Inside Shaynna Blaze’s 120-year-old country house restoration

The interior designer is pulling back the plasterboard and revealing the details of her renovation in a six-part series called Country Home Rescue.
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Shaynna Blaze has never shied away from a bit of hard work, especially when it comes to home renovations. The celebrated interior designer has starred on our screens for over a decade now, either transforming tired homes on Selling Houses Australia or sharing her secrets to styling rooms as a judge on The Block. And while we often see her in others, it’s finally time to get a glimpse inside Shaynna Blaze’s new house.

In a six-part series called Country Home Rescue, Shaynna is taking us along for the (at times rocky!) ride as she restores a 120-year-old historical home in Kyneton, in regional Victoria. She admits that the dilapidated home — which she originally bought for her kids to film a horror movie in — is one that most would abandon, but that only seems to add to its charm for the designer.

Shaynna Blaze and son on site Country House Rescue
Shaynna Blaze is making no compromises when it comes to restoring this grand 130-year-old house to its former glory. (Credit: Image: Nine)
“This house is all about the details,” she says of the 1890s property that she is spending her lifesavings, well…saving. And considering how critical she was of The Block contestant’s this year about honouring the architectural heritage of their homes, that is only to be expected.
But restoring old homes is never a smooth or simple process, and Shyanna, along with her two adult children, Carly and Jess, is pulling back the plasterboard and revealing all: the reality behind building restrictions, the disappointment that comes with delays, and most importantly the hidden costs that all too often come with restoring homes (read: $30,000 spent on removing rubbish and asbestos).
Without further ado, take a look through Shaynna’s whimsical and most wonderful Sutherland House.

See inside Shaynna Blaze’s new country house

Shaynna Blaze country house
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

While years of damage meant Shaynna couldn’t retain much of the original facade — apart from the barley-twist details in the windows and the door knocker — she wanted to make the new exterior look like it had always been there. The new hand-forged Victorian lacework, timber posts and detailing lend an authentic and local feel to the front of the house.

Shaynmna Blaze Country House Rescue front veranda
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

Shaynna struggled to find plants for the front garden that could survive the Kyneton frost but eventually landed on magnolias that provide enough privacy to create a space she will actually be able to use at the front of the house.

shaynna Blaze country house hallway
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

“The hallway was dark and dated but it now has so many beautiful heritage features that I was able to bring back to life,” says Shaynna of the restored stained glass windows, cornices, pressed metal ceilings and ornate archways.

Shaynna Blaze Country Home Rescue ballroom
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

The ‘ballroom’ at the front of the house was dark, dingy and oversized. Shaynna knew that with the open-plan living area at the back of the house, the front rooms wouldn’t get much use, so she wanted to design them to draw people in. “I’ve let my imagination go down the rabbit hole of curiosity,” she says of the whimsical wallpaper, dark regal colour palette, tartan rug, and opulent velvet furnishings.

Shaynna Blaze country house rescue parlour

What was originally a poky room under the stairs, has now become the parlour. Filled with enchanting secrets and surprises — you enter the space through a hidden door in the hallway — it has been inspired by Marie Antoinette. “Handmade wallpaper, antique lighting and eclectic styling ignite that sense of romance and decadence,” says Shaynna.

Shaynna Blaze country house rescue kitchen
(Credit: Image: Shaynna Blaze via Instagram)

“The black cabinetry anchors the kitchen which allows you to take in the vastness of the panelled ceiling,” said Shaynna of her brand new kitchen. The space is complete with benchtops in Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo, splashbacks in Craquel White Gloss tiles from Beaumont, and a bespoke pendant light from Alex Earl Studio.

Shaynna Blaze country house rescue butlers pantry

As ‘storage queen’, the butler’s pantry is an absolute dream for Shaynna. Featuring a second sink, fridge and oven, it’s the perfect place to hide any mess. But the pièce de résistance has to be a secret compartment that lifts out of the benchtop with the press of a button, which conceals clunky appliances like air fryers and toasters.

