Fixing bones of a country home
YEARS of working in interior design did not prepare Mickey Robertson for the task that lay ahead at Glenmore House.
When her husband Larry impulsively bought the dilapidated colonial farm buildings near Camden in 1988, they were a crumbling mess and even the real estate agent advised him against buying the property.
The couple gave up their tiny Woollahra home and embraced rural life.
“It’s amazing what you can get used to,” Robertson says. “Water doesn’t necessarily come out of a tap – that’s something I learnt very early on.”
Many years of hard work and determination were put in to restoring Glenmore House to the charming country property set among vast gardens that it was.
“I don’t believe in doing everything in one go,” Robertson says.
“You must live with your surroundings so that you can learn about your environment.”
While rustic exteriors, natural materials and a mix of traditional furniture pieces help give the house its rural feel, Robertson says getting the bones of the house right first is key.
“Getting the architectural bones of the house right is the most important thing,” Robertson says.
“One of the most important things are our verandas – they keep sun off the windows and prevent the house from heating up,” she says.
“You shouldn’t need airconditioning in a country house.”
Robertson reveals the full story of her home’s transformation in her new book, The House and Garden at Glenmore, which was published this month. More information at glenmorehouse.com.au
The gardens and stone house of Glenmore House. Images from The House and dG Gardend at Glenmore by Mickey Robertson (pictured). Published by Murdoch Books. RRP $59.99. Pictures: Daniel Shipp