May 3

More house hunting


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Or maybe I should say house dreaming…I love this one for two main reasons: First, the elevation! Having different levels and outlooks in a house is something I dream of, and I have a major weakness for any house on the high side of the street with steps leading up the entry. But aside from the elevation, this house has a very pretty face, and I like that it’s partly obscured by trees.

And here is reason number two: this fabulous room with the timber-lined pitched ceiling, dormer and circular windows, and french doors leading to the garden. If I had the chance to build only one room onto an existing house of mine, it would be a little something like this.

You can see the french doors are actually on both sides of this room, and yet it doesn’t look as though it lacks privacy. I like the central fireplace flanked by bookshelves. But the beauty of this room is the ceiling line and those upper windows facing the trees. Can you imagine this same room but with a flat ceiling? Not remotely as nice.

In the main bedroom the balcony and view across the treetops is amazing and must be wonderful for the lucky person who sleeps here!

I really like changes in levels in a house, and here the steps define the dining area which opens onto the large terrace. Wouldn’t this be a great house in summer, with those doors all open leading to the pool?

The white-painted pergola across the back areas of the house (which is actually the North-facing side of the house) really adds something beautiful doesn’t it? Even though there don’t seem to be any plants growing over it, and it doesn’t provide any shade, I think it smooths the transition from the house to the garden so that it works better overall.

This is such a great entertainer’s yard but also so great for kids. With that said, yes, I do see a very unobtrusive glass fence around the pool!

And, of course, the essential floorplan:

Have a great weekend,

Naomi xx

Apr 18

A dream house on the water


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In my seemingly endless search for a new home and project I came across this amazing property on the Mornington Peninsula. For those who don’t know Melbourne, this house is on the bay, facing back towards the city. I know the term ‘Hamptons’ tends to be overused and means different things to different people, but to me a ‘Hamptons’ style house will always have an abundance of white-painted timber work, and this is one of the highlights of this house. And check out the view!

What’s not to love about this kitchen? The wide-planked timber floors, the marble benchtops and endless views across the water.

In the entry foyer the timber mouldings and chandelier give a sense of formality, but the large panes of glass framing the doorway and the pocket sliding doors into the adjoining rooms are both more contemporary. Doesn’t that pooch make the whole shot feel more casual and homely?

This deck is one of my favourite things in the house- imagine having your evening drink out here every night! But it’s not just the view that gets me, it’s the woodwork and the timber-lined ceiling.

Another look at the fabulous kitchen, with its simple shaker-style doors and nickel drawer pulls.

I love wooden floors in bathrooms- a lot of people are afraid of them and worry they will get damaged by the water, but actually if sealed properly they work fine, and they lend some real continuity to this house.

What lucky children to have views like this from their bedrooms! Love the corner windows and window seats to capitalise on that outlook, rather than a conventional window centred on the side walls.

Does anyone know what the commute to the city is like from the Mornington Peninsula? It does look like a dream lifestyle but I admit I don’t know that area well.

Have a great Thursday,

Naomi xx

May 7

Weekend Happenings and a Dream Destination


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As has become my usual practice over the past few months, part of Saturday was devoted to looking at properties. I’m looking at all options these days- houses near the school, apartments in the city, potential investment units and of course, land and houses in various lovely country destinations outside Melbourne. I guess I’m not quite sure what our next move will be, but the country property is the one that actually excites me.

 

My 7 year-old son and I visited a large but quite depressingly run-down house a few suburbs further out from the city – it has the right space but was so uninspiring, and so far from the trees and character that I dream of (no pics posted here but trust me, it was not an option!). After that I decided to take a look at the slightly more rural properties close to my sister’s place, which I posted about last week. And what do you know? I found my dream weekender (or maybe even permanent house!):

 

It had everything: English-style stone construction (my dream), trees, privacy, the circular gravel driveway, space, and was even within budget. There’s a lot that I’d change about the interiors, but I love the L-shaped layout with a deck in between and kids’ rooms upstairs, and it had a good feel about it, you know?

 

I immediately fell in love and rang the agent and starting planning what furniture I’d need to furnish it. Sadly, when I heard back this morning, the house has already sold. I know I should stop getting so attached to properties, and I’m trying to tell myself that it just wasn’t meant to be, but I can’t help but kick myself that I didn’t look in this area sooner! I would have snapped this beautiful cottage up so fast!

 

So, once again it’s back to the drawing board. To cheer myself up last night I got out some of my ‘inspiration files’ and starting looking through old clippings. I came across a room I had cut out of a magazine a few years ago:

This room (above) had always inspired me. Whenever I looked at it I imagined finding a little weekend cottage somewhere, using the front rooms for bedrooms, then adding on one big room just like this. The central area under the peaked ceiling would be the living area, and the ‘wings’ off to the sides would house the dining areas and kitchen. I love the idea of walking down a hallway into a big open room and everything being relatively symmetrical – you’d walk in and face a sofa table, with the sofa on the other side facing a central fireplace, and armchairs on both sides.

 

Anyway, when I read the fine print on the clipping I discovered the room comes from Huka Lodge in New Zealand – so I looked it up, and Wow! What a beautiful place:

To me this place is that perfect blend of Hamptons style (especially the iron lantern lights and the pitched ceilings with white beams), Ralph Lauren (classic style, dark enveloping colours), and English country house (fireplaces, antlers on the wall, warmth and comfort). And it’s not just the interiors that I’ve fallen in love with; take a look at the exterior and gardens:

New Zealand is such a beautiful place! And what a great place to celebrate a wedding anniversary! (Husband please take note)

It cheered me up no end :)

Naomi xx

 

Apr 24

A Gothic country property


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On the weekend my parents-in-law and I went to take a look at a beautiful old house that has come up for sale in the area outside Melbourne that we are hoping to buy in. When I’d seen it on the internet it seemed to tick all the boxes; a reasonably large block of land (4000 sq metres) for a residential area, loads of character, and beautiful established trees.

On arrival it has these beautiful iron gates and an impressive view through them up to the house. Doesn’t it look beautiful? Even the weather suited the house – all dark and rainy and gloomy – my absolute favourite kind of day.

The garden was full of mature English trees, with lots of gorgeous autumnal colour – reds, oranges and yellows. Can you see the twisted brick chimneys on the house?

And lovely views of the garden through all of the windows. I didn’t take any interiors photos simply because of the number of people at the inspection. The property must be some sort of local landmark because it seemed half of country Victoria was there taking a look!

Unfortunately this house didn’t tick the boxes for me. Though beautiful, the property is surrounded by modern new-builds, and I dream of not having any close neighbours. It also needed more work than we would realistically be prepared to take on, including lots of rising damp. But the main problem for me was it just didn’t give me ‘that feeling’; I felt no connection with the spaces and couldn’t really imagine spending time there.

My dream country house would have one large communal living space (this house didn’t have that):

via velvet and linen

I particularly love this double-height barn-like living space filled with comfy sofas, books, paintings and antiques.

Room for lots of books:

via cote de texas

Lots of relaxed, cosy corners:

And scope to use some dark greys and blues, maybe even black for walls:

And you know I’m a sucker for that traditional, masculine, ultra-warm and cosy den-like look (here it’s Ralph Lauren’s country library):

So, my happy search continues.

Have a great day,

Naomi x

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