Interior Designer Suzanne and her husband Adam transformed this quintessential Daylesford cottage into a stunning family ‘weekender’ that has quickly become a firm favourite of visitors to the region.
Tell us something about your property. What style of property is it (miner’s cottage, new build, villa, farm)?
Our house is an original Victorian cottage that’s been fully renovated and extended. It’s in a lovely quiet street on the East side of Daylesford. We completed the renovations in six months, during which time Adam drove from Melbourne to Daylesford and worked on the house every weekend. He became a regular at the pub! We also had the help of some local tradespeople who were all great to work with.
What was your inspiration when creating your holiday home?
We wanted to create a contemporary country cottage where our young family could escape the stresses of city life. We also wanted to create something with a similar homely feel to where we live in Melbourne. I’m an interior designer and my husband Adam is a business consultant. We have different interests and strengths that (thankfully) ended up complementing each other on this project. Adam happily left the creative side to me while he helped to implement my vision, getting hands-on involved with the renovation. Adam and I lived in the UK when we were first married and I was inspired by cottages in the English countryside renovated for modern family life. I was particularly inspired by English paint manufacturers Farrow and Ball for the interior colour scheme.
Why did you choose this region as the location for your holiday home?
Daylesford is a really unique country town. You can escape from the city to a beautiful country setting but you still feel right at home because there are lots of great places to explore, shop and so many wonderful cafes and restaurants to choose from. It’s also so close to Melbourne that it’s a quick trip up on a Friday night after school pick up.
What is the story behind the name of your property?
We wanted a really simple name and because the cottage was intended as a weekend escape for us and for our guests, ‘The Weekender‘ felt just right!
What is your favourite part of the property?
Probably the kitchen and dining area. It’s a beautiful space to potter around in and we’ve cooked some lovely meals in there. It also has a beautiful view out to the garden. The living space is also lovely and cosy. Whenever I stay at the house with friends we always end up here enjoying wine, talking late into the night.
What sort of experience do you want your guests to have when staying at your property?
We want guests to feel that the house is their own home away from home. I love reading the comments that people leave after they’ve stayed here. There are lots of references to how the house is decorated and guests feeling inspired to go home and make changes to their own home.
What is your favourite time of the year to visit the region and why?
Autumn. The changing colours of the landscape are just beautiful. The mild weather is also perfect for exploring outdoors. As we’re on the edge of town, one of our favourite things to do is to go for a big walk as a family.
What do you think is special about this region?
It’s an easy distance from Melbourne yet it feels like a complete escape from everyday life. If you need to recharge your batteries, this region is the perfect destination.
Do you have a favourite village or hamlet to visit near Daylesford and what do you like about it?
I think Trentham is really lovely. I did some work there last year on another house and it’s a gorgeous little town. It also has a really delicious bakery that in itself is worth a detour! – the Red Beard bakery.
What are your top tips for places to eat and things to do in the region?
If we stay for the weekend our go-to is always the Farmers Arms Hotel. It’s close to the house, totally laid back (which I love) and the food is great. The kids love going here too. Though we always promise we’ll be adventurous, we all have our favourites on the menu and we struggle to pass these up! (My tip is the Fillet Mignon, Adam’s tip is the Pork Belly and Grace and Tom’s tip are the Fish and Chips). Wombat Hill House is an absolute favourite for brunch. And Cliffy’s and Larder are my picks for coffee. If Adam and I are staying for a child-free weekend then I highly recommend Kazuki’s for a very special dinner. If I’m staying with friends for a girl’s weekend away we organise massages ahead of time. I love The Mineral Spa in Hepburn Springs. When we head home on a Sunday we usually drop in at the Sunday Market. Our neighbour Maia has a gourmet sausage van there and we stop here for brunch. If there’s still room in their tummies after this, the kids also love the Dutch pancakes near the train station.
What Guests are Saying about The Weekender
The Weekender was the perfect place for a few days away; every care and need has been anticipated and attended to. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and we will be back again to stay in this beautiful cottage. Highly recommended.
Fiona – August 2015
I only have one complaint…. That is that you’ve made this house so absolutely beautiful that it made it very hard to leave and discover Daylesford 🙂
As an interiors addict myself I applaud you on the effort and hard work you’ve put in for us “weekenders” to enjoy. We’ll be back.
Faith – May 2016
We loved the way it was laid out and the décor was delightful, just what three busy women needed!
Paula – November 2016