There’s a good chance you’ve heard about Melbourne’s bespoke titans, Captains of Industry–self-proclaimed “practical men of wide experience.” They’ve been getting a huge amount of well-deserved press for their rare, special attention to custom work, from handmade suits and shoes to barber shaves and sandwiches. They even hand-make the thread they use for tailoring. Tucked into a black-painted building, the masculine atelier/cobbler/cafe is pretty cool-looking (see Todd Selby’s photos for T magazine below). It makes sense that Lost & Found, an online newsletter dedicated to creative Melbourne and put out by Tourism Victoria, would open their temporary, one-room hotel upstairs. With raw wooden floors and a wall full of big windows, the light-filled space is outfitted almost entirely with local design: furniture from vintage seller Grandfather’s Axe, dinnerware by ceramicist Shelley Panton and cheese from Yarra Valley Dairy. I’m a very big fan of these micro-ventures that give guests an intimate experience, offering a hyper-curated glimpse into the local art, culture, food and design scene. Best part: If you get picked by ballot, you get to stay for FREE.
[Top four photos of Lost & Found by Warwick Baker courtesy Tourism Victoria via Skip Town; bottom two photos of Captains of Industry by Todd Selby for T via nytimes.com]
A Melbourne-based interior decorator and owner of the cult-fave antique shop Empire Village, Lyn Gardener transformed this 1850s brick miners cottage into a dreamy, detail-attuned retreat in Daylesford. A consummate, natural stylist, she mixes vintage and rustic with quirky industrial pieces, and knows when to add a pop–like that handmade wallpaper by Deborah Bowness. French doors open to magical gardens, classic claw foot soaking tubs are for relaxing, and the thoughtful little details, like handmade ticking linen and kitchen cupboards stocked with local goodies, are endless.
Doing some research on the place, I stumbled across a post about the house on Pia Jane Bijkerk’s blog. Turns out, they’re pals (always a good sign). Here’s what Pia has to say about house’s location a short stroll from the center of town: “For those of you who don’t know this area, basically this means it’s in the center of heaven.”
Prices start around $400 a night for a couple, but there’s a breakdown of nights, rooms and number of people that helps cut the cost. No kids! Rent it at http://empirevintage.com.au/thewhitehousedaylesford
Australian artist Matt Martino and his wife Jane wanted a second home in the country but needed to off-set the cost. So they built this historic-looking country cottage in Daylesford with the intention of renting it out on occasion. Their plan: outfit with lived-in, comfortable furniture and thoughtful, quirky design details and original art, so guests feel like they’re in a real home… “the opposite of a hotel,” says Matt. Filling a style gap in the Australian holiday market, the house books out months in advance, and the couple can hardly squeeze in a weekend of their own. Their answer? Start a vacation home company called Comma (as in: a pause or break; time for relaxing and doing something else) and build another one–this time a Moroccan-Greek-themed, brick-rendered tent in Byron Bay. Stay tuned.
An hour and a half from Melbourne, Daylesford is a lovely little tourist town with rolling hills, lakes, woods and a charming cafe strip. The house has four bedrooms, with an additional loft suite in the stables outbuilding. You can split up and rent by the room/night, or rent the entire spread for $2,300 for the week at thecommagroup.com.
[Photos by Dianna Snape]