Australian Homes

Andrew and Tiffany Percy and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 4th September 2013

The Mt Buller home of Andrew and Tiffany Percy and family. Living room details – custom plaid banquette seat, Studio Isle Crawford side table, custom plaid sofa, wool rug from Halcyon Lake, and Normann Copenhagen trolley. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking into the dining nook featuring more plaids! Blond ‘Swing Light’ pendant by Forrest for the Trees, miniature gondola chairlift hanging above dining table and the Percy kids’ skiing medals. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking through from the living room to the kitchen – Tolix copper stools with leather seat detail, Jardan Flynn table, the Cassina  Cab chair and miniature gondola chairlift in action! Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen details – Tolix copper stools with leather seat detail, and kitchen utensils. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

OK before anyone points out the slight disparity between today’s home, nestled on the snowy slopes of Mt Buller, and the deliciously warm springtime weather we’re enjoying in Melbourne right now, let it be known that we photographed this home just 11 days ago!  I knew it would be a bit of a stretch squeezing in a wintery story in early September, but I wasn’t quite prepared for it to be so delightfully summery in Melbourne this week!  AH well.  According to weather reports, the snow is still falling in Mt Buller as I type (and there are still 11 chairlifts open…!) so… please work with me, and imagine a snowy backdrop as you admire today’s wonderful wintery home!

This incredible house right in the heart of Mt Buller’s holiday village is home for at least four months of the year to the Percy family – that’s Andrew and Tiffany and their five ski-mad kids, Maddie (15 yrs), Alex (13 yrs), Oscar (11 yrs), Gus (9yrs), and Cooper (5 yrs)!  Until I met this lovely family and visited their beautiful home, I must admit I had no idea people actually lived up here for the whole ski season – but how lovely to set up a proper family home here, and really settle in for the winter!

The Percy family live at the snow from June through to September each year.  ‘Living on Mt Buller during the Winter months offers our family the opportunity to do what we love best – skiing and snowboarding’ says Tiffany. ‘Living in an alpine environment allows the kids to spend a fair amount of time in nature – very important for 4 active boys!’  Other added bonuses include never having to hop in the car after school to run them to a gazillion ‘after school’ activities!   ‘The snow community is lovely and there’s always something social on offer if you’re looking for it’ adds Tiffany.  ‘It also keeps us close to our kids… although some days are closer than others!’.

Tiffany and Andrew originally purchased their four bedroom alpine lodge five years ago, having previously spent their winters in a tiny apartment just around the corner, which they quickly outgrew.  They enlisted Melbourne design firm Hecker Guthrie to give the home an extensive interior makeover, working within the existing floorplan, set over 3 levels.

There’s something so romantic about designing an alpine home – what a dream project for the HG team!   A classic palette of crisp whites and greys, timber panelling and cosy woollen textures was decided upon.  Interior walls and original dark timber panelling was painted white to create a fresh look throughout, complimenting the snowy elements outside.  Layers of alpine inspired textiles (wools, plaids and leathers) were brought into the space to add warmth and texture.  ‘Although with the clients amazing eye, there were plenty of fun things to work with!’ says Simone from the Hecker Guthrie team, such as that amazing battered leather armchair, and the miniature gondola chair lift suspended from the ceiling!

Accommodating a family of seven in what is actually quite a modest living / dining area on the top floor required some clever spatial planning from the HG team. A custom bench seat was designed and built around a Jardan ‘Flynn’ table in the dining area, to accommodate the masses after a long day on the slopes.  An in-built window bench seat alongside the fireplace also provides much needed extra seating with not an inch to spare!

Aside from the design challenges of creating a functional, comfortable home for a busy family of seven, I was curious, too, about the logistics of this whole ‘living at the snow’ set up.  Turns out, it’s not exactly a holiday!  The Percy family take their snow sports very seriously, and with five energetic kids to wrangle, a tight schedule it maintained to keep everything running smoothly.  The kids train with the Mount Buller Race Club in the mornings (8.30 – 12.00), pop home for a quick lunch, and then head off to school in the afternoons from 1.00pm until 4.45pm. ‘They check out from their Melbourne schools during the Winter, but follow the same curriculum while at their Mt Buller school, so that the transition back in Term 4 is relatively smooth’ explains Tiffany.

Aside from giving their kids the most ridiculously fun, active winter and plenty of time to let off steam, for Tiffany and Andrew, relocating to Mt Buller every winter is really about keeping family close.  ‘Living here means exposing our family to a very unique way of living’ says Tiffany.  ‘Winter becomes a precious time that you get with your kids, without the outside world banging on your door’.  The close knit village community at Mt Buller also adds to the charm of this lifestyle.  ‘We live in a generous and supportive community of like-minded people’ says Tiffany. ‘People from all around the globe with interesting stories and lifestyles makes for a colourful community!

Huge thanks to Tiffany and Andrew for sharing their beautiful home and story with us today.  A unique lifestyle to aspire to!  Thanks, too, to Simone and the team at Hecker Guthrie for facilitating this story.  Eve and I were very lucky also to stay a night at the Altamont Lodge during this trip – so handy to stay right on the mountain so close to the action!  Big thanks to Christian at the Altamont for having us!

