Liv­ing with a sense of his­tory

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - HOME - Any­one in­ter­ested in putting their own amaz­ing home up for con­sid­er­a­tion for house of the week can email jes­sica. howard@ news. com. au Jes­sica Howard

START­ING out as a coach house and sta­bles and evolv­ing into a sub­stan­tial grand house, Jill Web­ster’s home has been both a fam­ily home and the scene of many pic­turesque mar­riages.

The New Town prop­erty orig­i­nated as a sta­bles and coach house for the neigh­bour­ing prop­erty from the late 1820s un­til it was con­verted into a home in its own right in the 1930s.

Jill and her hus­band have been busy this year fi nish­ing off the lat­est round of ren­o­va­tions and an ex­ten­sion.

“We’ve lived here for about 28 years, JIll said. “When we moved in it was still a sub­stan­tial home, but we’ve re­done it com­pletely.

“Over the years, we’ve done bits and pieces to make it into a re­ally com­fort­able fam­ily home.”

And what a stun­ning home it is, not just in con­struc­tion but in ev­ery small de­tail Jill has looked af­ter in the fur­nish­ing and dec­o­ra­tion.

Her pride and joy is the new kitchen/ liv­ing ex­ten­sion at the rear of the home planned by her hus­band and project man­aged by Derek Cham­bers of Jack­man Builders who is also the owner of another grand his­toric Ho­bart home – Lyn­d­hurst, in North Ho­bart.

The orig­i­nal kitchen was quite small and now serves as a scullery.

Tak­ing pride of place in the new kitchen is a fan­tas­tic cedar is­land bench which was sourced from Gowans Auc­tions fi ve years ago and is be­lieved to have come from an old church.

Also en­com­pass­ing an in­for­mal din­ing space and liv­ing area, light pours into the room through the dou­ble- glazed win­dows which also work as an ef­fec­tive sound bar­rier.

“We’re right near the Brooker [ high­way] be­cause that’s where the coach house needed to be, but now it’s so quiet you wouldn’t even know it was there,” Jill said.

This area over­looks the English- style gar­dens, with its camel­lias, roses and box hedges.

There is also a large lawn area where many of cel­e­brant Jill’s cou­ples have said their “I dos”.

“I’ve done 2500 wed­dings, so it’s been a re­ally nice house to bring my cou­ples to and to share a sense of fam­ily and rich­ness of his­tory,” she said.

The gar­den also hosted for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Gough Whit­lam and his wife Mar­garet in 1987 for a fundraiser for Dun­can Kerr’s tilt at the seat of Deni­son.

Much of the rest of the house has also seen ren­o­va­tions this year as it was rewired, which re­quired all the car­pets to be pulled up and most of the fur­ni­ture to be moved.

“My arms and el­bow joints are still aching from mov­ing ev­ery­thing,” Jill laughed.

Down­stairs houses the lounge ( where the car­riage was orig­i­nally kept) and din­ing room ( where the sta­ble orig­i­nally was), both of which are dec­o­rated with re­gal blues, golds and reds and are fi lled with many an­tiques and pieces col­lected by Jill from lo­cal mar­kets.

Up­stairs is a mas­ter bed­room with dou­ble- height ceil­ing and en­suite plus a fur­ther two bed­rooms and a main bath­room com­plete with op­u­lent spa bath and mar­ble van­ity with a huge gold­framed mir­ror over.

Where the hay was kept back in its days as a sta­ble, is now a spare room, where the Web­sters have big, in­com­plete jig­saw puzzles.

Prior to buy­ing the home, Jill said she had no real ex­pe­ri­ence with ren­o­vat­ing.

“I’ve got lots of friends who are in­ter­ested in it and we share ideas,” she ex­plained.

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