I went for a little daytrip to Kyneton recently and I must say although it is teeny tiny there are some seriously gorgeous places and talented people squirrelled away up there! Quite a few creative Melburnians seems to be moving out this way in search of a tree change and more relaxed way of life – I think they might be on to something! If you’re in Melbourne, I definitely recommend a little daytrip… only an hour and a half from the city, it really does feel a million miles away.
One clever Kyneton local is Vanessa Partridge, who left a career in PR in Melbourne to move here four years ago, and has since established her wonderful floristry business, Prunella, with business partner Caris Haughan. Vanessa lives in this beautiful Victorian farmhouse with her new husband (of two weeks! – congrats!) Richard, their two cats Oscar and Little Kitty.
The move to Kyneton wasn’t such a big decision for Vanessa and Richard. Whilst living in St Kilda, the pair visited Kyneton one weekend to meet friends for lunch at much-loved local eatery Annie Smithers, and the seed was sown. ‘We thought Kyneton was a wonderful town – our home was the very first house we looked at!’ recalls Vanessa.
After falling in love with their pretty weatherboard at first sight (and ignoring the warnings of their ‘sensible’ parents!), the pair soon discovered a few surprises in the weeks after moving in. ‘The white washed floors were painted around the furniture, kitchen cupboard doors swung precariously from their hinges and the rangehood circulated cooking odours back into the kitchen’ recalls Vanessa. Architraves needed replacing, the bathroom tiling was only half finished, and house also needed completely re-wiring. This in addition to particularly unfortunate interior colour treatment that required immediate attention – pistachio green and rose pink, with ‘country’ stencils lining the walls in each room!
After a minor clean-up and paint job, Vanessa and Richard approached their friend, talented interior designer Chelsea Hing, and a major renovation was planned. ‘Chelsea helped us work out how we could best utilise the space – we had a good idea of what we wanted to do, but she really helped us by looking at ideas we hadn’t considered and ensuring everything we did was functional’ says Vanessa.
All in all, the kitchen was moved, walls were knocked out to open up the space and centralise the fireplace in the main living area, and Chelsea also designed a few genius storage solutions for the kitchen and pantry space. During the build, Vanessa and Richard threw a spanner in the works by falling in love with a stunning bath from amazing local company Boyd Alternatives. I must admit it is SERIOUSLY beautiful! Of course, it didn’t fit into the bathroom, so it was decided this would need to go into the bedroom, to take advantage of the lovely view out the bay window. GENIUS! Of course it’s now become a major focal point of the house.
Favourite features of the home for Vanessa include that incredible bath, plus artworks from many dear friends – talented artists including Miranda Skoczek, Peter Cole, Helen Cole, Oliver Cole, Lucy James, John Lloyd, Tony Flint. Vanessa is also very fond of ‘Fritz the deer’ and ‘Jeff the goose’, who she met at excellent Kyneton vintage store Kabinett!
But whilst it certainly is pretty as a picture, it’s not just the sweet styling that makes this home special – Vanessa says it’s the ‘feeling’ of this home that she was first drawn to, and that she still loves the most. ‘Our home feels warm and friendly like a hug, and now we have a kitchen, the smell of Richard making something yummy for dinner in his new kitchen is my favourite thing!’ Awww. So romantic. Newly-weds. Love it! :)
If you love Vanessa’s home you will most certainly also love her beautiful shop Prunella on Piper st, Kyneton. I will feature this and a few other Kyneton shops here very soon! In the meantime do pop by and visit the Prunella website. In addition to their floral creations and styling services, Vanessa and Caris run fabulous seasonal events and floral workshops – make sure you signup to the mailing list to stay in the loop!
Massive thanks to Vanessa for sharing her beautiful home with us today, Chelsea Hing and Anne-Claire at CHDC for the tip off and for supplying many of these photographs, and Marni Kornhauser for her assistance during the shoot.