Home away from home
WORKING in the tourism industry for more than 30 years in various international locations has stood Karen Fraser in good stead for her own venture in Sandy Bay.
At Eleven – la petite maison is a Frenchinspired townhouse situated in the front section of Karen’s Randall St home.
Originally from Sydney, the tourism professional fi rst moved to Hobart 18 years ago and has been operating the bed and breakfast for the past fi ve.
Built in 1915, the original cottage was small and basic but a renovation and extension has transformed the property to create two linked-but- separate living spaces.
It’s a refl ection of all my things collected from my travels that I hope makes people feel
“I moved down here with an ex- partner who was from here and this was his mother’s cottage and we renovated it,” Karen explained.
“When we moved in it was pretty basic with lots of lean- tos on the back.
“I had a really good builder who came up with the concept of splitting it in two.
“I said to him I liked French barns and because we face north, to get more sun into an extension, he did a double storey extension which I live in.”
A long timber- floored hallway is the only connection between the two living spaces which can be opened up or shut off simply by opening or closing the hall door.
“I didn’t set out with the express purpose of doing this but it kind of fell into place,” Karen said. “I went on holiday in France and stayed in B& Bs, or gites as they’re called there, and I thought, ‘ I’m wasting the front of my house, I could do something’.”
The accommodation at the front of the property comprises a living room with kitchenette ( converted from a former storeroom), bathroom with claw foot bath and spacious, Asian-influenced bedroom with access to the central courtyard.
Stepping through the French doors, this brick- paved outdoor space features a calming water feature, citrus plants and dining table with chandelier overhead.
The French influence is felt immediately upon entry to the house, with a large Eiffel Tower print adorning the hall wall.
A bookshelf in the living room is filled with classic novels, travel guides, style magazines and Tasmanian books of all genres.
“I worked as an international marketing manager for over 10 years so I’ve spent a lot of time travelling,” said Karen. “I know what it’s like to get somewhere and you’re in a stark hotel with no books or magazines or anything to make you feel comfortable, so I just wanted a place that I think I’d be happy staying in.
“It’s a reflection of all my things collected from my travels that I hope makes people feel welcome.”
And so it seems they do feel welcome.
At Eleven is currently ranked No. 1 of 25 Hobart B& Bs and inns on popular travel site TripAdvisor.
Karen also runs a sister property in Parliament St, named Thumb Cottage as well as managing a waterfront Sandy Bay property with tennis court and access to the beach, plus two New York- style loft apartments in Salamanca.
Take a look at La Petite Maison at