SET IN STONE

HARDY NAT­U­RAL MA­TE­RI­ALS MAKE THIS FORMER BA­CON FAC­TORY A RUS­TIC HOME FULL OF CHAR­AC­TER AND STYLE.

Country Style - - HOME - WORDS VIR­GINIA IMHOFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHY MARNIE HAWSON

DAWESLEY IS A RU­RAL ham­let tucked away in the Ade­laide Hills. Like many other set­tle­ments in this re­gion, it was once on the main thor­ough­fare un­til the South East­ern free­way blazed through in the late 1960s and 1970s by­pass­ing the town. From then on Dawesley be­came, some­what idyl­li­cally, a lit­tle more offff the beaten track. “It’s a beau­ti­ful lit­tle town with no ser­vices, no post of­fif­fice, just a clus­ter of homes, but it’s got a re­ally rich his­tory,” says Alia Elaraj. Alia and her part­ner, Scout Edwards, fell in love with the lit­tle set­tle­ment, in par­tic­u­lar one of its early build­ings, four years ago. Alia and Scout had been search­ing for a place to call home; a place where they could bring up their sons, Oliver, 10, and Arlo, four, with re­spect for the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and with an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of old fash­ioned val­ues, when they came across this grand in­dus­trial build­ing in Dawesley. It was the former Davies Ba­con fac­tory and had been built of stone in 1870s. More than a cen­tury later, in the 1980s it had been re­stored as a beau­ti­fully rus­tic home. “We just fell in love with the house, it was so ex­cep­tional,” Alia says. “Noth­ing else that we had seen ticked the boxes, and it was in our price range, close to Oliver’s school, and was on half an acre, just enough for what we wanted.” Scout is a pho­tog­ra­pher, whose busi­ness White Wall Pho­tog­ra­phy spe­cialises in wed­dings. Mean­while, Alia had, un­til re­cently, run a store called Poet’s Ode in the nearby his­toric town of Hah­n­dorf. She sold beau­ti­ful nat­u­ral, vin­tage and hand­made ob­jects that were tex­tu­ral and tac­tile. Sus­tain­abil­ity and prove­nance of goods was the fo­cus at Poet’s Ode, so for Alia in par­tic­u­lar, the old fac­tory in Dawesley with its rough walls of lo­cal stone and tim­ber beams, was ap­peal­ing for its nat­u­ral, hon­est ma­te­ri­als, and all those things that have a story and bear the marks of time and maker. “I’m a col­lec­tor and I love beau­ti­ful things, nat­u­ral fi­fi­bres and tex­tures — it’s in me,” says Alia, 35, who was born in Aus­tralia but spent her child­hood be­tween here and Canada. “I have dual cit­i­zen­ship, my mum is Aus­tralian and I’ve spent half my life, in bits and pieces, here.” Scout grew up in Adeiaide, where he and Alia fi­first met. “We lived in Canada to­gether for two and a half years,” Alia adds. “We got mar­ried and Oliver was born over there. I was 27 when we moved back here.” Alia and Scout de­cided to call their new fi­five-bed­room home Fac­to­ria V11, re­flflect­ing its in­dus­trial her­itage. It had been

con­verted to a home by the pre­vi­ous owner, an ar­chi­tect, who in­stalled the huge old wharf tim­ber beams through­out the house. “He had used beau­ti­ful re­claimed tim­bers from Port Ade­laide and they are big sub­stan­tial beams,” Alia says. “There was a lot of high gloss tim­ber and dark wood be­cause it was an 1980s ren­o­va­tion, the walls were un­sealed and dusty. To make it more liv­able and brighter, we thought we would paint all the sur­faces white. That high­lighted the huge spa­ces and the beau­ti­ful fea­tures — the big ex­posed beams and arched win­dows. It’s got jar­rah flfloors, which I didn’t re­ally love… but we stripped them back and stained them re­ally dark, and that works well for cre­at­ing a can­vas with every­thing else white and tex­tured. We’ve kept it re­ally sim­ple.” Most of the fur­ni­ture and dec­o­ra­tive pieces at Fac­to­ria V11 had, at some stage, been at Poet’s Ode — all the nat­u­ral and vin­tage pieces that Alia cu­rated ul­ti­mately found their way, as if they al­ways be­longed, into her home. “This home has a grand in­dus­trial feel and al­though it’s the same pal­ette as the shop was, I feel it’s unique.” For Alia and Scout, de­cid­ing to close Poet’s Ode in Fe­bru­ary this year was a turn­ing point, an op­por­tu­nity for a change in di­rec­tion and to start trav­el­ling. “I loved hav­ing the store and meet­ing all the artists and cus­tomers, and I’ll get Poet’s Ode up on­line again. But I grew up with wings un­der my feet, I grew up mov­ing around,” Alia ex­plains. “As much as I love to set­tle, I think it’s good for kids to ex­plore the world, and we’re just go­ing to run with that.” Alia and her sons are now visit­ing fam­ily in Canada, with Scout set to fol­low soon enough, plan­ning to travel back and forth for work com­mit­ments. They have no fi­fixed plans or time­line for their re­turn. Mean­while Fac­to­ria V11 is be­ing offf­fered as ac­com­mo­da­tion. “At this stage I don’t know if we’ll come back, we will see,” says Alia, “But be­cause we have this house it doesn’t feel like I have to let go of my beau­ti­ful things or that we’re leav­ing. If we do, I would want to take this house with me. It’s so ro­man­tic, you can hear the rain on the roof, and there are two wood-burn­ing fi­fires and a beau­ti­ful court­yard with a lemon tree... Th­ese are the lit­tle things I love about it. It’s a very charm­ing place to live.”

The sit­ting room is made for re­lax­ing with a linen sofa, clas­sic leather arm­chair and an an­tique In­dian rattt­tan and tim­ber daybed from Wa­ter Tiger un­der the win­dow. The leather pouf is from The Silk Road and Moroc­can beni rug is from Paris. For stock­ist de­tails, see page 148.

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