OK, I understand
How EXCITING we are right back into brand new Australian Homes! It's been too long :)
What better way to kick things off than with this stunning country retreat in Merricks, on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula!? Swooooon. Can you imagine a more perfectly warm, welcoming, relaxed and understated home?!
This three bedroom home was purchased by Stewart Russell and family five years ago, after spending many weekends on the Mornington Peninsula beaches, from Point Leo to Cape Schanck. Stewart and family were really keen to find a base here, and looked for a long time, before eventually spotting a 'For Sale' sign! Stewart got chatting to the owner (he's good at making friends!), who had originally planned to sell the acre and a half property as three separate lots. They talked him 'round, and bought all three!
Since then Stewart and partner Donna have applied a somewhat 'reductionist' approach to renovating their little beachside cottage. 'It was more about stripping back the elements than adding to it' says Stewart - they removed exterior cladding to expose the original weatherboards, pulled up lino to reveal stunning Tasmanian Oak floorboards (in perfect condition!) beneath, and uncovered an original fireplace and mantle in the kitchen. They've filled the home with vintage finds, antique furniture, and of course a healthy dose of Spacecraft artwork, furniture and textiles! (Stewart and Donna both head up Spacecraft Australia - Melbourne's much-loved screenprinting design house). They're currently in the process of building a deck / pergola on the back of the house, but other than that, The home remains largely un-tampered with - and that's just the way they like it.
For Stewart, Donna and kids Grace (13) and Flora (7), The Merricks home provides a sanctuary from busy life in the city (the family live in North Fitzroy during the week.). They spend at least two weekends a month here, and more on school holidays. Stewart loves the area - he says it's not as busy as Sorrento or Merricks Beach... Merricks itself is still a stone's throw from the beach, but just a little quieter being slightly off the tourist track.
Huge thanks to Stewart and family for sharing their beachside hideaway with us! Thanks also to Courtney at Spacecraft for hooking me up with Stewart on the phone at 5.30pm YESTERDAY to ask a few more questions (man I'm so organised!), and to the very lovely John Laurie for these beautiful photos.