When Lindsay Moore and his wife, Robyn, decided to transform their old South Gippsland dairy farm into a relaxing getaway for guests, they knew just who to call for the job.
They enlisted their interior designer and stylist daughter, Andrea Moore, to create three themed residences for the property.
Two of them — the Barn and the Dairy — have now been short-listed for the interior design category of this year’s The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards.
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Ms Moore owns and operates Studio Moore, a Melbourne-based architecture, interior design and styling studio. She worked closely with her dad to develop the family’s vision for what is now known as Ross Farm.
She came up with the look and layout for each place and oversaw the design direction, while Mr Moore, a retired vet with a passion for building, completed all the woodwork for the project with a small team of local makers and trades.
“The fact the Barn doesn’t give much away on approach is something I really love about it. It just looks like a tin shed,” Ms Moore explained. “But when you push open the oversized steel pivot door and step inside, what you see is quite unexpected.
“It holds back the experience, rather than putting everything on show from the start.”
Working within the footprint of the original barn, Ms Moore drew inspiration from the surrounding landscape. She even reused the corrugated iron from the old barn to line the facade, which also features full-height glass to the eastern side.
“We decided to lift the roof to allow for a mezzanine and to capture northern light and views of the South Gippsland hills from upstairs,” she said.
The use of granite throughout the design was heavily influenced by the giant granite boulders at nearby Wilsons Promontory.
To keep costs down, Ms Moore creatively applied granite pool paving instead of custom-cut stone on the kitchen bench and cabinetry, for bathroom tiling, and to form a bench seat that runs along a wall from the dining area to the living area.
“The nature of the project encouraged me to be resourceful and apply ordinary materials in different and interesting ways,” Ms Moore said.
“The finishes are so honest and raw — that’s what I find so beautiful.”
SIMPLICITY ALL AROUND
When it came to the kitchen and the two bathrooms, Ms Moore wanted the design to be humble rather than “bold and flashy”.
With this in mind, the kitchen was kept simple and pared back to just things you’d really need.
One of the standout features is the butcher’s block Mr Moore made from a huge log of locally sourced cypress. Not only is it a practical addition to the kitchen, it adds to the cosy country feel.
Timber-clad walls in a woodchip look enhance the calm aesthetic by helping to bring in warmth and accentuate height. They also add a touch of drama and complement the restrained palette Ms Moore was keen to embrace.
“It stops the space from feeling overwhelming and creates a really seamless feel,” Ms Moore said.
Almost everything in the Barn has been custom made or designed specifically for the home, adding to its unique feel.
This includes furniture and cabinetry fashioned from local cypress timber, light fittings produced from brass pipe, and even handbasins made from repurposed drainpipes.
“The fact everything is handmade adds a layer of authenticity and charm to the building,” Ms Moore said.
Brass sheeting, tapware and feature accents add more pops of wow throughout the residence, but not in an overstimulating way.
“The brass will patina naturally and will add character as it ages,” Ms Moore said.
Other talking points include a timber bath wrapped in Corten steel and a concrete kitchen sink, as well as a spiral staircase that leads from the ground floor to the mezzanine level.
A staircase made from Corten steel added another element of rustic beauty, Ms Moore said.
“It ties in so well with the rest of the colour palette and materials you’d see used on the land. It also helps define the different areas within the open plan,” she said.
Ms Moore said the project honoured the original agricultural architecture, while making use of local materials and skills.
Open to the public, you can book to stay at the barn through [email protected]
The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards will be announced on November 5.