Not just any old home makes it onto the cover of Country Style. Stylist Jane Frosh’s did, and now it’s up for sale. Together with husband Mike, she has transformed this charming Blue Mountains home over the last three years but the lure of a new renovation project now has them looking to sell.
“We bought just over three years ago. From the street it was a pretty uninspiring, albeit a cute turn of the century weatherboard miner’s cottage. It was nothing that special until we walked in the front door! It was so warm and comforting with weatherboards to the ceiling, wide floorboards, lots of original features and so much space!” 300 square metres in fact, plus 2,400 square metres of garden. “That’s around 10 parcels of land in Annandale,” as Jane points out.
“The massive open plan lounge/dining room was a bit of a clincher for me. Eight-metre ceilings, French windows and enough of a blank canvas for me to unleash! It’s also in such a fabulous area. A little cosmopolitan, semi-rural village only 1.2 hours from the centre of Sydney.” For Jane, it means she can work from home and pop to Sydney for meetings and shoots. “Coming home here at night is fabulous. A sky filled with more stars that you have ever seen, crisp air and consuming silence. It’s awesome.”
The house, which appeared on the cover of Country Style a few months ago, used to be hidden by a rockery garden and the original verandah had been left to rot. They re-landscaped the front garden, adding vibernum hedges, rose bushes, wisteria and hydrangeas. “We then painted the exterior black (Black Fox by Taubmans) with white woodwork. It suddenly looked like a funky, Danish retreat,” says Jane. “So much better!” A pink front door made the black pop, although (since these photos were taken) it is now a lovely pea green (Jason Grant’s Two Peas for Murobond).
“We also pulled up the ratty old carpet in the original cottage (which comprises three kids’ bedrooms) and put down a donkey grey sisal, painted the interior of the original cottage, made some shutters for the bedroom windows and hung industrial light shades in the kids rooms.” The breezeway (connecting the original cottage to the new part of the house) was painted black, the office, kitchen, lounge and dining were painted white, and industrial shades were hung in all rooms. “We funked up the back terrace, constructed a super cool black treehouse, planted rows of fruit trees (quince, apple, peach, plum, almond, hazelnut, blood orange, persimmon, kaffir lime and mandarin) and built raised veggie patches,” said Jane. They also installed Carrie, their 1950s retro caravan, as additional guest accommodation. And yes, she will stay with the property!
There are plenty of benefits of moving into this stylist’s home. “Apart from the fact that it looks pretty, as I stylist, I have probably already done all the things other people want to do, but are too scared to, like painting a country cottage black! It’s a house with a personality!”
Ever dreamed of moving to the country, but can’t realistically be too far out of town? Look no further than this “country cottage with the cruisy attitude of a beach shack”. If you are interested in buying Carmyle, contact Jane via her blog.