelled to Torres del Paine, Chile, and completed a ride,” she says. “Then I went on to work at a remote estancia (cattle ranch) in Patagonia, Argentina, where I learnt to break-in horses with the gauchos and literally dropped out from the world. It was a 100,000acre (40,468-hectare) estancia that can only be accessed via horse and it was absolute bliss. “After Argentina, I travelled on to Kenya, the country that took my breath away from that very ﬁrst riding safari. I worked with a riding company and was a back-up guide for six months. I learned to speak Swahili, and approach the wild things of Africa from the back of a horse. It was a charmed time. When
I eventually came home, I was very fortunate that Steven was waiting for me. For the entire time that I was away, I think I was only out of the saddle for three days. I literally jumped from one saddle to the next ﬁlling an insatiable appetite to ride and explore the world.” It became very clear to Kate that she needed to start a business that indulged her passion for riding, and her love of exotic lands. Her company, Globetrotting, ticks all the boxes, catering to travellers with similar interests who want to explore places such as Mongolia, Japan, Kenya and Brazil on horseback. Kate and Steven road-test every ride offered by Globetrotting to ensure they’re well run, and provide ﬁt and healthy steeds for their guests. Together they’ve experienced what others may only dream about, even after their ﬁrst child came along.
“When Steven and I decided to start a family, we didn’t want to change our travel habits,” she says. “I was determined, and a little naive to tell you the truth, that our life would go on as normal.” By and large it did. They even accompanied a group of guests back to that remote cattle ranch in Patagonia where Kate had spent time as a singleton. “Finn was in a baby carrier and slept on me the entire time, the gorgeous cherub,” she says. “I believe it was the movement of the horse that rocked her to sleep. I was given a Clockwise from opposite: The home’s interiors reflect the family’s love of travelling and penchant for the exotic;
Kate saddles up; no TV means plenty of family time for Kate and her clan; Kate’s horse-loving parents encouraged her love for the rural lifestyle.
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beautiful old, grey mare, who safely took us to the homestead under a night sky. I remember crossing the river before getting to the main homestead and thinking, ‘We’re some of the luckiest people alive’. I’m not going to sugar-coat it, it wasn’t easy travelling with a nine-monthold while looking after guests. Fortunately my amazing mother was there to help with Finn.” But they’ve had to draw in the reins on all that travel a little more since daughter number two came along in 2014. “We don’t accompany our globetrotters on every ride, we only lead guided trips once or twice a year,” Kate explains. “Most of the time we send guests independently.” And when she’s not up before the sun, booking guests to all corners of the earth on adventures of their lifetimes or soaking up every lesson the country life offers her
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young girls, Kate is in the saddle. She also loves a game of polo. For this season of her life, the speed and adrenalin feed her adventurous spirit in the place of constant world exploration. “There is this cute, privately-owned polo club in Maleny called Puddle Duck Farm,” she says. “It’s owned by a polo nut who offers his ﬁeld and horses in exchange for people to play with. I started here, which was a perfect platform to learn this tricky game … I love going fast and that’s exactly what polo is about. My club is at Gympie on the banks of the mighty Mary River. There are no airs and graces — there’s a long drop toilet and cattle graze in surrounding paddocks. Dad and I both play, and there are extra-special times when we’re on the same team and play together. We’re ﬁercely competitive though.”
Kate attributes her inbuilt connection with the rural lifestyle to her childhood spent growing up in the country with horse-loving parents. She and Steven are doing their best to pass on that same affinity with the land to their two girls. They’d love to add to their brood at some point, but for now, life is as full as Kate can will it. “Some weeks we’ll be sailing along and I feel as a tribe of four we can conquer the world,” she says. “Other times it can go pear-shaped. What I always know is that I love my life and I’m extremely fortunate.” Clockwise from above left: Pictures from Japan, Kenya and beyond speak of a life well-travelled; the 17-acre property in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast provides
an idyllic existence for the whole family; Kate juggles managing her travel company, Globetrotting, and looking after the kids with life on the land.
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With our spectacular coastline views and spacious accommodation, you will quickly ﬁnd yourself disentangled from the rigours of normal life. You may succumb to the power of the Norfolk’s Island’s ﬁnest views and sunsets, or choose to take on some fun and adventure with our snorkeling gear, stand up paddle-boards and more. A memorable holiday awaits you at Shearwater.
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138 Australian Country HOMES
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As this issue went to press winter was well and truly looming and our thoughts turned to heating in its many guises. Our service feature loo...
Published on Jun 14, 2018
As this issue went to press winter was well and truly looming and our thoughts turned to heating in its many guises. Our service feature loo...