Australian Country Homes

Australian Country Homes Issue 7

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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1 min
editor’s letter

As the British poet and critic Edith Sitwell observed, “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home.” And so welcome to our winter issue, in which we celebrate all there is to love about cosying up for the cooler weather and creating the perfect environment for staying snug. We’ve looked to a clutch of historic homesteads for inspiration, from Vacy Hall in Toowoomba and two fabulous stations in the South Australian mid-north to the magnificent residence in Moira near Deniliquin and a manor house in Inverell in north-west NSW. But we haven’t overlooked more modest dwellings that also provide design insights. We feature a townhouse in inner-city Melbourne with…

3 min

Swenrick Constructions builds wonderful country-style homes throughout Victoria. Plans can be customised to suit individual needs — the company works closely with its clients to ensure that their dream home becomes a reality. All homes are designed to a six-star energy-efficiency rating and built on-site on the land to the building program of the client’s choice, ranging from lock-up through to fully completed. The Savoire dining table, pictured here with Savoire and Hemingway chairs, is made by Gerard Lane Furniture and distributed in Australia by Le Forge. The range is hand-woven using traditional methods to create the essence of Parisian cafe style. Bring the courtyards of Paris into your backyard with Le Forge’s Chantilly hand-forged furniture settings. The range includes side tables, single and two-seater chairs with upholstery in a…

7 min
magnificent moira

There’s a sign in the kitchen at Moira station that reads: “Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Just take it and make it perfect,” which pretty much sums up the way Riverina Water drilling contractor Rex Watson and his events director wife, Kate Pitt, approach every aspect of life on their property. The land upon which Moira sits is significant in Australian geology, as the Cadell Fault — a seismic shift that began some 65,000 years ago and created a 12-15-metre-high rift that runs from Deniliquin to 13 kilometres south of Echuca — passes through the property. The upheaval had major impact on the course of the Murray and other major rivers and created the Moira and Barmah Lakes and the surrounding red gum forests that are now protected by the…

5 min
ode to africa

With the 20/20 vision of hindsight, Julie McIntosh says she became a safari operator out of “pure naivety”. The South African-born founder and director of Sydney-based The Classic Safari Company led a peripatetic childhood, joining her parents as they escaped the social strictures of apartheid to Brazil and the US, returning to South Africa for boarding school and finally studying business management at university in Brisbane in the ’80s. Her fate as a perennial adventure traveller was sealed when she spent a year as the president of an international business students group organising cultural-exchange programs. “Of course that involved a lot of travel and I followed that up with a year of backpacking,” Julie recalls. “It was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time when…

5 min
a passion for paint

Helen King answers the phone with a chirpy “French and Gorgeous” followed by a slight pause and a deep chuckle. “Actually, I’m neither,” she says. “But I wish I were.” As the creator of a destination homewares store by that name in the Sunshine Coast hinterland village of Cooroy, Helen is, however, responsible for introducing gorgeous French things to the homes of both locals and visitors. For the past decade, Helen has been building a business based around her flair for interior design, French provincial style, love of vintage pieces and antique furniture and passion for chalk paint, in particular the work of the English queen of the painted finish, Annie Sloan. In doing so, Helen is repeating a pattern established in her native England, where she started small and developed…

5 min
beacon of bounty

Aireys Inlet is a delightfully uncorrupted little seaside haven, which sits on one of Australia’s most iconic tourist attractions, the Great Ocean Road, 90 minutes west of Melbourne. The dominant landmark at Aireys Inlet is the Split Point Lighthouse, known locally as the White Queen. It still functions out on the point as a reminder of the days when shipwrecks were common and safety was not taken for granted. It also acts as an educator for coastal conservation. A guided tour to the top will have you looking down on the lighthouse keepers’ cottages, which sit closer to the cliffs at the base of the lighthouse. When the cottages came up for lease a couple of years ago, Anna Kelly’s family couldn’t get there quick enough. For Anna, Aireys Inlet is the…