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A Quaint Miner's Cottage In Dubbo Made For Slowing Down

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It’s probably fair to say everyone’s been doing a bit of wanderlusting recently. Well… probably for all of 2020! But it finally feels like an escape to the country or the seaside might not be too far away. (At least outside our 5km radius, right metropolitan Melburnians?)

The Repose is a charming miner’s cottage in the New South Wales city of Dubbo, 392 kilometres north-west of Sydney. The renovated cottage retains all the details and ambience of its heritage charm, styled to perfection with paintings by local artists and handmade details. You wouldn’t guess it was in the centre of a thriving regional city!

25th September, 2020

The kitchen at The Repose has been fully updated to service contemporary amenities. Photo – Abbie Melle.

It has everything you need for the perfect, relaxing getaway. Photo – Abbie Melle.

A moody colour palette in the kitchen differs from the lightness of the rest of the house. Photo – Abbie Melle.

Original Thonet Le Corbusier chairs in the dining room. Photo – Abbie Melle.

A custom made brass lamp sourced from Wo+We in France. Photo – Abbie Melle.

A home bar in the living room also holds a painting by Kyah Wilson.  Photo – Abbie Melle.

A custom made brass lamp sourced from Wo+We in France in the lounge room sits beside an artwork by Adam Oste. Photo – Abbie Melle.

The renovated courtyard is the common favourite spot among the owners. Photo – Abbie Melle.

Made from brick which was then cement rendered and painted with a coat of limewash paint. the olive-tree laden courtyard has a touch of European flair! Photo – Abbie Melle.

An outdoor fireplace overlooks the courtyard table. Photo – Abbie Melle.

A sheltered deck provides a second outdoor location for relaxing. Photo – Abbie Melle.

The renovated bathroom is compliant with modern conveniences while still retaining a heritage feel. Photo – Abbie Melle.

A new hallway connects the new bathroom (previously a disconnected outhouse) to the rest of the house. Photo – Abbie Melle.

Bathroom details. Photo – Abbie Melle.

A reclaimed claw foot bath! Photo – Abbie Melle.

The main bedroom contains a watercolour by Belynda Henry and an original fireplace. Photo – Abbie Melle.

The second bedroom. Photo – Abbie Melle.

Details of the main bedroom, furnishes with burnt orange colours and a variety of textures. Photo – Abbie Melle.

Even from viewing the facade, you can see the miner’s cottage has been respectfully and elegantly updated from a dilapidated house to a restored heritage structure! Photo – Abbie Melle.

A European touch at the threshold. Photo – Abbie Melle.

Sasha Gattermayr
Friday 25th September 2020

‘There is an inherent sense of slowness and a spirit of rest that pervades The Repose.’ – Jemima Aldridge

Once we can finally venture outside our homes, The Repose in Dubbo would be the first stop on our lists!

Regional city locals Jemima and Bede Aldridge own this skilfully renovated cottage with another couple, Ric and Moir Jones, who co-host guests on the property. Eighteen months ago, the four friends combined their love for hospitality and handmade design to transform the tumbledown house into one of the only boutique accommodation spots in the in-land city.

The plan was to open up the cramped layout and renovate the dilapidated house and courtyard, and outdated amenities, to unearth the best qualities of the heritage structure. Internal walls were removed to create a more  open-plan living space, while aged aluminium doors and old glass windows were updated to a contemporary living standard.

Like all good worker’s buildings built in the early 19th century, the toilet was originally in an outhouse disconnected from the main dwelling! Now, the washrooms are connected to the rest of the house through a lime-washed hallway, glazed with secondhand French windows. There is even a reclaimed claw-foot bath to use!

Remaining consistent to the heritage charm was the most important consideration of the renovation, a responsibility which Jemima took seriously in her design approach. ‘I love to weave elements of the countryside surroundings into the styling of the rooms,’ Jemima explains of her decorating vision. Working with a bright white base palette, Jemima sourced vintage furniture and artworks by local artists such as Belynda Henry and Rowena Dean specifically for individual rooms, to give each room its unique character.

The courtyard is a favourite feature amongst the four owners. Designed and built from brick which was then cement-rendered and painted with limestone paint, the owners added atmospheric elements like outdoor lighting and a fireplace, to create a cosy outdoor room. A marble tabletop and olive trees complete the relaxed, European feel.

‘There is an inherent sense of slowness and a spirit of rest that pervades The Repose,’ says Jemima, alluding to the direct translation of the accommodation’s namesake – the French verb reposer, meaning to rest. ‘It’s something each guest comments on!’ And with the year everyone’s had, we can’t think of a better time to plan a restful weekend away!

See the listing for The Repose here. Bookings are subject to state quarantine restrictions and border closures.

Follow The Repose on Instagram here.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net