As you drive along the road to Stanley, a little township in North-East Victoria, the windy bends matched with the stunning landscape of quintessential country Victoria has you loosening your shoulders and a smile creeping upon your face.
Nestled in bush land a few kilometres past Stanley is an amazing story of an amazing build by two very inspiring individuals, that basically set out to build an off grid house.
“We didn’t know it was going to come out this good! It far exceeded our expectations.” Ian | Owner
From the moment you drive up to the house, you can see it’s bespoke. Timber and corrugated iron feature heavily as well as a decking that practically wraps around the entire house.
“We based this home on the apple sheds of Stanley, mixed in with English oak barns as I’m originally from England and have a strong connection with that heritage” Ian explains.
Ian and Leanne bought the land that was overgrown and full of blackberries back in 2004 however, they didn’t start building until 2007.
The build process evolved with the couple really not having any fixed budget.
“We just built the home we wanted and we did a lot of work ourselves,” Leanne | Owner
The house is off grid, and built in such a way as to not need any cooling. The home is heated by a Canadian wood heater bought for a bargain on eBay and a hydronic heater that warms up the bedrooms. Ian milled all the timber in the home and as I sit in the living room to talk to him about it, he can list off were each beam was from locally.
“I am proud to say that not one living tree was sacrificed for this build, all the timber used was from trees that had fallen and I salvaged," Ian | Owner
The home is furnished stylishly with a mix of contemporary and antique furnishings as well as more of Ian’s hand crafted wooden items, his newest addition being the long dining table.
“I had purchased the aboriginal art purposely as I felt the colours would really match well with the timber,” Ian explained.
There were elements of the build that the couple had to be crafty about. “We had to come up with a solution for the lighting as in the main living area we didn’t want to spoil the roof line with lights, so we bough Eames lamps, cut the bases off and Ian made timber bases for them to mount to the walls,” Leanne recalls.
The central living area has a wonderful indoor/outdoor feel with bi-fold doors either side and when opened, give you a wonderful sense of space that can be enjoyed with many people. It's no wonder that this is one of Leanne’s favourite elements of the home. Ian loves his connection with the yellow box timber used in the roof trusses.
The home is four bedrooms with the master room over looking the pool and the other three bedrooms on the opposite side of the house. Each bedroom has its own access to outside and is simply furnished. The bathrooms are a statement in their own right with carefully selected tiles and accessories making the rooms feel luxurious and comfortable.
The pool is actually a kit pool that Ian put together and then had the help of a friend to construct a deck all the way around it. Little pockets off to the side, means that there is ample space for relaxing poolside in this peaceful country setting.
The garden landscaping was done around the same time of the build with Ian and Leanne wanting something that was easy to care for and practical but that also helped blend the home with the landscape.
“People think that I’m a greenie with my home being so eco friendly and my garden being full of natives, but actually I’m just lazy!" Ian | Owner
Ian didn't want to spend all his spare time in the garden, so having a low maintenance garden was essential. I can’t help but laugh as I feel that Ian and Leanne are anything but lazy! The home they have created is truly one of a kind.
The house was home for Leanne and Ian until recently they realised that now that the children have up and moved out, that it was too big to remain. As such, they are currently in the process of building a smaller home at the back of this 20 acre property and this gorgeous home is now available for house rental.