Architect -
Designer -
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Photography Nick Skinner

American Industrial Charm Meets French Elegance in Victoria’s Countryside

Ten years ago, interior designer and stylist Kali Cavanagh stumbled upon a dilapidated 1860s minor cottage lodged between rolling hills and bubbling mineral springs in Daylesford. Today, Vintage House Daylesford is a testament to her passion for preserving history and crafting spaces that tell unique stories.

I was drawn to the allure of old, forgotten buildings,” Cavanagh reflects as she recounts the genesis of Vintage House Daylesford. “There’s a certain magic in breathing new life into the forgotten remnants of the past.

Step through the weathered threshold, and you’ll be greeted by a symphony of colours, textures, and emotions — a deliberate choice by Cavanagh.

“Home is about warmth and textures. I want people to walk in and feel at home like they’re experiencing something special and lived-in.”

At the heart of Vintage Daylesford lies the kitchen. The centrepiece? A blue-hued oven reminiscent of her beloved 1964 Holden, she fished out from a flea market in America. “When I saw that sitting on the back of a truck, I knew it belonged here,” she shares, her voice tinged with nostalgia and reverence.

Cavanagh curated the kitchen space to balance vintage charm and contemporary allure. Keeping the majority of the kitchen white served as a deliberate choice to ensure that the vibrant blue of the oven remained the focal point.

The remainder of the house embraced its unique French-American industrial character, courtesy of a packed shipping container from Cavanagh’s American trip. “While Australia lagged in the industrial interior trend, America thrived,” she says. “I was drawn to steel pieces, workwear attire—things often discarded.”

In the open-plan living and dining room, an 18th-century dining table and a vintage Chesterfield banquette sofa highlight a brooding ambience. With lofty ceilings, sunlight dances through the room, but come winter dawn, attention gravitates toward the antique French cast iron fireplace.

The bedrooms deviate from the subdued tones of the common areas, embracing creamy whites and earthy hues, except for The Grey Room, a monochrome display of Cavanagh’s travel mementoes featuring a queen bed draped in Bedouin Societe linens. “I wanted each room to have its own story,” she reflects.

For those seeking extra space, the Garden Studio at the rear offers a cosy third bedroom, complete with an oversized claw foot bath overlooking the tree-lined surroundings.

Here, amidst the serenity of Vintage House Daylesford, one finds solace in the simple pleasures of life — the crackle of a roaring fire, the soft embrace of a well-worn armchair, the gentle rustle of leaves in the breeze.

“I’m in the planning stages for a house redesign,” she explains. “After more than a decade, it’s due for an update.”

PROJECT Vintage House Daylesford
CATEGORIES Accommodation
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