You knew I wouldn’t be able to stay away didn’t you? I just had to share one more property from The Houses Daylesford. St. Etienne is a Federation style home built in 1912 but with a minimalist, contemporary style surrounded by a woodland garden. It’s just a short stroll from Lake Daylesford and the centre of the township. Now we have a choice. Cosy fires in the country or a chance to escape the winter chill and soak up the sun in Byron Bay. Hmmmmm. Decisions. Decisions.
Two days ago I had us all running away to the spa region of Victoria. We were renting houses and indulging (or should that be overindulging) in the local delights. Today nothing much has changed except the location. We’re off to the coastal wonderland that is Byron Bay in northern New South Wales and I’m not sure about you but I’m staying at one of the Byron Beach Abodes. The Chapel in fact. 100-year old exposed bricks, timber beams, concrete floors and raw steel staircase. A mix of old and new furnishings, vaulted ceiling and dramatic draped curtains, hand-woven carpets and fine linens. Tempting enough?
In case you’d like something a little more intimate, a little less rambling for our virtual getaway in Victoria’s spa region we can always stay at L’Papillon, another fabulous property in the The Houses Daylesford portfolio. This stylish renovated 1890’s cottage is located in a quiet street just a short walk from the main street of the town of Daylesford. It has a warm, moody feel with beautiful detail and at two bedrooms is perfect for 4, 6 at a pinch if we use the fold out beds in the library.
Imagine a collection of houses in the Victorian spa region, each as stylish and beautiful as the next. Imagine that you can rent them out for a fabulous getaway whether there are just two of you or 24. I’m in. Are you? Time for a virtual house party. Today I’m sharing two of my favourites from The Houses Daylesford, The Oxford a historic 12 bedroom, 5 and a half bathroom home in the Hepburn Springs area with a stunning family lounge and spacious dining room seating 24. Think eclectic design with fab paintings and a touch of quirkiness (you may be sleeping with Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Ned Kelly). Large, luxurious and fun.
Thank you to Dragana for sharing this special place she has created with us. Here is the story of her newly opened Mystic River Hostel.
After a decade of having worked in tourism, we wished to create something we thought our town was missing – a cheap and comfortable hostel, in the most beautiful part of Western Serbia, close to countless natural riches where the guests can hang out, relax and enjoy a great design, a vast garden and valuable green space. We owned a family house which had remained in poor condition for years, and it had had a great potential to become exactly what we imagined it could be.
Just before the start of renovation, I visited a local storage facility where furniture is sold from old, closed firms. I bought metal lockets, and a bunch of stuff I didn’t know what I would use it for, but the stuff that appealed to me at sight. Those were metal drawers, various wood storage chests, boxes, old chairs, armchairs etc. I brought even older furniture to an already very aged place, plus a couple of pieces of family furniture with which I did not know what to do at home, and it was sad for me to just throw it away. At first glance, everything seemed like an impossible task.
I employed local craftsmen, and began work on adapting the furniture, and renovating the entire place. The spacing was already very good, but we just had to add one bathroom and one toilet, as well as to open bigger windows and a door to the garden. Old wood floors were kept and renovated, and everything else was completely adapted. From the furniture we created numerous combinations, wood boxes, we cut it, added metal legs to it, we made benches, desks, a bar, a reception desk… We upholstered and painted. The lockets were scraped and painted, and the walls were peeled to the last brick. The space was additionally complemented with murals, yellow roses and a local monument – the house on Drina river.
Chandeliers and lighting as well as a new kitchen were also a work of local craftsmen. Not one piece of furniture or decorations was bought as literally every piece was either created or adapted. At the same time we also worked on the garden. We made pallet furniture set on the groundwork consisting of railway ground sill. The garden had already been full of greenery, flowers and fruits, but we also added stuff there for better lighting.
The end result was a space of four rooms and twenty three beds, two bathrooms, four toilets and a shared room connected to the garden which has a lot of room for sitting, hanging out, cooking and our guests absolutely adore it.