17 January, 2008

Old Gowrie, Kingsthorpe near Toowomba

Above - Image of Old Gowrie Homestead taken in 2005
Above - image of Old Gowrie taken in 1979.

Old Gowrie Homestead at Kingsthorpe, near Toowoomba is my [paternal] Grandmother, Sarah's, birth [1920] & childhood home. I grew up with wonderful stories of my Grandmother's childhood and a painted image of this beautiful old homestead by the Hertiage House Trust of Queensland framed in her home and copies throughout our own homes now. Old Gowrie Homestead was built ca. 1875 on a property near Toowoomba in the Darling Downs.

The Historic Homestead is up for sale... in February 2007
A STATELY country homestead built by a King and his army of 20 men has been restored to the grandeur it enjoyed 135 years ago and is on the market.With history dripping from the walls and ceilings in paintings, maps, lighting and memorabilia, the Darling Downs' Old Gowrie homestead and boutique winery sits on 71ha -- and two freehold titles -- just west of Toowoomba at Kingsthorpe. Owners Ron and Marie Newbury are reluctantly selling the multi-million-dollar property.
Built by wealthy timber merchant George King and completed in 1873, the 1320sq m homestead stayed in his family until his second son, a soldier, left in 1919. Ron and Maree, former cotton growers from western NSW, bought Gowrie eight years ago and embarked on restorations to the 12 original rooms and the tasteful extensions made by a former owner 25 years ago. Ron is a walking history book on the property and its surrounds. Four magnificent chandeliers, bought from the Brisbane estate of Sir Leon and Lady Trout, grace the 3.5m-wide hallways, the billiard room and the formal living room. "They couldn't have found a more suitable home," Ron says proudly.
Old Gowrie homestead has provided bed-and-breakfast accommodation in its time, with visitors staying in the original part of the home in four of its five spacious bedrooms. One of the two visitors' bathrooms had been the colonial kitchen.The main bedroom has an ensuite, which is also a rarity for its era, with a clawfoot bath and old wash stand, complemented by a modern shower, toilet and tiled walls. There is also a dressing room with tall cedar wardrobes installed.
The formal living room, with its elegant leather and brocade-covered furnishings, has excellent acoustics and recently hosted a chamber music afternoon in which Toowoomba musicians performed for an audience of 50 seated guests.Eight fireplaces, built of Italian marble, warm the rooms. A refreshing easterly breeze cools the lengthy hallway for more than 80 per cent of the time, an indication that even in the 1870s architects were considering sustainability. Exceptionally high ceilings mean no airconditioning is required.Ron said that when he and Marie bought Old Gowrie most of the door handles were either broken or missing. So they went on a mission to find replacements. And the skirting boards, some 40cm high, were suffering from what looked like blow-torch burns.
Most of the timber door frames were a heavy, deep green until his painters refreshed them with a rich cream gloss. He also found parchments documenting more of the King family and military history, discarded behind a bathroom door.Everyday entry to the homestead is through a cheerful brick courtyard coloured by brilliant bougainvillea, with decorative figs in big terracotta pots and shaded by an old jacaranda.
The "gallery" is the first room on entry – part of extensions made in 1982 of complementary Tasmanian oak. "It was too good to leave as an entry room so we turned it into a dining room and we've had 45 people in here at long tables for lunch," Ron said. "The house did have historic listing but it was de-listed because they said this extension didn't exactly comply with the criteria." There is nothing jarring about the area, which leads to a timber kitchen with an island work bench and a TV and family dining room. The cork-tiled floor and feature-tile splashbacks blend in warmly.
Ron has an office and there is a cellar where the womenfolk once took refuge in fear of passing Aborigines, below one of the guest rooms.Most of the rooms lead through French windows to the wide timber verandas decorated with iron lace balustrades that wrap around the house. A tradesman Ron employed once measured those verandas at 103m at the house walls.Outside is a free-standing building, once known as the Gun and Rum Room."It was where they kept their ammo and their alcohol. Now it's a playhouse for the grandchildren," Ron said.
A full-sized enclosed tennis court and swimming pool are near the homestead while a six-stable barn with feed room, round yard, outside yard and some small paddocks are ready for horses.
"We were having brochures printed for the sale of the property and we had an extra 500 printed to go to the Magic Millions a few weeks ago," Ron said. "All the brochures were snapped up in two days and we've had several inquiries, including some from horse breeders in Korea."
As well as restoring the homestead, Ron planted 14ha of grapes. Gowrie Mountain Estate wines have enjoyed success, picking up 78 medals across Australia in eight years. The labels feature a delicate illustration of the homestead. Ron sends his produce away to winemakers who undertake the fermentation process, then send the wine back in oak barrels to be stored for 14 months before the contents are bottled in a boutique 1000sq m airconditioned cellar that is partly underground.
There are cellar door sales and the huge room is available for functions, already approved by local government.Three bores – two for domestic use and one for vineyard irrigation – are on the property. Home water is stored in a 120,000-litre rainwater tank while three 112,000-litre storage tanks stand at the vineyard.Many of the furnishings will be available by negotiation when Ron and Marie move into a smaller house. "We'll move into Toowoomba," Ron said. "We've never lived in a suburb before."
His extensive research revealed that the homestead was built in an unusual manner for its period in the late 19th century. "The walls are poured concrete a foot thick (30cm) and the foundations go 12 foot (3.7m) into the ground," he said. "The ceilings are white beech timber and the floors are bunya or hoop pine. The other timber is imported English ash and walnut. "It took the 20 men seven years to complete."
The timber ceilings are remarkable for the craftsmanship evident in their diamond-shape inlays, nearly 5m from the polished floors, which are adorned with Persian carpets.

