The Station House is one of the oldest standing buildings in Daylesford (located about 90 minutes north-west of Melbourne). Theresa Albiloi and Tony De Marco purchased this property in 2015, kicking off eight months of renovations to bring the rundown home up to scratch.
The couple are seasoned renovators, and one of their golden rules is to always live in a property while undergoing works. ‘This gives us a feeling for the place, which helps with the design decisions,’ Theresa explains. ‘It’s not easy to get into the mind of a guest unless you’ve lived in a property yourself.’
While magnificent in nature, the house needed significant work to suit its intended life as a holiday home. Walls in the kitchen and dining areas were teared down to open up the entire living space.
Nearly all the home’s period features were retained in the process, including the original vaulted ceilings, fireplace and 160-year-old French doors leading out to the garden. The couple further enhanced this outdoor connection by adding more glass doors and windows. ‘We had this vision of somebody waking up and being inspired to go for an early morning stroll to explore the property’s three acres,’ Theresa says.
Theresa styled the home in her distinct aesthetic, characterised by vintage leather furniture and grand furnishings. Most pieces were purchased locally from The Mill Market in town, adding to the uniquely ‘Daylesford’ feeling of this home! ‘A lot of places try to go for the vintage feeling, but it’s not authentic, because the properties themselves are only a few decades old. The Station House is genuinely one of the oldest standing structures in town, and guests can feel the history,’ says Theresa. ‘Sometimes I wonder if we’ve bought something from a local dealer which belonged to the house’s original 19th century owners.’
The Station House is today one of nine properties owned by Theresa and Tony, and one of 70 (!) the couple manage as part of their business, The Houses Daylesford. It’s only been a few years since they first settled in the town, but the couple are clearly a driving force behind Daylesford’s continued popularity as a travel destination. ‘It is very rewarding working and living in such a beautiful town,’ says Theresa. ‘All of the business owners look out for each other, because we know the town benefits when everyone is successful.’