Bo­hemian RHAP­SODY

Denise D De enise Gau­tier em­braces an eclec­tic mix

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Jes­sica Howard

FOR the coun­try’s many fly- in fly- out work­ers, it is very im­por­tant to have a great base to come home to. Away for five weeks at a time in West­ern Aus­tralia as a chef in the oil and gas in­dus­try, Denise Gau­tier has cre­ated just that with her ren­o­vated in­ner- city Ge­or­gian home with a mod­ern, bo­hemian vibe.

The unas­sum­ing fa­cade of the 1826- built house in Molle St, West Ho­bart, be­lies the mod­ern in­te­rior and this is what at­tracted Denise to the home when she bought it in 2002.

Once known as The Molle St Inn and used as an an­tiques shop, Rose Cot­tage has had many dif­fer­ent lives in its al­most 200 years.

“The peo­ple I bought it from, the woman had a sec­ond- hand cloth­ing shop in the front two rooms and I used to sew for her,” Denise ex­plained.

“So when it came on the mar­ket I al­ready knew the house and knew that I wanted it.”

Orig­i­nally from Cairns, Denise grew to hate the trop­i­cal cli­mate. A hol­i­day to Tas­ma­nia to visit a friend re­sulted in her be­ing con­vinced to make the move south.

That was 20 years ago and she hasn’t looked back, even buy­ing a sec­ond prop­erty on Huon Is­land as a coun­try es­cape.

Since buy­ing Rose Cot­tage, which takes its name from the lead­light­ing over the front door in­scribed with the word ‘ Rose’, Denise has been busy bring­ing it into the 21st cen­tury and in do­ing so has learnt more about its past.

“I was get­ting the place rewired and there was an ap­pren­tice work­ing on it and he was really quiet at fi rst,” she said.

“One day the young guy asked me if I knew who Rose was, which I didn’t. He turned around and said, ‘ She was my great grand­mother’.

“Ap­par­ently for their 50th wed­ding an­niver­sary, her hus­band had put the rose up above the door­way. I ended up meet­ing the elec­tri­cian’s grand­mother who grew up here and now lives just up the road.”

A ma­jor part of the ren­o­va­tion in­volved

re­mov­ing the wall be­tween the kitchen and lounge and open­ing the room up to ex­tend out on to a tim­ber deck via bi- fold doors.

In the process, Denise has added her own touch of his­tory.

“When I took the wall down, I put a jar with a news­pa­per of the day, de­tails of who the builder was and how much it cost un­der the floor just in case some­body pulls up the floor­boards in years to come,” Denise said.

A fan­tas­tic re- use of some of the orig­i­nal ma­te­ri­als, the lin­tel from over the orig­i­nal back door­way now forms part of the top step on the new deck lead­ing up to the garden.

The ver­dant garden was once com­mu­nal – shared by the four sur­round­ing houses where res­i­dents would gather for bar­be­cues – but is now a pri­vate oa­sis for Denise and her house­mates to es­cape to.

Hav­ing some ex­pe­ri­ence with in­te­rior de­sign, Denise used this to cre­ate a unique style, with bold reds, blues, or­anges and greens work­ing to­gether.

Fea­tur­ing baltic pine and Tas­ma­nian oak floor­ing through­out, lo­cal ma­te­ri­als are high­lighted in the newer part of the three- bed­room home.

“The kitchen is built with all Tas­ma­nian tim­bers by a guy called Bernd Farasin from Bruny Is­land,” Denise said.

“There are a cou­ple of pieces of tim­ber that he’d had for years and years and were really spe­cial to him and he gave them to me. I’ve re­placed all the doors too, be­cause some­body had taken out all the orig­i­nal doors and put in really crappy ones. So I searched around at wreck­ers’ yards for re­place­ments.”

Al­ways a work in progress, Denise has fur­ther plans for the home in­clud­ing a built- in book­case in the hall­way, a water tank for the garden and a wind tur­bine on the roof to make the home more ef­fi­cient.

“I’ll stay here for­ever; I never want to move,” she said.

“I’ve got so much junk if I ever did sell, I’d sell it com­pletely fur­nished. But no, I’ll be here for a long time. I travel a lot and it’s al­ways so nice coming home.”

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