Shaynna Blaze country house rescue dining room
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

“I wanted the dining table to be expansive enough to seat 12 people but feel intimate enough if it’s just two or three,” says Shaynna. A blue velvet built-in booth seat sits at the head of the table, tying in with the colour palette of the living room opposite. ‘Southport Marino’ sheer curtains from Wynstan give a glimpse of the outdoors, while a custom Alex Earl Studio wall light connects with the pendant in the kitchen.

Shaynna Blaze country house rescue living room
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

The Weathertex ceiling panels were crucial to the design of the living room, not only adding a sense of opulence to the space but also connecting it to the rooms upstairs. The entire design was inspired by the “sexy” chevron brick fireplace. For the artwork — of which there are many — Shaynna applied her only rule: “Just go with what you love.” There was some consideration with her choices however, with Shaynna explaining, “These pieces work as a collection because they’re connected by either a green and blue hue or a monochromatic black and white.”

Shaynna Blaze Country House Rescue bedroom
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

For her own bedroom, Shaynna wanted to create a space that was “plush, timeless and romantic.” Although the smallest bedroom in the home, she was instantly drawn to its original fireplace and ceiling details. The custom bee-inspired wallpaper and chandelier are subtle yet romantic, and the storage is fitted out with clever details including sensor lighting. The bed is styled with her own collection from Harris Scarfe.

shaynna Blaze country house ensuite
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

Shaynna’s opulent ensuite is accessed through a hidden door in her bedroom. Featuring a fireplace, generous bathtub, gold tapware and elegant green subway tiles, it’s a truly beautiful space. Shaynna adds of the patterned Moroccan-inspired tiles on the floor that “the contrast is so perfectly me.”

shaynna Blaze country house son Jess's bedroom
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

Shaynna’s son Jess threw a spanner in her design when he said he wanted to keep the exposed brick in his room, but the interior designer made it work. Featuring a deep blue palette, new ornate ceilings and cornicing inspired elsewhere in the home, the space is somewhat masculine yet still elegant.

Shaynna Blaze country house bathroom
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

The royal blue palette continues into the bathroom, through the choice of towels, custom joinery and patterned floor tiles. A skylight in the vaulted ceiling makes the space feel open and bright and highlights the delicate detail in the wall tiles – which is inspired by the home’s original pressed metal ceilings.

Shaynna Blaze country house rescue bell tower
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

“There is something about the bell tower that makes the house feel magical,” says Shaynna. She had a bell commissioned by one of Australia’s last bellmakers, and loves how it creates a talking point in the home.

Shaynna Blaze country house rescue bathroom
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

Shaynna cleverly transformed one of the bedrooms into a luxurious bathroom. It references the building’s Art Deco heritage while also feeling contemporary, with its terrazzo flooring and relief pattern tiles. The choice to tile halfway up the wall and finish with a timber dado rail not only gives the space a period feel, but it’s also budget-friendly. And yes, there is plenty of storage!

Shaynna Blaze country house rescue carlys room
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

Shaynna wanted Carly’s bedroom to connect with the overall aesthetic of the home, but reflect her individual personality, so the inspiration for the colour palette was drawn from her favourite vintage vase. The timber mid-century furniture ties in with exposed ceiling beams, while the bed is dressed in a duvet cover Shaynna designed especially for her.

Shaynna Blaze xcountry house rescue Olive's bedroom
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

Shaynna’s granddaughter Olive’s bedroom is a whimsical playground. Cute custom wallpaper with Australian animals adorns the walls, while skylights flood the space with natural light. The bunk bed is something she (and any future siblings) will be able to grow into, and the loop pile woollen carpet will be soft underfoot while she plays with her toys.

Shaynna Blaze Country house rescue powder room
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

Shaynna combined both Victorian and Art Deco details in the powder room through her tile and wallpaper choices. Keeping everything in a modern and neutral palette allowed her to make a statement with pattern and texture.

Shaynna Blaze country house rescue backyard garden
(Credit: Photo: Nine)

Shaynna’s backyard may be small when compared to most rural homes, but it’s got everything she needs: a patio, lush lawn, vegetable garden and bee hive, a firepit and outdoor seating, plus a functional BBQ area. The white patio pergola completes the look of her heritage house while contrasting stunningly with her modern Carriage House.

This article originally appeared on Homes To Love.

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