The home of The Design Files’ very own partnerships manager Alice Ziebell, and landscape architect Marlon Ziebell of Ziebell Landscape Architecture, is a charming country house in Korumburra, South Gippsland.
The couple initially spent weekends in the property, until Covid hit, and they decided to move here full-time. Three years later, they haven’t left!
‘It is a truly special place and I’m eternally grateful that we found it,’ says Alice. ‘It has stolen our hearts in more ways than we could have imagined.’
When Alice and Marlon first purchased the property (initially as an investment) back in 2010, it was a beautiful but simple home, filled with history and quirks. ‘We think the back half of the home was originally a miners cottage at some point,’ says Alice. ‘Someone moved the old front part of the home here (probably from a nearby town) and joined the two together to make one!’
After the birth of the couple’s son Otis (now 2.5), the ‘charming’ elements of the home were leaning more towards ‘unliveable,’ so it was time for a renovation.
Alice and Marlon designed the renovation themselves, focusing on the kitchen and bathroom, whilst also adding insulation, and opening up the rear of the house to their glorious garden.
The kitchen in particular was tailor-made for the family’s many weekends spent preserving produce and making pasta. The custom, 3.8 metre-long, recycled hardwood bench made by their builder Luke Walsh of Four Elements Carpentry makes this task both fun and functional—perfect for a mini production line! ‘It is where many of our happiest memories are made,’ says Alice.
There was previously no connection between the backyard and the house, but the garden is now perfectly framed through recycled windows collected from garage sales and Facebook Marketplace. ‘Adding some (new to us, but old) windows have really transformed the place into a bright, warm, and cosy family home that we love to live in,’ says Alice.
Warm timbers used throughout the interiors are complemented by a beautiful selection of artworks and a considered use of colour. Green Dulux Royal Oakleaf features in both the kitchen and Otis’ bedroom (transformed earlier by us with Surround by Laminex!), with Dulux Hog Bristle Half in the living areas and kitchen, Dulux Natural White in the bathroom and on the windows/trims, Dulux White Polar in the main bedroom (also updated with Surround by Laminex), and Dulux Antique White U.S.A. on the rear exterior.
The entire renovation was completed in just four months, and Alice and Marlon couldn’t be happier with the result. The house is gorgeous but remains unfussy—fit for the garden-loving family and active Otis. ‘This is a home that gets used and loved,’ says Alice. ‘It’s a cosy place we can sink into and really call home.’
Needless to say, moving to the country is one of the best decisions Alice and Marlon have ever made. Living on a 1400 square metre block has provided the space to create the productive garden they’ve always dreamed of, filled with zucchini, pumpkins, green beans, apples, hops, cosmos, carrot flowers and much more. It’s also home to the family’s chickens, dogs Bella and Dexter, and a beehive. Little Otis really is living the dream childhood here!
In fact, Alice and Marlon’s garden is truly SO amazing, it’s worthy of its own story… so stay tuned for that in the coming weeks!