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Profile: Vintage Country Style in A 150-Year-Old Miner’s Cottage

A neglected miner’s cottage now has a new lease of life as a stylish boutique bolt-hole
   EKBB Magazine  |  written on: 26-09-2021 13:00pm

When looking for a property, there aren’t many people who would choose one that’s close to collapse, but that’s exactly what Melbourne-based interior designer and stylist Kali Cavanagh did when she bought a 150-year-old former miner’s cottage in Daylesford, Australia. “It was derelict and my family and friends warned me against buying it as it was such a huge task,” says Kali. “But it was the first place I saw and I had a good feeling about it. From the minute, I walked in I knew what I wanted do with it. It had a charm that I loved and I’m always up for a challenge."

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Beautiful old church doors have been fitted to create a new entrance to the garden studio. Lassco is a great place to go to source a huge array of salvaged items

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- Owners/residents: Kali Cavanagh's boutique rental accommodation
- Designer: Kali Cavanagh, interior designer and stylist

- Style: Country, Rustic
- Bedroom feature: The salvaged barn doors create a charming feature. They have been sanded back with the internal side exposed and the exterior painted in warm white to complement the painted floorboards and panelling

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An original garage sign from an antique store in LA hangs above the bed. The designer uses a muted colour palette for the room

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Simple glass bulbs are a fuss-free design statement. Here, two are hung suspended from a long flex to provide bedside light

Kali gutted the inside of the property and reconfigured the footprint; ripping down walls, levelling warped floors and moving doors and windows to create a layout that flowed. She relocated the master bedroom and added an en suite, effectually transforming two dark, poky rooms into one open space, with two huge barn doors to provide privacy. “I often fall in love with salvaged pieces, which I buy not knowing what I’ll do with them,” she says. “When I saw these doors, I knew I had to have them, and in fact I redesigned the layout of the en suite to incorporate them.”

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The basin stand was custom made from an antique chest sourced on her travels

Outside, an old shed that had slipped halfway down a hill was rescued and restored to become the garden studio guest room. “I thought I’d have to get rid of it,” says Kali. “But the local re-stumping team said they’d been looking at it for years and had always wanted to put it back where it belonged.” Once it was firmly back in place, the ceiling was removed to reveal the original beams, an internal wall taken out and a large panel of glass installed into the back wall to create a room with a beautiful view.

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The mix of salvaged items and luxurious soft linens gives this room a beautiful rough luxe feel

When it came to the décor, Kali sourced industrial and vintage pieces from across Australia, LA, France and the UK. She describes her taste as quite masculine but likes to add feminine touches with beautiful soft fabrics and luxurious touches. Neutral tones and natural materials can be seen throughout in the form of monochrome paint shades, elegant French-style bed linen, rich timbers and patinated metals.

Q & A – Kali Cavanagh, interior designer and stylist

- How did you choose the colour palette?
I love neutral shades, so I’ve used white to almost black and all shades in between throughout the cottage to create a dramatic effect, but with a sense of story so it flows throughout the whole scheme. In the master bedroom, I included some dark wood pieces such as the vintage chest and salvaged shutters to bring warmth.

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A set of industrial drawers complements the room perfectly and provides storage space

- How did you manage to source so many pieces from overseas?
I can be booked for interior design and styling work in Australia and the UK and I love to travel, so it’s great to be able to source at the same time. I’ve lived in London and spent many a weekend in Europe, so I knew I would find some unique pieces that would be harder to find here in Australia. Although, I’ve found some great pieces here too, it was about 50-50. I spent two years sourcing all my favourite things for this and for other projects.

- How did you decide on the layout?
I knew I wanted an old cast iron bath in the master bedroom and by turning two small rooms into one large room there was enough space to have one as well as a separate shower room and toilet.

Credit: Sharyn Cairns (Images), Jacky Parker (Words)
Published: As featured in EKBB Magazine, Issue 241, May 2016

Also read:
10 Boutique Hotel Bedrooms We Love
Profile: Luxury Country Living in Wiltshire

What do you like most about this country home? Tell us in the comments section below. 

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The UK's No.1 kitchen, bathroom and bedroom magazine dedicated to real-life luxury homes and turning your design dreams into reality.

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