Photography by Craig Wall

Hunter Valley House 

The objective for this weekender and its neighbouring guest cottage surrounded by the rainforest in the serene Hunter Valley was to inject a fresh new look without replacing all the internal elements.

Green and grey wall colours were selected to counteract the orange-hued timbers throughout and to connect the interior to its panoramic setting. Employing an economy of style, cabinets and pine furniture the family had owned for up to 30 years were painted and some given a contemporary feel with leather pull handles, whilst slip covers were made to refresh a well used living room sofa. The plan for the kitchen was mostly to calm it down, replacing the bright blue oven with a stainless-steel one, adding a new sink and painting the cupboards.

The fireplace in the main kitchen/living area was totally transformed from a mock corrugated iron shed to a sophisticated tiled focal point incorporating the firewood and television in a consolidated piece of joinery. A custom made, quarter sawn reclaimed timber mantel and bespoke fireplace flue compliment the tree trunk which soars (at 4.8 metres high) to the vaulted timber paneled ceiling in the living area.

The bathrooms are transported from a 1980’s idea of ‘country’ to slick modern spaces that have a grounded, non-precious feel. The combination of concrete, matt black tapering and svelte vanities and mirrors elevate these spaces.

Soft linen curtains used throughout and semi-transparent blinds in the kitchen and bathrooms provide protection from the harsh extremes of summer and winter, whilst a selection of Armadillo rugs and stunning textiles bestow the dwelling with heightened warmth.

See feature in Australian House & Garden magazine