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A Refined Farmhouse Tucked Into an Australian Valley

by Garrett Fleming

A Refined Farmhouse Tucked Into an Australian Valley, Design*Sponge

Stick around Acheron, Victoria long enough, and you’re bound to run into one or two members of the Leckey family soaking up the sprawling vistas of the tiny Australian town they call “home.” On most days, dad Will runs sheep and cattle across the family’s land while 14-year-old Hugh farms. Just as busy, 16-year-old Eliza oftentimes rides horses around the lake, and when she isn’t heading up her companies Heatherly Design and Two Rivers Green Tea, mom Georgie tends her family’s garden. It’s a bucolic life for this brood and one they’ve come to cherish for its simplicity and charm.

When the day is done, the foursome all reconvene back at their farmhouse, a retreat they’ve lived in for 20 years but that’s been in Will’s family for over 40. All the celebrations, holidays and the occasional heartbreaks it has played host to over the years have soaked into the land it sits on and given the space that indefinable coziness that only comes with time. It truly feels more like a nest than a home; a place so familiar and dear to the Leckeys it’s become an extension of themselves.

It’s easy for homes that have been in families for generations like Georgie and Will’s to slip by the wayside and go untended. This farmhouse, on the other hand, is far from dated thanks to a recent renovation. Three years ago the couple spearheaded a major overhaul that amped up its usable square footage, allotted the living areas more natural light and gave the family a chef-worthy kitchen. They didn’t abandon their “refined country” roots when doing so, though. Antiquities and storied pieces perfectly counterbalance the modernity of the space, creating a rustic-and-romantic house you won’t soon forget. Scroll down to check it out, and enjoy! —Garrett

Interior photography by Kim Selby. Family portrait by Lisa Cohen

Image above: Will and Georgie’s son Hugh is a great farmer, and his bedroom reflects his love of the outdoors and wildlife. When he was just seven, Georgie took him to Melbourne to pick out the cowhide for his headboard. “He has never forgotten that day!” she says.

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Hugh’s bedroom also boasts a fireplace.

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Georgie and Will’s children haven’t lived anywhere other than the farm, a rarity nowadays.

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When their children were younger, Georgie and Will didn’t have the budget to oversee a full home renovation so they relied on new coats of paint and thrifty accessories. It wasn’t until four years ago that the couple dug their heels in and made the major tweaks they’d been pining over for years.

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The artwork above the fireplace by Richard Claremont reminds Georgie of the home’s view.

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From their favorite armchairs, Georgie and Will can see the nearby valley and mountains of the Cathedral Range. The various throw pillows sitting in those chairs are made of remnants from Heatherly Design headboards.

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A bedroom used to sit in the space currently occupied by the kitchen. The room and overall layout of the “refined country” home were tweaked in order to modernize the space and let in more natural light.

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The kitchen – which overlooks the gardens – features Cararra marble countertops.

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Georgie’s favorite thing about her home.

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The family company all started with one headboard. Over time, Georgie’s friends and family began asking for pieces for their own home, and the brand was born. “In the early days I made all our client orders. Mind you, they were very simple designs back then! Within 18 months (of opening) we moved manufacturing to Melbourne, but our design office is still located in our home,” Georgie explains.

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“As our garden can be seen [from] every window in the bedroom, [this upholstery] was the perfect choice for bringing the garden indoors. Not to mention hydrangeas are my all-time-favorite flower, too!” – Georgie Leckey

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The bathroom’s tiles are a recent addition. Outside the door sits the family’s laundry room.

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“Our 16-year-old wanted a very grown-up bedroom. I had always loved this wallpaper, [and] I knew this would be the perfect color palette for a teenager,” Georgie says. The horse portrait is a nod to her daughter’s love of riding.

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Georgie’s favorite memory of the farmhouse is the day she and her husband celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. Guests gathered for a celebratory luncheon on the same lakeside lawn where the couple tied the knot.

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The family’s farm provides veggies year-round. They’re especially keen on the patch’s asparagus.

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The pavilion was made using the property’s fallen red gum tree timber. Every fall it supports grapevines, but come spring it’s covered in wisteria.

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The home – which sits two hours northeast of Melbourne – was built in the 1920s.

Overall
Headboards – Heatherly Design

Living Room
Artwork – Richard Claremont, Sam Michelle, Vanessa Stockard
Paint – Dulux “White Duck”
Cushions – Designers Guild

Kitchen
Paint – Dulux “Class Blue”

Georgie and Will’s Bedroom
Paint– Porter’s Paints “Elegance”
Upholstery – Designers Guild “Cassandra”

Daughter’s Room
Wallpaper – Cole & Son

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