The Homestead - along with redeveloped Winery & Boutique B&B accomodation, went to Auction in March of 2007.

A HISTORIC Darling Downs estate, once described as a "faultless and flower-carpeted ranch" and now a boutique winery, is to be sold at auction in March.The 71ha Old Gowrie Homestead and Gowrie Mountain Estate Winery at Kingsthorpe, on the western fringe of Toowoomba, is on what was a much bigger cattle and sheep station that dated back to 1841.
Former cotton farmers Ron and Marie Newbury, from Moree in northwestern New South Wales, bought Old Gowrie several years ago to redevelop as a winery and boutique bed-and-breakfast accommodation.
During their tenure, the showpiece homestead, built in 1872 from poured cement covered with render and then painted to resemble stone, had a wing added that blended in with the colonial architecture.
The five-bedroom 1320sq m homestead has Italian marble fireplaces, imported timbers of English ash and walnut, 4.9m ceilings, formal dining and lounge rooms, billiards room, cellar and many ornate features.
On two freehold titles, its vineyard and winery cover 13.75ha and produce eight varieties.
Marketing agent David Snow said widespread interest in Old Gowrie included a Korean syndicate interested in its potential as a thoroughbred stud. The property's horse facilities include a six-stable barn, round-yard and paddocks.
"The auction of Old Gowrie and Gowrie Mountain Estate Winery represents a unique opportunity to purchase one of Queensland's most elegant and historic homes," Mr Snow said.
"The significant architecture, the generous proportion of all the rooms and the lifestyle opportunity it affords makes this real estate holding truly inimitable.

Vintage Keys

I loves keys, and vintage 'real' keys at that! I found these great 'vintage key' necklaces that Sarah Kat made, the bottom two are made by making an imprint/ transfer of the key into liquid clay.
What a beautiful idea to transform a bunch of old(er) keys that have great form but may not be able to open any doors anymore, but can now open up a new way of accessorising.

02 January, 2008

Celebrating Australian Art & Design Pt 2.

There's nothing like Australian Design & Architecture, here are a few of my absolute favourites that to me are purely iconic within Australian design of the past century.

