Our stable conversion:
how rundown farm buildings became a gorgeous retreat
For Amanda Coutts, it was merely a matter of time before she would relocate back to her roots and settle in the country. Growing up in rural Victoria, country life was always something she craved to return to. “After living in Brisbane as a teenager through to my adult years, I knew the country lifestyle was where I wanted to go back to; I threw myself in the deep end when I moved into this property, but I knew what to expect as a country girl,” says Amanda.
Amanda, who owns a business that specialises in handmade leather goods, shares her hinterland home with her two sons Charlie, 12, and Pedro, nine, and their two beloved kelpies, Janey and Black Jack.
She stumbled on the charming property with her then husband, musician Pete Murray, via a cutting from a real estate magazine. “We were sold before we even arrived to view the house – driving down the tree-lined winding roads, dappled sunlight and the green rolling hills opening to vast mountain views… all down a dirt road and into a Natural fibres and materials feature in every room, including the kitchen (above). Left: Recycled pressed metal panels are used for the bathroom walls. garden full of 100-year-old trees; I was an absolute goner!” says Amanda. “We really wanted to play hard with the agent, but there was no hiding it – I was home.”
These days, Amanda lives in what were the original stables, once home to horsemen and their horses when the property ran as a dairy farm. The stables were literally one tin shed when Amanda first moved in eight years ago, with power, running water and tin-covered walls, but without a single window.
“I quickly set about creating a cosy home overlooking the valley down the backyard,” she explains.
The renovations have included pulling off the tin and putting in recycled timber flooring and creating individual spaces. “For the windows, I hunted high and low – I wanted to create little frames for the view outside, so it was like looking at a painting,” says Amanda.
I quickly set about creating a cosy home overlooking the valley.
From vintage salvaged windows to her grandmother’s reupholstered sofa, every object in Amanda Coutts’ home has a story.