When I first saw a few pics of Luke Mortimer’s stunning new home in Chewton, just outside of Castlemaine in regional Victoria, it was a definitely a ‘HOLD EVERYTHING’ moment. Followed by an immediate email something along the lines of ‘LUKE! I will come to Castlemaine and shoot your house NEXT WEEK if you let me blog it!’ Ha ha. Lucky for us, Luke graciously agreed to my demands (!!)… and I must say this has got to be one of my favourite Australian homes!
Though originally based in Melbourne (where he works as a stylist and visual merchandiser for Country Road), Luke was inspired to build his dream home in Chewton ‘to escape the city, and get back to basics – with a few modern luxuries of course!’. He says also he just couldn’t afford to build the home he really wanted to in the city, so, with a relatively easy commute on the train, he decided to make the move to regional Victoria.
Luke found the block in Chewton on a drive out one day (with his Mum!) after missing out on another dream block. ‘The trees were covered in blossom, and the sky was blue and the ground was soft and mushy…..’ he says… ‘it was love at first sight… or second site, as it were!’ Luke purchased the block in December 2009, and after many delays (ain’t it always the way?), building commenced in August 2010. The build took just over 6 months – finishing in March this year. Luke has documented the build process in brilliant detail on his excellent blog – well worth a voyeuristic stick beak!
When considering the design of his home, Luke says he really wanted to build a house that would sit comfortably in the existing landscape and not feel out of place. ‘I wanted something nostalgic and modern at the same time – the house was designed to feel like an old Victorian weatherboard’ Luke says. But the charm of this home isn’t limited only to the impressive architecture – Luke’s expert styling and attention to detail is what makes this space truly special. What is particularly impressive, is that this generous two bedroom, two bathroom house has been almost completely furnished with hard rubbish finds, op shop bargains and eBay scores (oh, and a fair bit of Country Road bedlinen!). Luke has spent the best part of two years relentlessly salvaging vintage finds and fossicking through op shops and online auctions to furnish his home. Some would call it an obsession! Even the bathroom basins and bath were vintage finds – picked up for a steal. Luke says this is one of his favourite aspects of the home – ‘it gives me a huge sense of satisfaction to know that there are so many recycled pieces in the house.’
Luke divides his time between this country property and a rented apartment he shares with his partner in Melbourne. For this reason, Luke has decided to lease out his property sporadically for short stay holiday accommodation! It is SUCH a special space, in such beautiful surrounds (and of course styled to perfection by Luke) – I highly recommend a stay here! You can view all holiday rental info over here!
ON THAT NOTE, Luke has an insanely exciting giveaway for you guys! To launch his stunning contemporary farmhouse as a weekend getaway destination, Luke has generously offered a 2-night stay (either mid week or weekend) at his property, for up to 4 people, valid for the next 12 months. OMG !!!! To enter, simply leave your a comment on this post before 10.00pm Melbourne time tonight (Wed Sept 7th). A winner will be drawn at random and contacted by email tomorrow!
*Update – Huge thanks to everyone for all your incredible comments! Luke was very chuffed. A winner has now been drawn at random – the lucky number was #42 – congratulations Rob! Thanks so much everyone who entered!
Massive thanks to Luke for sharing his home with us (in more ways than one!), and for his incredible hospitality, which included the most delectable homemade lunch when we visited! Also special thanks to Natalie Turnbull for assisting me on this shoot.