The sweet Heathcote weekender of Paula Kilpatrick and Antony Elliott – bedroom detail. Treasured Tara Badcock embroidered rosette on the wall. Chair from Kabinett Vintage in Kyneton. Though very practical for the chilly winter nights, the ugg boots are ‘strictly farm use only’ says Paula! ‘Antony is not a fan of the ugg boots and I worry the sheep find them confronting….ba ha ha!’ Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Master bedroom. Wallpaper – the Catherine Martin range from Porters Paints, casually stuck to the wall rather than permanently attached! Bed linen by Shannon Fricke. Gilded tin light fitting on bedside table is from Izzi and Popo. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Cosy living room with no shortage of reading material! ‘We made the bookshelves from ladders found at Market Import, and long shelves’ says Paula. ‘As well as books they house many precious bits and pieces – old button tins, my grandfathers clock and a special collection of naughty little boy figurines bought back from China’. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Paula’s ‘very squishy and energy zapping’ red velvet couch! ‘It’s very easy to lose a day over winter reading a book, drinking tea and lying around here snoozing’ she explains. Dachshund photograph by Kathryn McCool. Vintage bird sketches previously belonged to Antony’s parents. Rugs from Dhoku at the grand bazaar in Istanbul. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Today’s sweet little weekender in Heathcote is a hidden gem, tucked off the beaten track in Victoria’s picturesque Macedon Ranges region, around 90 minutes from Melbourne. Affectionately known as ‘Tuppenny Farm’, this quaint little cottage and surrounding property belongs to landscape designer Paula Kilpatrick and her partner Antony Elliot, and their sweet little newborn bub Nellie Elliot, who arrived just a few weeks after we photographed this story, on Novembr 27th! (CONGRATS guys!).
Paula and Antony have been here two years ‘part time’ – they live in Richmond during the week, and spend every weekend they can at the farm. They share the property with a menagerie of four-legged friends – Nelson the poodle, Suzi and Lennie the miniature dachshunds, Willow, Jess, Ruffy and Rolly the miniature goats, a few sheep, and George and Dash the security guard alpacas!
What is most endearing about this sweet country home is the genuine spirit of ‘make do and mend’ at play here. Paula has delighted in sourcing much of what you see from salvage yards and ebay – everything from doors to bathroom fixtures to the kitchen sink has been salvaged in some way. Cosmetic improvements have been undertaken in a charmingly ad-hoc way – ‘the first weekend we had possession of the house we ripped out the existing kitchen, so there was no turning back!’ says Paula. ‘All the walls remain in the same location, however no surface remains untouched by the paint brush!’ (And that includes the floor!).
Paula and Antony worked with a local builder, Andrew Evely Homes based in Bendigo, who assisted with a few tasks too big for the pair to manage themselves, such as installing second hand French doors in the living space and bedroom, updating the bathroom and building the back deck. ‘Pretty much everything else Antony did!’ says Paula. ‘We would return to work every Monday morning in pain and in desperate need of a physio from ripping up layers of Lino and carpet, and removing nails individually.’
For Paula, who works in Melbourne’s CBD during the week, Tuppenny Farm presents a welcome escape from busy city life. ‘As a friend recently said, it is a grown-up’s cubby house’ she says. ‘It’s a bit cosy grandma-ish with tablecloths, cups of tea and we tend to eat lots of scones. We love being here with friends and cooking up a storm, drinking fabulous local wine. It is very low fi, so no tv and phone, and internet reception can be sketchy’. With no distractions and nothing but birdsong to interrupt your train of thought, there is certainly a distinct sense of calm here. ‘I just love sitting outside with all the space and blue sky’ says Paula. ‘I also love seeing our urban dogs get their country dog on – bounding around after rabbits and swimming in the creek behind the house!’
HUGE THANKS to Paul and Antony for sharing there home with us today! I should also mention that when not in use, Paula has made Tuppenny Farm available for short term rentals through Air bnb!