Renovation dream: Delightful cow shed conversion in Queensland

"Most sensible people would have bulldozed it," says owner Sarah of this historical outbuilding come charming country retreat.

Sarah and Andrew had been dating for less than a month when Sarah clapped eyes on the dilapidated outbuilding on Andrew’s 2ha property. “You have to save it!” she exclaimed.

Andrew, who is the director of Hillhouse Architecture could also see the value and charm of the barn, even though the building was a skeleton of its former self. Deep within a meadow of noxious weeds, it was riddled with not one but two species of white ants, under a peeling, rusted roof. “It was basically a ruin,” says Andrew.

It wasn’t until 2006, when the couple had married and were living in the property’s cottage, that they decided to embark on what became the three-year task of restoring the barn.

The barn is available for holiday rentals. For more information visit, The Barn at Hillhouse.

Australian House & Garden

Story: Kate Johns

Styling: Dezley Hughes

Photography: Anastasia Kariofyllidis

Story via: Homes to Love

“Most sensible people would have bulldozed it,” says owner Sarah of this historical outbuilding.

Andrew, Sarah and George with Wojtek, a Jack Russell/red cattledog cross, and their aptly named pony, Cheeky.

The couple created a built-up entrance inspired by Japanese design. The coffee table was found at a dump, stripped back and cut down. Outside, there’s plenty of firewood for winter fuel.

“Sometimes we’ll take the dining table out onto the grass and eat under the stars,” says Sarah.

The bed was specially made to fit into one of the bails, the frames where cows were secured for milking.

Weatherboard walls were restored or replaced. “There was a hundred years of manure on the walls, so there was lots of cleaning to do,” says Sarah.

This separate bath house was constructed from recycled materials and new timber.

Andrew and Sarah keep three Dexter cattle on their property, continuing a long local association with dairy breeds.

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