Finding a great rental property is like searching for a needle in a haystack, especially in regional areas where supply is limited. The best houses are usually sourced via word of mouth, which is exactly how Lisa Hodge came across this property early last year.
Lisa lives here with her children Jirra, 8, and Maisie, 6. According to Lisa, the family were particularly drawn to the property’s ‘rustic vibe, timber tones, use of recycled materials (old wharf posts), concrete heated floors, the blend of indoor-outdoor living spaces, the natural light, the garden design with the birch forest and olive grove, the rosemary hedge’… the list goes on! ‘I also love that it feels like you’re in the bush, but it’s walking distance to town and to the local cafe (Mr Macedon), restaurant (Ida Red), and train station,’ says Lisa.
Being a rental, Lisa’s knowledge of her home’s history is based entirely on hearsay, but rumour has it the land was once owned by an artist who lived next door. The artist subdivided the block, selling half to her lover, who built the house Lisa now calls home. ‘That’s why there’s no back fence. There’s a good balance of privacy and access to the next door property,’ she says.
The handcrafted nature of this home means there are several quirks and unfinished elements throughout, but that’s all part of its charm. Lisa has styled the space with an eclectic mix of mid-century and ‘80s furniture finds. ‘I try to make an effort to be a conscious consumer, shop less, [buy] locally and secondhand. This means that I am constantly on the hunt for cool, high-quality things. The hunt is part of the fun!’
This isn’t the first home Lisa has rented in Macedon, having lived in the area for six years after making the tree change from Melbourne. ‘The country lifestyle was more alluring with a young family. We were dreaming about fresh air, clean water and a garden to grow medicinal herbs and veggies,’ she says. Lisa now splits her work between nearby Gisborne and North Melbourne. ‘I have to say, it’s just bliss driving home to the hills after a day in Melbourne,’ she says. ‘Once I reach the Macedon Ranges, there’s an instant feeling of calm. My home and my garden are essential to creative expression. Some weekends I find it hard to leave.’