If you’re fortunate enough to visit or reside in Melbourne, Australia, The Estate Trentham, should get straight on your radar. The three bedroom house, surrounded by gardens, has a laid back, modern rustic interior design, with plenty of vintage thrown in. The property is available to rent as an idyllic country retreat, just one hour from the coastal capital.
The owner is Lynda Gardener, who is a true artist when it comes to blending the old and the new for interiors. A talented stylist, collector and curator, Lynda continues to transform old properties into cool contemporary living spaces, such as The Apartment St Kilda and The White House Daylesford, using her fantastic eye for vintage. It’s therefore no surprise that I also included her work in my book Renovate Innovate.
Set on one acre of land, this property is an original 1902 house in the Federation style of architecture, which was popular in Australia around the turn of the 20th-century. Some of these buildings were influenced by Arts and Crafts, as well as the Queen Anne and Edwardian styles of the UK.
Lynda purchased the house almost three years ago with her partner Mark Smith. After seeing it spontaneously one Sunday afternoon, they immediately knew they wanted it and bought it that very same evening.
In renovating the property, the couple kept its original floor plan but removed most of the existing interior. A Scandi-inspired neutral colour palette now flows throughout the house, broken up with a mix of worn, tactile and natural materials.
New textures and layers were added to every room. Living areas feature dark floorboards and cosy couches, layered with cushions and blankets to curl up in. In the bedrooms, recycled and vintage wool blankets cover the beds for winter nights. All the rugs are hand made pure wool and ethically produced.
The gardens feature home grown produce which guests can help themselves to. The harvest garden includes herbs, salads and vegetables. A mini orchard has apples, pears and quinces and the Mediterranean garden offers strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
There is also ample space in the gardens for picnics and al fresco dining under the veranda. Lynda says,
We were really lucky that the previous owner had made a great start with the gardens. We very quickly employed Tim Pilgrim, a great local gardener and told him to just go for it and make this garden something really special that guests could also treasure and enjoy when they visit.
New concrete flooring was created in the kitchen and bathroom. They also brought in old concrete washing sinks and concrete worktops for the kitchen and barn, as well as a combustion wood fire.
Decor comprises a mix of old and new. The kitchen is filled to the brim with collected kitchenware, ceramics, wooden spoons, cake tins, wire cake coolers, chopping boards and little tea pots, all vintage and sourced from local markets and vintage stores, over the years.
The Estate also houses The Barn, a simple barn space that has been fully refitted with a kitchen for events, workshops and gatherings.
This beautiful barn accommodates 40 people seated and is also rented out for weddings. All the light fittings are ex-cage lights which were sourced from car workshops and re-wired. Lynda had to find 20 of them in total.
The overall feel of the house is relaxed, cool and contemporary, without compromising on rural charm. And it’s those elegantly curated vintage picks which add so much character. Lynda says,
Most items are one off old finds, which I’ve collected over the years from local vintage markets and antique stores. This is one of the highlights of the house as each room has a personal collection. Art works, vintage crockery, family heirlooms and lots of one-off pieces are what we feel make the home so special.