The Schiavello family purchased this impressive property in Central Victoria in 2006, and undertook significant renovations in 2010.
Originally designed by the office of Walter Burley Griffin and built in 1926, the home is a sprawling Victorian homestead, flanked by the truly cinematic scenery! Four years after purchasing the property, Peter and Natalie were keen to update the home, and so carried out sympathetic renovations. The kitchen and living area were updated, as well as the dining area. It was of utmost importance to the family to respect the existing structure, and be informed by the original features throughout the new extension.
New windows, joinery and red brick fireplaces were treated with the same colour palette as the original building, utilising materials consistent with the original home. Tasmanian Oak floorboards and ornamental wall and ceiling features were also modelled on the original homestead. A new extension, including a modernised kitchen with marble and stainless steel details were added.
The new extension was modelled on the existing home, with A-frame ceilings and dramatic windows drawing the eye out to the rolling hills, vineyard and Mt. Concord beyond. ‘The vineyard and gardens was an important feature, allowing us to feel connected with the outdoors whenever we are inside,’ says Bonnie, Peter’s daughter-in-law. The original wrap-around veranda was reinstated, and continued through the new extension, with the addition of in an outdoor fireplace for cooler nights in winter. The family’s passion for great food and wine also inspired the addition of an underground, naturally cooled wine cellar beneath the property!
At the heart of the home sits an extendable dining table, made from solid oak, which, when extended, sits 26 people! This table was designed by Peter to accommodate the generous family dinners often hosted here – a glass of wine and homemade pasta is a popular occurrence (And our crew were extended this same generosity on shoot day, too!).
The property also includes a functioning vineyard, Gioiello Estate, which recognises the past generations of the Schiavello family who worked a property named Gioiello, or ‘the Jewel’ in Italian. Planted between 1987 and 1996, it accounts for just under nine-hectares of the property.
For Anton and Bonnie Schiavello, second-generation custodians of this incredible home, the family homestead provides respite from busy city life. ‘Living in Fitzroy throughout the week, Anton and I love to spend our time here on weekends. We love connecting with the outdoors, and going back to basics,’ says Bonnie. Indeed, with both Peter, Anton and the rest of the family now based in inner-city Melbourne, this country retreat represents a connection to nature, home-grown food and excellent wine – passions which continue to pass through each generation of the Schiavello family.
Schiavello is participating in Melbourne Design Week 2018 as part of the Open State and Denfair Design Loop programs.
Find further information, dates and times check out the full program of events and participants here.