When Angeline and Richard O’Bryan purchased the Poets Lodge property in Daylesford, Victoria, they had ‘no plan, no surveys, and no pre-purchase inspection’… but it was love at first sight. ‘We knew from the moment we opened the front door,’ recalls Angeline. ‘It had so much to offer. So many features that make a house into a very special home.’
The property consisted of a very rundown house originally built in 1852, alongside a small cottage added in the 1920s. The main house hadn’t been touched in 20 years, so after relocating three families of possums squatting in the roof, the couple set out on completing a full restoration.
Angeline previously owned a boutique bed and breakfast in Bondi for 15 years, and Richard is a licensed builder, so while the couple had the expertise required, this project clearly wasn’t going to be without its challenges! ‘The first night we slept here, it started pouring with rain. We had 12 buckets and bowls sitting around the house under the many leaks!’ says Angeline. ‘Not even when the water was streaming down the walls of the internal hallway did we think we’d made a mistake.’
The vision for the main house was simply to strip the space back to its original features, to better showcase the bay windows, open fireplaces, high ceilings and timber panelling. ‘The use of plain colours and painted lining boards gave us the light we needed,’ says Angeline. ‘We wanted the interior to be as minimal as possible, whilst still retaining a country family home feel.’ Angeline’s styling brings together antiques, with Australian timber furniture and other locally made pieces. Favourites include the antique French iron bed from her family’s holiday house in France, a painting of Richard’s father, and the cast iron baths!
The small dwelling next door, now named ‘Old Jacks Cottage’ after the original owner, was also renovated with the intention of becoming holiday accommodation.
While works were underway, Richard decided to create a third building on the site, made entirely out of reclaimed materials. ‘We sourced materials from all over Victoria and in some cases, NSW,’ says Angeline. This takes time and when finding the right materials, we stockpiled as they became available. This property, named the ‘Garden Loft’, is so in keeping with the original elements of Poets Lodge, that guests often ask if it was formerly a stables or barn.
The three properties on Poets Lodge are available to be rented out individually or together, making it an ideal family weekend getaway spot or event space, just two minutes walk from town. Book here.
The Garden Loft at Poets Lodge – Daylesford’s newest boutique accomodation. Photo – Abbie Melle.
There are three separate buildings on the property which can be booked separately, or as one entire venue. Photo – Abbie Melle.
The Main House is a 1850s house brought back to life by the owners. Photo – Abbie Melle.
Wood panelling lines the Main House’s walls. Photo – Abbie Melle.
The perfect country kitchen Photo – Abbie Melle.
The bookshelves are fully stocked ready for your stay! Photo – Abbie Melle.
Peak cosy vibes! Photo – Abbie Melle.
The Garden Loft living room. This building the only newly built component of Poets Lodge. Photo – Abbie Melle.
The Garden Loft kitchen. Photo – Abbie Melle.
Vintage decor fills all three dwellings. Photo – Abbie Melle.
A book lover’s dream room! Photo – Abbie Melle.
Inside Old Jack’s Cottage – the restored 1920s building on the property. Photo – Abbie Melle.
An antique French bed in the Main House. Photo – Abbie Melle.
The simply elegant Old Jack’s Cottage bedroom. Photo – Abbie Melle.
A cast iron bath in one of the Main House bathrooms. Photo – Abbie Melle.
There’s also a cast iron bath in Old Jack’s Cottage. Photo – Abbie Melle.
White walls provide the ideal canvas for the vintage decor. Photo – Abbie Melle.
Guests are greeted by the enchanting 1852 Main House facade. Photo – Abbie Melle.