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Australian Country Homes

Australian Country Homes Issue 12

Australian Country Homes celebrates the warmth of the country aesthetic. We open the doors to some of Australia’s most interesting homes and see the enviable everyday lives of those who have made the move to a calmer, more welcoming and personally enriched way of living. Brought to you by Australian Country magazine, this new quarterly publication showcases the best of Australian country residences; from the weekender to the station homestead, the farmhouse to the historical home. Australian Country Homes covers the length and breadth of Australia. In every edition of Australian Country Homes you will see inspiring ideas from real Aussies on real budgets just getting out there and creating wonderfully warm environments. You will also experience rare glimpses into the families and businesses behind some of Australia’s most desirable lifestyles. Tour the styles, the plans, and the self-made touches that create a welcoming country home.

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4 Issues

in this issue

1 min
from the editor

Dear readers, As I write this letter, there’s so much going on in the world. It’s a time of protests and poor health. We’ve been through fires and disease and civil unrest, and we’re only just more than halfway through the year. The jokes about building an ark because, surely, a flood must be next are starting to wear thin as we all feel a little uneasy. But in times of challenge, there are also tales of beauty and hope. New growth is slowly sprouting on the blackened trunks of trees. We’re shopping locally to support independent businesses run by truly talented individuals. And, hopefully, more of us will soon stand together regardless of the colour of our skin. The homeowners in this publication have all undergone change, too. The renovations or…

5 min
seasonal progress

Every metre of the towering bunya pines that stand stoic at the edge of this beautiful property has seen a story. Saplings might tell of the flurry of activity back in 1888 as a four-bedroom cottage rose from the red soil. Young trees reaching skyward in an avenue of fellow pines might recall the ones that didn’t survive the decades of frost and thaw. Those that have matured as the thick-trunked guardians of this old street have silently stood witness to it all — the countless families come and gone, and the home that has grown and changed along the way. The trees were planted by Bunya Park’s original owner, prominent local timber-milling pioneer Duncan Munro, who built the house as a second home for his family of 12 in the…

4 min
riverside retreat

When it comes to real estate, there are many ways to evaluate a property. Commercial real estate is judged by exposure, position and vibe — the industrial cousins to suitability and space. But when it comes to homes, architecture and interior and landscape design are what matters. Tick all these boxes and you have a property that hits the mark. Lesley Robertson’s house, located in Mudgee, New South Wales, is such a place, built on three-quarters of an acre not far from the hustle and bustle of the township. Designed by Sydney-based Richard Mann from BHI Architects, it’s perched on a gently sloping block on the banks of the Cudgegong River. “I had been widowed since 2001 and had been running Thistle Hill vineyard and winery on my own for seven years,…

6 min
lavish attention

You can usually trust your nearest and dearest to tell it like it is. So when artist and stylist Peach Panfili was told by her son that the house she had just bought was a “complete dump”, she knew there was an element of truth to his assessment. But through the pub carpet and worn lino, light bulbs hanging directly from the sockets, unlined ceilings and mission-brown paint, Peach could see that the low-slung timber cottage had potential. She then went about realising it. “One end of the house was built in 1892 as the manager’s cottage for an orchard,” Peach says. “Then in the 1970s, an owner got matching timbers and extended the house, reorienting it to face north in the process. When I came along, it had been a…

4 min
naturally gifted

For most of the year, Jim and Rachael McFadyen’s home is the most peaceful place on earth. Perched on top of a cliff on World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, their low-slung bungalow looks out to an endless vista of the Pacific Ocean. Apart from approaching showers and the occasional storm, there’s nothing between them and the next landfall, some 11,000 kilometres away in Chile, South America. But for four months of the year, this peace is shattered as a colony of sooty terns takes up residence and the family’s front yard becomes a nursery for the thousands of birds that nest there. Jim and Rachael’s children, Hayley, Zoe and Max, are well versed in the habits of their noisy visitors, one of 14 species of seabirds that nest on Lord…

5 min
the white house

Vintage aficionado Sandy Palmer and her husband, Tim, a greenkeeper, bought a dual-home property in picturesque Bonogin, in the Gold Coast hinterland. The homes sit on half a hectare of land with no fences or other divisions between them. The Palmers live in one home with their two children, Paige and Jordon, while Sandy’s sister and her husband live in the other. “It’s so nice having them right here and it’s especially great as they sometimes help us out with the kids when we’re working,” says Sandy, the owner of Paint Me White, a business that specialises in restoring old furniture. Sandy and her family moved into a fairly standard four-bedroom, brick-veneer home. However, when they bought it, most of the internal walls were chocolate brown and the benchtops and carpets…