Close up detail of the dining nook – Blond ‘Swing Light’ pendant by Forrest for the Trees, and miniature gondola chairlift hanging above dining table. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room details – Vintage alpine photographs, Mark Tuckey eggcup stool, throw, and Halcyon Lake wool rug. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

More living room features – Vintage chair that was a legacy from the previous owner and is Andrew’s favourite chair, Boom Luminaires wall light, vintage alpine artwork, and Studio Isle Crawford side table. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom details – Vintage Aspen ski flags, Lean lamp from Great Dane furniture,and Jardan Olba marble top table. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking through from the master bedroom to ensuite – Agape basin with black powder coated tapware from Astra Walker, custom designed cabinet by Hecker Guthrie, Lean lamp from Great Dane Furniture, vintage aspen flags, and Jardan Olba marble top table. Hecker Guthrie added texture through lining the walls and designed custom joinery. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Blue skies on the slopes! (Just!) Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Mt Buller visitors decked out in snow gear and ready to go snowboarding! Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 4th September 2013


  • BM 3 years ago

    Wonderful. But the chairlift steals my heart.

  • Jane 3 years ago

    Great colours

  • Vic Pemberton 3 years ago

    dream home! i love the cold weather, i’d be happy to live at the snow all year round.

  • Jessamy 3 years ago

    Love the plaid

  • Elisha 3 years ago

    I love all the copper. Beautiful home – wish I was there right now.

  • Melissa de Campo 3 years ago

    An avalanche of 2013 alpine charm plus amazing styling once again by Simone Haag ! Love the choice of the rich leather cab chairs that are only going to look better after 10 years of family fun. Great investment furniture buying. Enjoy !

  • Jasmine 3 years ago

    Love the kitchen and the mini chairlift and I’m quite partial to all the lovely tartan too. What a way to live – 4 months on the slopes?! Gorgeous!

  • georgie 3 years ago

    oh lucy now I want mini chairlift gondolas hanging from my ceiling – wow what a fantastic experience for the family

  • Hannah 3 years ago

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the Boom Luminaires copper wall light! Would love to know who stocks these?

  • nadine 3 years ago

    cross promotions mucgh! …am beginning to wonder if lucy is on the HG payroll what about all the new up and coming designers out there!!

  • Simone Haag 3 years ago

    Thanks for your lovely comments! Hannah you can try Zumtobel Lighting for the Boom lights. Melissa – the thanks must to Hamish Guthrie & Lucy Bock for the design and Lucy from The Design Files for the styling. x

  • Lucy 3 years ago

    Thanks for all your lovely comments guys…! I love the little chairlift too!

    Nadine – I don’t think anyone can accuse us of not promoting new and up and coming designers. We’re always looking for homes to feature and we accept submissions from any designer – established or emerging! It just happens that we have built good relationships with a number of established local design firms, which certainly helps when you need to find a new home to photograph every week! However we are always on the hunt for homes of all kinds across Australia, and we always welcome a tip off!

    And just to confirm our consistent editorial policy – the only income TDF generates comes from the advertising clearly designated in the right hand column. NO one pays for a mention on TDF.

  • Nick 3 years ago

    Great House! i have to admit I am relieved to hear that the owners enlisted the help of professional interior designers, i hate feeling like i should be able to do something like this alone! Thx for the look inside.

  • Anna 3 years ago

    One of the best home features for some time. I love that this home (for only four months a year!) is so warm and textural yet simple and functional. An interesting home. Thanks!

  • Paula 3 years ago

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Alex Townsend 3 years ago

    A really handsome home!

  • Leah Bridge 3 years ago

    Oh my gosh that chair lift! It’s such a deliciously warm home with such character and my favourite part.. it’s REAL and DOABLE. Fab post! x

  • sunshine & daydreams 3 years ago

    Beautiful house, but it is their lifestyle I’m most envious of. They are 5 very lucky kids!

  • harriet 3 years ago

    love all the grey & check fabric. And the kitchen cabinets!

  • Suzy Tuxen 3 years ago

    Go Hecker Guthrie! This is a beautiful alpine job. Great to see how this family splits their time at the snow, too.

  • Natalie 3 years ago

    What a magical home!! and those copper Tolix stools! Amazing, thank you as always for sharing.

  • Kim de Kretser 3 years ago

    Wow dream home … Dream life … Think ‘Spring Skiing’ Lucy, blue skies and white snow, perfect post this week! !

  • Love all the features – even more so the copper wall light. A lovely touch!

  • Bridget 3 years ago

    Simone, can you tell us where to find Tolix copper stools with leather seat? Lovely job.

  • Nelly 3 years ago

    Can we see the summer beach house too! Lifestyle envy!!

  • Cass 3 years ago

    Hi, sorry it’s a little late after this post – what a lovely home – is there a way to find out what ( grey/grid) fabric is on the sofa? Thanks!

  • Usually, the neutrality of the color choices would suggest a bachelor lived in this place. But, the strategic placements of little knick-knacks like toys suspended from the ceiling and the kitchen looking so organized defies this assumption. This is a beautiful home with a very laid back feel.

  • John 3 years ago

    Wonderful job Lucy and a fantastic home. If possible I’d love to know more about the sofa also. Many thanks.

  • katie 3 years ago

    Love this house and I am keen to know what tartan that is on the corner seat in the dining bit, it is exactly what i am looking for for blinds in my study/music room.
    thanks, katie

  • Polli 3 years ago

    Snow cabin Kewl!

  • Jodi Coyle 3 years ago

    Gorgeous home. Love the flooring – couldn’t see anywhere where it’s mentioned what they used? Unless I’ve missed it.

  • Adam D'Arcy 2 years ago

    Hi There, absolutley love the kitchen, where could ‘i find those exact tolix stools?

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