Denise D De enise Gautier embraces an eclectic mix
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.”