Home de­sign:

A newly built home is de­signed with an aura of old-world charm, as Hande Ren­shaw dis­cov­ers.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - Contents -

a fab­u­lous French farm­house in Queens­land

For Cas­san­dra and David Aird, in­ject­ing touches of old French charm into their newly built home was the most im­por­tant part of the build­ing and ren­o­va­tion process. “We both love the sim­ple dec­o­ra­tive ac­cents of French style – the light­ness and fresh­ness of it – rather than a heavy, dark tim­ber look,” says Cas­san­dra. “Trav­el­ling to France in re­cent years has fu­elled our pas­sion for this style.”

Set on half a hectare and nes­tled in a pic­turesque Queens­land val­ley, the prop­erty was bought by the pair four years ago, af­ter they longed to swap city liv­ing for coun­try bliss.

“David was pas­sion­ate to own and breed horses since the day we met,” says Cas­san­dra. “We built our house on an old dairy farm site, so we now

have a space where our horses, Molly and Sky, can graze, and for me to gar­den, which is my favourite thing.

“We re­ally have our Amer­i­can Quar­ter Horse, Molly, a breed with a lovely and gen­tle tem­per­a­ment, to thank for our re­turn to acreage liv­ing,” she adds.

The home was built by a Bris­bane com­pany, which worked closely with the cou­ple to cre­ate an Aus­tralian Fed­er­a­tion-style de­sign that also in­cor­po­rated their own per­sonal style.

“I have al­ways loved the char­ac­ter of old homes – I was look­ing for­ward to the de­sign process and ev­ery­thing be­ing new and fresh, but I was also con­cerned that a mod­ern house would be lack­ing in charm and char­ac­ter,” says Cas­san­dra.

To avoid a brand-new, clin­i­cal feel, the cou­ple de­signed a 30-de­gree pitched roof and a ve­ran­dah across the front of the home, with French doors open­ing up to the gar­den. In­side are tra­di­tional char­ac­ter fea­tures such as dec­o­ra­tive ve­ran­dah brack­ets and

I am in­trigued by the his­tory of pieces.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: Cas­san­dra with her horse, Molly. Flo­ral cush­ions add colour to an el­e­gant bed­room. The all-weather out­door area.

crown-shaped ceil­ing mould­ings, as well as an old-fash­ioned clothes line made from re­cy­cled tim­ber, which was built by David.

Ad­di­tional build­ings on the prop­erty, such as the sta­ble and the barn, have also been de­signed to look old with an aged patina.

“We are so happy with the out­come – we have a mod­ern house with a tra­di­tional twist and a nod to coun­try­colo­nial style,” says Cas­san­dra.

The in­te­rior of the home is French pro­vin­cial in style, with a sim­ple white colour scheme through­out.

The spa­cious in­te­rior leads out to an equally large out­door area where the cou­ple spend most of their time – French doors to the front ve­ran­dah and eight-me­tre wide bi­fold doors to the back al­fresco area al­low an easy flow from in­doors to out.

The decor is abun­dant with an­tique gems. “My ap­pre­ci­a­tion of vin­tage pieces be­gan from an early age, from my par­ents’ in­flu­ence,” says Cas­san­dra. “We would of­ten visit an­tique shops and I loved the smell of old waxed fur­ni­ture. I was, and still am, in­trigued by the his­tory of where the pieces could have been be­fore I found them.

“Ev­ery piece has al­ready had a life, with dec­o­ra­tive style and bumps and knocks,” says Cas­san­dra. “I can tell you the story and how we stum­bled across ev­ery sin­gle piece we own – and that makes lovely me­mories.”

For Cas­san­dra, the home and gar­den are never com­plete.

“I of­ten be­come restless and think of some­thing to tweak – the house and gar­den are never safe when I get in­spired,” she laughs.

PHO­TOG­RA­PHY JOHN DOWNS STYLING TAHN SCOON

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