Above: The curved and counter-curved terraces

Project: Hannes House Design - Completion 1983-1984 - Location: Cammeray, Sydney NSW AUSTRALIA
Client: Mr & Mrs Jack Hannes - Size: 350 sq m - Materials: Face brick walls, prestressed concrete floors and roof Awards: RAIA Award, 1985

Above: The partly suspended house with carpark below and ramp to central terrace
Project: Rose Seidler House Design/Completion 1948-1950
Location: Wahroonga, Sydney NSW AUSTRALIA
Client: Mr & Mrs M Seidler Size: 200 sq m
Materials: Concrete floor, timber superstructure
Awards: Sir John Sulman Medal, RAIA, 1951

The suspended house with continuous terrace on the North side
Project: Rose House Design - Completion:1949-1950 - Location: Wahroonga, Sydney NSW AUSTRALIA
Client: Mr & Mrs Julian Rose - Size: 160 sq m - erials: Steel structure, timber infill

Above: Projecting living room terrace

Above: Split level terraces on North side
Project: Harry & Penelope Seidler House Design
Completion: 66-1967
Location: Killara, Sydney, NSW AUSTRALIA
Client: Harry & Penelope Seidler - Size: 400 sq m
Materials: White reinforced masonry walls, concrete floors and roof, rubble stone retaining walls and fireplace
Awards: Wilkinson Award, RAIA, 1967

Images & Details from seidler.net.au/

Australia Day - Celebrating Australian Design

Celebrating Australia Day - Celebrating Australian Design

With our national holiday - 'Australia Day' on 26 January - fast approaching - in a mini-part blog series I wanted to expose, explore and celebrate - a snippet - of what makes great Australian design.

Prolific Rug Design Company: Designer Rugs - fosters & collaborates with Australia's Top Designers.

Dinosaur Designs stands as one of the most visible and successful design based businesses in Australia.

The group as - Louise Olsen, Stephen Ormandy and Liane Rossler met while studying drawing and painting at a Sydney art school in 1983. They formed the company Dinosaur Designs in 1985 and began selling handprinted fabrics and painted jewellery at Paddington Markets. The intuitive creativity that shapes their distinctive work in jewellery and homewares has also informed the development of their extraordinary company. Dinosaur Designs now stands as one of the most visible and successful design-based businesses in Australia, operating its own stores in Sydney, Melbourne and New York as well as exporting to more than twenty countries worldwide.Olsen, Ormandy and Rossler have managed to intersect the boundaries between art, craft, design, fashion and business

without pause, and have applied the same creative energy and focused vision to each new opportunity. They have forged an important place for themselves within Australian design history, not only through their longevity and popularity but also through the distinctively Australian character of their work, with many of the colours and forms they use evoking the casual lifestyle and vibrant natural landscape of Australia. Bio Words/ text by Brian Parkes Curator, Object Gallery


Flag Store: SYDNEY339 Oxford StreetPaddington 2021Ph: 02 9361 3776 Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm Sun: 12pm-5pm

CLOTH: Created exclusively for Designer Rugs, the 8 rug designs are each an organic representation of the signature style that is Cloth fabric. Designed in Julie’s Blue Mountains workshop; each design captures unique elements of her tranquil and innate atmosphere, drawing from the surrounding Australian landscape.Since its conception in 1995, cloth fabric has been creating contemporary screenprinted textiles by hand. Located in Sydney, the small team lead by Julie focuses on producing high quality, locally made products with an earthy, relaxed Australian overtone.“This collection of rugs has been developed from my current fabric ranges titled “In The shed and Outside” The designs are based on my daily life: the native plants I see out the windows of my workshop, the trip I take up to the mountains, the endless suburbs I drive through, the traffic lights I wait at."
Stock sizes: 170 x 240 cm and 200x 300cm; rugs can be custom coloured and sized.

Visit http://www.clothfabric.com/

VIXEN: Georgia Chapman, the Melbourne-based designer and maker of Vixen textiles, fashion and homewares, has developed an international following for her custom-dyed, hand printed, etched and embellished silks, jerseys and velvets. Prior to establishing her own label, Georgia's designs adorned collections for Collette Dinnigan and Scanlan & Theodore.
Georgia's unique style has translated beautifully into a seductive collection of rugs that carry her hallmark - hand - detailed layers of complimentary colours and prints combining in luxurious union.
The Vixen collection by Designer Rugs is based on favourite prints and fabrics from future and recent collections. The tactile element has been achieved through the use of pure silk embellishments, differing yarn heights and pattern layering.
Standard size is 200cm x 300cm, all designs can be custom coloured and sized.

