Country born and bred, Krystal and Adrian always had their hearts set on a farmhouse built of stone to share with their three children, Jasmine, 18, Johnny, 17, and Kelly, 13. To be enveloped by undulating emerald countryside, the single-level homestead would sit within the couple’s glorious 80-acre parcel of farmland in central Victoria. Having purchased the site in 2017, they believed that their dream would surely become a reality without complication.
“We thought it would be the easiest thing in the world, which it definitely wasn’t!” For starters, the search for the perfectly imperfect and particularly large blocks of sandstone led to an unlikely supplier. “We couldn’t find what we wanted in Australia, so the stone ended up being shipped to us from a Buddhist monastery in Vietnam – that’s how the monastery makes its income,” says Krystal. “It does make the stone even more special because I feel every block must be full of really positive energy!”
Then there was a case of ‘lost in translation’. “Somehow, the people at the monastery got it in their heads that we were Australian movie stars. We kept trying to tell them that wasn’t the case, but the message didn’t seem to get through!” she adds. “Then a monsoon ended up washing in the mine where the monastery was getting the stone. We had to wait for the mine to be dug out again.”
Who lives here?
Krystal and Adrian, who work in property development, and their children Jasmine, 18, Johnny, 17, and Kelly, 13, plus a menagerie of animals.
Favourite spot for ‘me-time’? Krystal: “Our ensuite with the freestanding bath that looks out to the view. It’s absolute heaven having a bath with a glass of wine and a little stand so that I can watch Netflix!”
Do the kids love life on the farm? “They absolutely do. We’re all country folk through and through!”
What is the best thing about the home? “We built the house exactly in the middle of the property. You really feel alone with nature, the birds and, of course, the animals.”
Texture is king in the living zone, where a sandstone wall serves as an organic backdrop. “The exposed sandstone, which you also see in the formal living room, creates structure in the home,” says Terri. “I love to put all the lamps on at night in here as well as the fireplace, and it’s like being in a luxury resort,” adds Krystal.
Conversation flows on the custom sofas and armchairs, upholstered in Mokum ‘Infinite’ fabric in Linen, and the custom ottomans upholstered in Unique Fabrics ‘Babou’ fabric in Lake, all by Bloom Interior Design & Decoration. Adding further interest and subtle colour to the relaxation zone are a pair of framed contemporary prints by Halton Abstract Collection, sourced from Designer Boys Art.
“Full disclosure – I’m not the world’s best cook,” confesses Krystal, adding: “But my mum, who’s a fabulous cook, loves to come and cook here.” It’s easy to see why, with this luminous kitchen a triumph of clever planning and stylish design. Honed Carrara marble from Apex Stone tops the benches, providing a crisp contrast to the Eveneer Parisian Oak island base from Elton Group and the Thonet Bentwood barstools. The white cabinetry is two-pac Dulux Antique White.
We love… bold lighting
Sculptural pendants are everywhere, such as the cone-shaped glass ‘Gadsden’ lights from Emac & Lawton above the benchtop and an EF Chapman ‘Classic Ring’ three-tier chandelier from The Montauk Lighting Co. “We’ve used lots of beautiful lighting that suit a country style property,” says Terri.
Inviting textures in blue and grey deliver a soft feel to Krystal and Adrian’s bedroom where the Thibaut Design ‘Shang’ wallpaper blends with curtains from Unique Fabrics in ‘Waterfall’ fabric.
In early 2020, construction commenced in earnest, with plans provided by Kate Thomas of Total Building, which also took charge of the build. Then Covid threw a spanner in the works. Fortunately, the couple had engaged interior designer Terri Shannon of Bloom Interior Design & Decoration. “My heart is in classic interiors and this home lends itself very well to that look,” says Terri.
“It’s a very layered home in terms of the soft furnishings. We didn’t want it to feel contrived.”Terri, interior designer
Walking through the house, Terri’s expert eye is evident. Organic texture sets a timeless scene, from the American Oak flooring to the sandstone feature walls in the living zones and marble in the kitchen and bathrooms. As does the soothing palette of whites and greys punctuated by highlights of blue that bring the home to vivid life.
Blue Menta square wall tiles from Signorino link the main bathroom with the home’s standout colour, while Bianco Carrara Hexagon mosaic floor tiles from Earp Bros provide a luxe look alongside the Carrara marble that tops the Eveneer Parisian Oak vanity.
“The timber and texture throughout the home bring in so much warmth.”Terri, interior designer
For Krystal and Adrian, there really is nothing like their stone farmhouse. “We absolutely love it here,” says Krystal. “I feel relaxed every time I step through the front door.”
It may be one of the less glamorous domains in the house, but the mudroom certainly hasn’t been neglected in the style stakes, with walls painted in soothing Dulux Sepal and a tactile sandstone floor. Bench and shelf in solid American Oak with walnut stain.