On The Market
This beautiful cottage that’s just come up for sale is proof the traditional Australian dream of owning your own home on a quarter-acre block still exists. You just need to know where to look.
The three-bedroom house is located in Birregurra, about 40 minutes from the regional hub of Geelong. And, the best part is it’s been fully renovated by the current owner, project manager Ashley Macdonald, who moved to the property four years ago.
He had been living in Lorne for six years and was looking for a place to ‘put some roots down’ when he discovered the run-down, country cottage.
‘Anything along the Great Ocean Road was unaffordable, and after loads of Sunday drives investigating Otway Hinterland towns I always landed back at Birregurra,’ Ashley says. ‘From the first walk through I had a pretty clear vision of the potential, what work was required and the finishes I envisioned for it.’
He says the house was originally built in 1952 but was relocated to its current position about 25 years ago.
‘It was built with a solid hardwood frame, hardwood Tasmanian oak floorboards and other minor period details, which are beautiful,’ he adds. Armed with his project management skills and a list of trusted trades, Ashley took a ‘hollistic’ approach to renovating the abode. The resulting transformation is not only sympathetic to its heritage — retaining the charm of the facade, its classic bullnose verandah and a wood-burning fireplace inside — but the updates have made it ‘the best of both worlds’.
‘I love to cook and the open kitchen living provides a platform for cooking and entertaining in a modest space. It was an awkward space originally, but the banquet seat has really balanced the area,’ Ashley notes.
He also spends a lot of time watching the low maintenance and productive garden develop. In true country cottage style, there’s a chicken coop with fruit trees, a berry lane, hot house, citrus zone, while raised veggie beds provide ample fresh produce.
‘The natives will only further establish themselves, the dwarf eucalypts and the multiple banksia varieties will provide a lifetime of unique cut flowers,’ he adds.
Ashley’s only moving on from the idyllic home to renovate a 1960s ‘art deco pad in need of much love’ that’s also in Birregurra, having fallen in love with the natural beauty of the Otways.
‘The town flies under the radar for what it provides, and most importantly, it has a great community.’