History LESSON

Home Beautiful|August 2020

History LESSON
THE ROOMS OF A WEATHERED, CENTURY-OLD HOME IN COUNTRY NSW PULSE WITH NEW LIFE AND VITALITY, THANKS TO ONE COUPLE’S DETERMINATION TO RAISE THEIR YOUNG FAMILY SURROUNDED BY THE RICHNESS OF THE PAST
JESSICA BELLEF

OLD SOUL Relocated from one country town to another, this heritage cottage in NSW’s Central Tablelands brims with vintage pieces, warm feelings, and the understated style of homeowners Matt and Georgina (pictured opposite with children Donny, Ada and baby Mali) and their little ones. Inside, a comfortable vintage chair sourced from Lunatiques in Sydney sits beside a wood-burning stove found on Gumtree (top left) in front of a striking paneled wall (painted in Dulux Natural White) from Pressed Tin Panels in Bathurst. The front gate (top right), constructed by Matt, is a blend of new and reclaimed timbers and, while the home’s original verandah didn’t survive the move, he constructed a new one from cypress pine and painted the home’s exterior in Raw Cotton by Dulux (bottom right). Cane chairs – hand-me-downs from Georgie’s mother – provide the perfect spot to watch country life amble by. “When friends visit we have them here normally for more than just one night, so we can properly catch up and do nice things together,” explains Georgie.

Georgie, her partner Matt, and their trio of children, all aged under seven, bring a dose of youthful energy to the historic hamlet they call home in NSW’s Central Tablelands. Their quaint provincial village, west of the Blue Mountains, is made up of a deer farm, the original schoolhouse, and a handful of streets. The family’s home, a veranda wrapped beauty dubbed ‘The Old Girl’, is more than 100 years old and, like Georgie and Matt, started life in a different town.

The couple gave up Sydney’s city lights for country living back in 2013, moving into a little shack known to locals in this area as ‘Bimlow Cottage’. With the birth of son Donny not long after their arrival and daughter Ada a few years later, the family soon outgrew their place. “We needed a bigger house,” recalls Georgie. “We got quotes to extend Bimlow Cottage and they came in too high for us. So we started to think outside the box and looked into relocating a home onto our property.” Scrolling through Instagram one afternoon, Georgie discovered The Old Girl for sale, 200 kilometers away in Mudgee. That chance meeting set the couple on an arduous year-long process of organizing a haulage company and sorting out a mass of paperwork to relocate their newest love. Across a few stormy days in September 2016, the house was finally delivered in three parts. “The truck got totally bogged and a farmer had to come and tow them out,” recalls Georgie of the arduous task to move the cottage through torrential rain and sleet.

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August 2020