As a property stylist, when you get the call to come and visit a Lake Wendouree, Ballarat home that has been in the same family for over 120 years, you never quite know what to expect.  In this instance, we were bowled over by what we discovered when we arrived at 8 Cardigan St.  We spent many hours walking down the hall and through the beautiful, character filled rooms taking in every detail.  Many more hours were spent walking through the amazing garden that was coming to life in the unpredictable Ballarat spring weather.  The homes current owners Michael and Marie Taffe are moving on to start a fresh new chapter in their lives and giving the home a new life, hopefully with a family that will love and respect the property as much as the many generations of the Taffe family have.

Such was the magnitude of the project, we spent many hours in the home with Michael and Marie to identify the best approach to the property styling.  Obviously so much history needed to be respected and we were lucky enough to be able to work with some of the amazing pieces of furniture and art that were already in the home.  We hoped to be able to help potential buyers see the beauty of the original state of the property and how they could combine that with a fresh and updated way of living.

The bonus that came with this project was spending time with Michael and Marie.  Michael is an absolute encyclopaedia when it comes to history, gardens and of course Hymettus itself.  We were regaled with stories of the family and the home.  My favourite was how the property was named after the 1898 Caufield Cup winner, Hymettus.  Michaels grandfather had a win at the races and his winnings enabled him to purchase the property, and it has been in the family ever since.  We wandered through the garden with Michael listening to countless stories about the existing plantings and what the original garden looked like in times gone by.  The tour always concluded with a pot of tea made by Marie – who by the way makes the best tea ever!

Working with Paul McGourlay and Jesse Manton from Ray White Real Estate was an absolute privilege.  Their approach to working with the Taffe family and the home was the same as ours – respect the history and understand the emotional journey that the family go through when we walk into their home.  It is stressful having strangers come into your home and reorganise it at the best of times, but this was particularly sensitive for the family given its history with the home.

We were delighted with the result and want to thank Michael and Marie for trusting us with this most precious project.  Thanks to Jesse and Paul from Ray White for giving us this opportunity.  We feel incredibly honoured to have had the opportunity to work with the Taffe family and the beautiful Hymettus.

We hope a beautiful new family will take this property to its next chapter.