Marge’s Cottage is an accommodation spot 25 years in the making. The owners, Cheryl Guzzardi and Phillip Ledin, first bought the property next door in 1993, then this small farm in 1995, including a cottage tenanted by a beautiful woman named Marge. For 14 years, the couple used this extra land as a free-range egg farm and to raise a small flock of East Friesian sheep they still own today.
When the time came for Marge to move closer to her family, the cottage was empty and fell into disrepair. A tree began growing through the laundry window, and a section of the roof rusted away. ‘That was when we had to either bestow some well overdue TLC on this humble cottage or demolish her,’ says Cheryl. ‘Bestowing TLC won.’
The couple set about demolishing unsalvageable parts of the cottage and rebuilding with the recovered materials. Elements of the original roof became exterior cladding, and a local craftsman recycled timber pieces into kitchen benches. Much of the interior inspiration came from Country Style magazine, and an assortment of windows, French doors and timber Cheryl has collected over the years. ‘As I was renovating in a rural area, the regulations were very strict, but I was mindful that I had to do this right as I was using this cottage for guests,’ she says. The entire project took just over 12 months.
One can only imagine what would have happened to this humble cottage had Cheryl and Phillip not been brought to this South Gippsland property those 27 years ago. Cheryl says, ‘I feel that I have achieved with the help of many amazing craftsman…In the end we are only caretakers and I’m so grateful that the real estate agent took us for that drive.’
Book your stay at Marge’s Cottage here.
Marge’s Cottage is one of the many properties participating in Airbnb Open Homes in the wake of the Australian bushfires. This initiative offers free, temporary housing to people who need a place to call home.