Country Style - - HOME - CHRIST­MAS 2018

• “We use things we’ve found around the farm for ta­ble dec­o­ra­tions and nap­kin rings,” says Brooke, of na­tive grasses, kan­ga­roo paw, in­ter­est­ing pieces of wood, and even branches from pine trees. “We also al­ways make a gi­ant-sized wreath for the wall.”

• “We dec­o­rate our house the first week­end of De­cem­ber af­ter the hunt for our tree. We al­ways have a real tree but the search for the per­fect one, on our prop­erty or even by the side of the road, can take some time. It’s al­ways great fun look­ing.”

• “We have some dec­o­ra­tions that come out ev­ery year — some from our trav­els, some hand­made craft ones the girls and I have made. We have some clear baubles we love, and ev­ery year we put re­cent pho­tos of the girls in them, or some­thing beau­ti­ful like a feather that has taken our fancy. Presents are wrapped in brown pa­per and tied with string, or in pa­per dec­o­rated by the girls.”

• “Arkie and Ruby are the right ages now to re­ally get into Christ­mas, and we leave Santa his beer and bis­cuits, and car­rots for the rein­deer. The girls have sacks that Mum and I made when they were born from beau­ti­ful red and cream fab­rics, rem­nants from Colin’s mother — they are very pre­cious. Mum also gives us one of her Christ­mas cakes.”

• “My sis­ters and I al­ways watch Na­tional Lam­poon’s Christ­mas Va­ca­tion to get us in the mood. There’s al­ways lots of non­sense, laugh­ter, eat­ing and drink­ing, and Colin dresses up in his dad’s old Santa suit, which we all love.”

One of them, Beth Mac­don­ald of blog Baby­mac, be­gan post­ing pic­tures on so­cial me­dia, “A ‘look what my clever friends Mr and Mrs Munro made for my birth­day’ sort of thing’,” says Brooke fondly. “Sud­denly, it seemed peo­ple were re­ally lik­ing what we were do­ing, so Colin and I de­cided to run with it and haven’t looked back since.” With work of late tak­ing them in a more sculp­tural di­rec­tion, Mr & Mrs Munro re­cently opened a re­tail and stu­dio space in nearby Robert­son. Their prop­erty, set on the pe­riph­ery of Mor­ton Na­tional Park, is an old flower farm that sits along­side a tran­sit track used by log­gers in the 19th cen­tury to haul cedar trees up to the South­ern High­lands from Kan­ga­roo Val­ley. Partly cleared and part bush­land, with po­ten­tial for Colin to farm fallen trees for their busi­ness, the cou­ple loved it at first sight. The di­lap­i­dated 1970s farm­house was an­other mat­ter though. “It should have been a knock­down,” says Colin, who is now at the end of the home’s two-year ren­o­va­tion. “It was rot­ting at the seams, full of mould and damp within the floor and walls, and with huge holes that let the day­light in. But I think as mak­ers, we could see its po­ten­tial no mat­ter how hid­den.” With Ruby, now seven, and Arkie, six, at school, and Brooke con­tin­u­ing to host work­shops and make light shades, wreaths and bas­kets from for­aged bush ma­te­ri­als such as wire, sticks, vines and grasses, the ren­o­va­tion was a big task. Colin stripped the tim­ber house and re­built the floors, walls, ceil­ing and roof. He re­clad to create a sin­gle liv­ing space down­stairs and two bed­rooms up­stairs, and clev­erly de­vised space-sav­ing stor­age ar­eas un­der the cou­ple’s hand­made bed and in the pitched roof. The cou­ple scoured the area for re­claimed doors and win­dows, and Colin con­structed the cir­cu­lar stair­case, slid­ing barn door, shelv­ing, ce­ment work­tops, and even the kitchen sink. Brooke de­signed her home with a black-and-white colour scheme to add light and give a feel­ing of space, and to al­low the fam­ily’s eclec­tic col­lec­tion of favourite paint­ings and spe­cial bits and pieces to shine. The re­sult is a tiny but per­fectly pro­por­tioned house to suit their fam­ily, as they pre­pare to cel­e­brate an­other Christ­mas fol­low­ing age-old tra­di­tions. “We al­ways go a bit over­board dress­ing the house for Christ­mas and ev­ery year I make a new wreath for the wall,” says Brooke. “On Christ­mas Eve we cel­e­brate with friends and fam­ily at the pub be­fore re­turn­ing home and feast­ing on a ham by our fab­u­lous lo­cal butcher, Maugers Meats. Christ­mas Day is spent eat­ing, open­ing presents and play­ing games, and then we head down to my par­ents’ house at Nar­rawallee on the NSW South Coast to spend a few days re­cov­er­ing.” For more in­for­ma­tion, visit

“We al­ways go a bit over­board dress­ing the house for Christ­mas and ev­ery year I make a new wreath for the wall.”

FROM LEFT Colin with Peggy sit­ting on a sofa from Free­dom. The wo­ven bas­ket above is an­other art­ful piece by Brooke; in the main bed­room, a Juliet bal­cony is a great van­tage point. FAC­ING PAGE Colin has built the bed, which is topped with cush­ions from Skylla and Cul­tiver and linen from The Sum­mer Peo­ple, both stores are lo­cated in Mil­ton, NSW. Old flour sifters, found at an an­tique sale, hang on the wall. For stock­ist de­tails, see page 138.

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