Akira Isogowa - 'Akira'
Following the huge success of the inaugural Akira Isogawa rug collection presented by Designer Rugs in 2005, the two have once again collaborate on a brand new collection for 2007/08. Developing along this same path, the Akira rug collection for 2007/08 likewise reflects Akira’s delicate signature, epitomised by contemporary plays on traditional Japanese icons, patterns and colour ways. The six new designs make up the Akira 2008 rug collection for Designer Rugs. Each design features 100% New Zealand Wool, some in combination with viscose or pure silk which add a subtle textural highlight. Colour combinations such as cherry and stone, turquoise and charcoal, and chartreuse and eggshell typify the collection.

Designer Rugs - For more than 20 years, Designer Rugs has been making and supplying the finest quality hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs to embassies, hotels, banks, public buildings and to individual residences.
Our rugs are made from the purest New Zealand wool and the finest Oriental silks. They have worked closely with architects including Harry Seidler and designers such as Akira Isogawa and Dinosaur Designs to produce tailor-made pieces for individual projects and for our own exclusive rug ranges.
They are committed to ensuring that their customers get the highest standards of service and their in-house designers and showroom staff will assist you in choosing or creating the perfect rug for your needs.
They can work with you to produce any style, size and colour of rug required. This can include matching commissioned rugs to the hues of an artwork or decorative scheme.
DR (designer rugs) craftspeople are masters of classic techniques including carving, loop and cut, bevelling and embossing. Using only the highest grade materials. New Zealand wool has the ideal qualities of strength, comfort, warmth and its natural whiteness allows it to be dyed to an endless palette of colours.
From contemporary to traditional, tribal to classic, DR supply stylish rugs, made to specifications or carefully selected from DR's impressive range of hand-knotted, imported rugs. DR rugs can be delivered anywhere in the world at a surprisingly low cost.
Sydney - for showroom and contact details:
Head Office & Factory: 509 Parramatta Road PO Box 54 Leichhardt NSW 2040 Sydney Australia Telephone: +61 2 9550 9933 Facsimile: +61 2 9564 2703 and 100 New South Head Road, Edgecliff Sydney NSW Australia 2027 Telephone: +61 2 9328 4111 Facsimile: +61 2 9328 4122

Eco Fires - Environmentally Friendly & Style Savvy

These eco fires are so exicitng for those who want the warmth and look of a fire but without the environmental cost of wood/logs and smoke, and for those who don't have an external wall to fit a flue.
Perfect for townhouses and apartments.

It is this product that we are looking at putting into a recessed area in our home - but does not have an external wall! How exciting... I find that looking at a fire is as mesmerising as watching the ocean... a view that is not alway attainable, but this eco fire is.

The 'Igloo' Eco Fire.

The Eco Fire is flue less and does not require any installation or utility connection for fuel supply, which makes it ideal for just about any architectural environment. Fuelled by a renewable modern energy (Denatured Ethanol), it burns clean and is virtually maintenance free.

Stockists of Eco fires can be found around Sydney at home interior stores.

Mad About Eames

Eames Wire Mesh Chairs - advertisement
This particular advertisement for the Eames Wire Mesh chairs has an almost 'Hitchcock' air about it - not sure if it the lone bird, or the post-modernist grpahic appeal, almost 'Charade' 1963 - Audrey Hepburn & Cary Grant.
Sofa Hang Tag - Eames for Herman Miller
I have such a pengent for post-modern advertising and printed product info such as this image of a sofa hang tag for a Eames (for Herman Miller) sofa lounge.
Eames Rocking Chair
Eames Alumiunium Chairs 1958
I love these chairs I am looking at getting 2 replicas for our newly design open office/ media area. Not only are they comfortable but after 50 years the purity of the design remains ever so contemporary.

Eames Lounge Chair 1956
There's a fantastic upholsterer and furniture seller in Sydney, located in inner-city suburb Glebe, that always seems to have this Eames lounge chair and ottoman in their window I pass it almost everyday and always have to make sure I keep my eyes on the road - Not sure if it's the owners and they show it off to get people's attention or unbeknown to me it hasn't found a home yet! Ahgast!

