This week on the Home Life Series, we are escaping to the country for a well deserved getaway at the charming Honeysuckle Farm.
Hidden away amongst the picturesque Daylesford Macedon Ranges, this 1900's white weatherboard cottage is the ultimate spot to unwind & recharge.
Inspired by the colours and textures of nature that surround the property, we chat with owner Emily about the design inspiration and how she has perfected the calming interiors aesthetic that still pays homage to its historic charm.
1. Hi Emily! Thank you so much for welcoming us inside your beautiful Lauriston cottage. Tell us a little bit about what you do and how you stumbled across the farm?
It was so lovely to have you, thank you for coming to visit! We stumbled across the farm in 2021 during Covid. We weren't really planning on moving at that point as we had just built what we thought was our 'forever home' about half an hour away in Gisborne a few years earlier, but the opportunity came up and we saw real potential in the property and decided to go for it. So now myself, my husband and our two boys (3 & 5) are living here in another residence on the same property.
We spent the first couple of months giving the place a general tidy up and doing some restorations in the cottage. We opened the doors to the cottage at Honeysuckle Farm for guests in April 2022, and we haven't looked back since! It has been lovely to see such a wide variety of people come and enjoy the serenity of the property and really take the time to relax and unwind from their busy lives. The feedback has been incredible!
2. Can you tell us a little bit about the history of the cottage and what the inspiration was behind the name?
The cottage is the original homestead on the property, built in the early 1900s. It had already gone through a partial restoration before we took over, but we really tried to keep as many of the original features as we could, such as the original wood stove, the beautiful ceiling roses, the original floorboards etc., while ensuring guests can also enjoy the comfort of modern amenities during their stay. The property is on Honeysuckle Road, and we really couldn't go past using that as part of the name as it has such a lovely, nostalgic feel to it.
3. Now that we know the farm’s history, can you tell us a little bit about your own history? Did you grow up in the area?
I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula, and then spent some time living in South Australia before coming back to Melbourne, where I met my now husband. We have been in the Macedon Ranges for around 8 years now, and really love it here. I have always had a passion for beautiful interiors, and I studied Interior Design & Decoration. Prior to being here, I had my own brand of homewares & home fragrance products, but that sort of got put on the back burner once the kids came along, but I really feel that I have found my passion now.
4. There is a distinct style and theme throughout the whole cottage (which we absolutely love!). How would you describe this interiors style?
I really wanted to keep in line with the colours of nature that surround the property, from the century old cypress trees to the beautiful country landscapes. We have used a lot of muted greens, browns & and natural tones throughout the cottage, and I'm always cutting flowers and foliage from around the property to use inside the cottage. We have found that bringing nature in has really helped guests to just feel relaxed and reconnect, not only with nature, but with themselves too.
The outdoor claw foot bath/shower has been a big hit too. So many of our guests have said what an incredible experience it is to either start their morning with a hot shower in nature or bathe under the stars at night in our beautiful mineral water. We have also used a lot of vintage or 'pre-loved' items in the house, which is great from a sustainability perspective, but it also really ties in with the historic feel of the cottage.
5. The minute you step into the cottage you feel at ease, what was the leading inspiration behind the styling?
Thank you, I'm so glad you felt that way too! The calming feeling of nature was definitely the inspiration behind the styling.
6. For the people who don’t live rurally, what does a day at the farm look like for you? What do you love about farm life?
Every day is different! This year there has been a lot of cleaning up & future planning for other upcoming projects, as we also have a vineyard on the property which we plan to expand on and eventually host weddings & events too. Aside from this, we have sheep, alpacas, goats & cattle that need to be tended to.
We do all of the guest changeovers at the cottage ourselves, so that does keep us quite busy as we are generally around 80-90% booked. And of course, the kids keep us busy too! But they absolutely love it here, it's been such a great move for them. They love being a part of it all, helping out with the animals and other various tasks around the farm.