Places and Spaces: Inside a Minimalist Farmhouse That's a Hidden Garden Sanctuary

You'd never guess that this sophisticated guesthouse was once an out-house. Its current life as a sleek, modern retreat amongst the trees is far removed from its former practical duties. Cleverly, the owners of this picturesque piece of Mornington Peninsula in Victoria saw the potential in the space and have worked with award-winning designers Studio Esteta to turn a dream into a fully realised sanctuary that's just perfect for a chilly evening by the fireplace while you get lost in the acres upon acres of rolling hills that seem to never end. The design team were inspired by—rather than put off by—the original clad building and all of the character it has accumulated over time and have inserted sympathetic touches here and there to enhance the experience of the guest house. With autumn in full swing, it sounds like the perfect place to be right now for some R&R.

To bring a sense of connection to the primary residence on the property and to elevate the guest house to its full potential, Studio Esteta chose to create new openings to make the most of its enviable position and dreamy green outlook. A bold, square window in the stunning kitchen acts as a focal art work as well as drawing much-need sunlight into the space. Large sliding doors show off the best of what this Victorian farmhouse has to offer, with ancient trees towering above and picturesque paddocks that encourage you to slow down and take it all in. The two bedroom, one bathroom hideaway has a dreamy aesthetic thanks to the mature landscaping that flows delicately over handrails and hangs loosely from the verandah to provide privacy and a sense of cosiness. If you've ever wanted to know what sleeping in a greenhouse is like, this could be the closest you get.

Once you've brought yourself in from admiring the hundred-year-old trees and the draping ivy, you're going to be hit with the sleekest interior we've seen in a while. You'll notice the smoked oak floors instinctively and their knots and grains that give a rustic look and feel to the space. Then, you'll be wowed by the fact that the floors seem to instantly become vertical and form custom joinery in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. There isn't a long list of materials used in this project, but the few that have been selected have been used to their full potential to create a truly one-off space. To inject a touch of 2020 into this project, natural stones and touches of black and bronze up the ante and sophistication level. Here, the essentials are covered—a comfy sofa, a soft rug, the perfect armchair for Sundays with a book and a cup of tea. Merrick's Guest House is a collaboration that celebrates original Australian design and infuses it with global style for a place that we'll be dreaming of for weeks to come.

Images courtesy of Studio Esteta. Photography by Tom Blachford.

Now, let's travel to a minimalist, carbon-neutral home inspired by the seaside.

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