As Good As A Holiday
Australian House & Garden Magazine|May 2021
Spurred on by 2020’s unexpected events, one couple took the plunge and made their ‘one-day’ tree-change to the NSW Southern Highlands. After all, there’s no time like the present...
Jackie Brygel

Twin hedges of silver germander (Teucrium fruticans) line the driveway, guiding visitors to the front door. The garden is also planted with fragrant magnolia species, iceberg roses and a mature ornamental pear. The home is painted Dulux Domino with Dulux Vivid White trims.

The Bernabeifreeman ‘Mosaic’ rug from Designer Rugs was the starting point for the design of this cosy living room. Sculpture on mantel by Natalie Rosin, Curatorial+Co. Gas fireplace, Highland Fires & BBQs. Pulp tiles, Di Lorenzo Tiles. The occasional chair is a family heirloom. Custom sofa by H+J Furniture. Alison coffee table and Pam side table, both Savage Design. Vintage floor lamp. Walls painted Dulux Unforgettable (chimney breast) and Dulux Red Vine. On coffee table: Sculpture by William Versace, white bowl from Ondene, marble dish by Greg Natale. On corner table: White bowl from Ondene, Serax vase from Becker Minty, travertine box by Greg Natale.

A gate-leg dining table that once belonged to Johnathon’s grandparents takes pride of place in the dining room. Vase, Conley & Co. Dining chairs, Colby Furniture. Kelly Wearstler ‘Melange’ chandelier, available from Bloomingdales Lighting. Artworks by Chris Lewis (top) and Maximilian Feuerring.

OPPOSITE TOP LEFT The kitchen features Polytec ‘Venette’ joinery with handles from Kethy. Smartstone benchtops in Gelsomino. Walls painted Dulux Unforgettable. Bosch microwave and oven; Fisher & Paykel integrated fridge. The artwork is a Salvador Dali art print.

OPPOSITE TOP RIGHT A Dimplex ‘Taylor Firesuite’ fireplace has given an awkward alcove new purpose. Antique etching. Ziggurat box, Greg Natale. Sculpture by Kristiina Engelin. Vase, Water-Tiger. Market basket, Casa Catinella.

OPPOSITE BOTTOM Interior designer Lynne Bradley with owner Johnathon Murray. George Nelson ‘Saucer Bubble’ pendant lights, Living Edge. Wall light, About Space. Runner, Nazar Rug Galleries. Artworks by Christopher Lewis (far left) and K. F. Brown (right).

There’s nothing like a global pandemic to trigger a re-evaluation of priorities. In the case of Johnathon Murray and his husband Brian Hadnutt, 2020 was indeed a watershed year – one in which the couple made the decision to sell their city apartment and fast-track a long-desired tree change.

And what a joyous move it has been. The pair swapped Sydney’s fashionable eastern suburbs for the NSW Southern Highlands, moving to a charming village surrounded by lush bushland, valleys, rainforests and waterfalls. For Johnathon, senior account manager with Designer Rugs, it’s a wondrous region to which he has long felt a deep emotional connection. “I spent a lot of time here as a child,” Johnathon says. “My mother and her family grew up in this part of the Southern Highlands. Being here makes me feel whole.”

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