Bio on the legendary Product Designer / Artist - Charles Eames
Charles Ormond Eames, Jr was born in 1907 in
Saint Louis, Missouri. By the time he was 14 years old, while attending high school, Charles worked at the Laclede Steel Company as a part-time laborer, where he learned about engineering, drawing, and architecture (and also first entertained the idea of one day becoming an architect).
Charles briefly studied architecture at
Washington University in St. Louis on an architectural scholarship. He proposed studying Frank Lloyd Wright to his professors, and when he would not cease his interest in modern architects, he was dismissed from the university. In the report describing why he was dismissed from the university, a professor wrote the comment "His views were too modern." While at Washington University, he met his first wife, Catherine Woermann, whom he married in 1929. A year later, they had a daughter, Lucia.
After he left school and was married, Charles began his own architectural practice, with partners Charles Gray and later Walter Pauley.
One great influence on him was the Finnish architect
Eliel Saarinen (whose son Eero, also an architect, would become a partner and friend). At the elder Saarinen's invitation, he moved in 1938 with his wife Catherine and daughter Lucia to Michigan, to further study architecture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he would become a teacher and head of the industrial design department. One of the requirements of the Architecture and Urban Planning Program, at the time Eames applied, was for the student to have decided upon his project and gathered as much pertinent information in advance – Eames' interest was in the St. Louis waterfront. Together with Eero Saarinen he designed prize-winning furniture for New York's Museum of Modern Art "Organic Design in Home Furnishings" competition.[1] Their work displayed the new technique of wood moulding (originally developed by Alvar Aalto), that Eames would further develop in many moulded plywood products, including, beside chairs and other furniture, splints and stretchers for the U.S. Navy during World War II.[2]
In 1941, Charles and Catherine divorced, and he married his Cranbrook colleague Ray Kaiser, who was born in Sacramento, California. He then moved with her to Los Angeles, California, where they would work and live for the rest of their lives. In the late 1940s, as part of the Arts & Architecture magazine's "Case Study" program, Ray and Charles designed and built the groundbreaking Eames House, Case Study House #8, as their home. Located upon a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and hand-constructed within a matter of days entirely of pre-fabricated steel parts intended for industrial construction, it remains a milestone of modern architecture.

Source - see wikipedia.com

Outdoor Lounge & Chair Design

Recently I stayed at a fabulous resort,Peppers Salt Resort & Spa, on the far northern coast line of New South Wales, Kingscliff. Here at the lagoon pool side the resort had these fantastic oversized day beds that you could lay on then swim, then sun and then do it all over again. The shape, materials and colours were condusive for just taking it easy!
For similar furniture designs visit http://www.dedon.com.au/
A fantastic furniture company, Coast, from New Zealand is succesfully marketing outdoor range of bean bags and oversized cushions. The bean bags and oversized cushions are made from weather resistant 'Sunbrella' fabric, I think they're fabulous for both the adults and the kids! The mail order business ezibuy also distributes these bean bags for a lower price point.
http://www.coastnewzealand.com/ , www.ezibuy.com.au
Reinterpreting traditional weaving through modern technology and material, the Kettal Maia Outdoor furniture collection has a modern geometric style. The spun aluminium framework has a light open design that defies the strong solid metal. I love the texture of this chair against the slick sharp lines of the tiles and pool surface.

For more Balou designs Visit http://www.kezu.com.au/ and designer profile http://www.kezu.com.au/index.cfm?page=products&searchWords=Text%20search&ManufacturerID=&CategoryID=&DesignerID=5161&ProductName=&ProductTypeId=&start=1&pid=

Tablescapes - Chinoiserie

Chinoiserie - originating late 19th century Pan-Asia style
Chinoiserie - 1.a style of ornamentation current chiefly in the 18th century in Europe, characterized by intricate patterns and an extensive use of motifs identified as Chinese. 2.an object decorated in this style or an example of this style: The clock was an interesting chinoiserie. [Origin: 1880–85; <>Chinese + -erie -ery]

de Gournay's - Chinoiserie Chelsea on custom yellow background wallpaper;

email at info@degournay.com

de Gournay's - Chinoiserie wall covering & tablescape

Verandah Home & Garden Living Solutions - Tablescape; Wall painted in Jervis Bay Blue, British Paints; Tall conical blue & white vase from Shanghai; Blue & white bowl with lid from Kelantung Malaysia; Bohemia Crystal Rib Vase with Cymbidium orchid; Oblong Frosted Lamp, Ikea.



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