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  • Writer's pictureErin Clark

Inside our spaces: Eating and entertaining

Updated: Feb 7

We've Come a Long Way, Baby.

It's been a smidge over 18 months since we embarked on a crazy adventure to turn a run-down hobby farm into premium short-stay accommodation - and Western Australia's Central Wheatbelt isn't known as a tourism destination. Unlike Motel Makeover, we've not been followed by a Netflix camera crew!


By popular demand, here's a sneak peek behind the scenes into the indoor eating and entertaining spaces. Hit that Log In button as we start to finally drop our before & and afters.


Our design thinking

All of our design decisions started from creating a space that we'd want to stay in ourselves, whether it was with friends or family... always with our fur family in tow!


It's a space for making memories with the people most important to us.




Inspired by The June Motel and Motel Makeover, we've aimed to use a mix of vintage, store, and existing pieces with a preference for mid-century modern.







Everything decision has focused on making the place easy to maintain - and truly pet friendly. We've had some pretty tough critics to work with as they were determined to be on the fur-niture at every step of the journey.




'

Build It Up, Tear It Down

It might not be obvious from the photos but little of our energy (but a lot of our investment!) was spent indoors.


The dining room

This was one of the fastest spaces for us to 'flip'. Remove carpet squares, add our op shop finds, and switch out different rugs and artwork for a pop of colour. The extendable dining table makes for great long-table dinner parties.

But, let's be honest, while we love this space - you'll usually find us making use of the outdoor spaces. Breakfasts as the sun rises to watch the birds, and dinners as the sunsets over the fires, and desserts roasted over the campfire.



The kitchen

The kitchen has one of the best views of the entire house, looking out over the paddocks. Removing the previous net curtains, and restoring the original metal window frames makes it feel like domestic bliss.





Bye bye big fridge! Rather than having a giant fridge like the previous owner, we've prioritised having extra bench space - and having a coffee machine front and centre! It helps traffic flow in the kitchen when two - and four-legged friends are hungry.


One of our favourite purchases is the matching retro-inspired kettle and toaster.



We're experimenting with small-scale cut native flowers intending to reduce flower miles and water usage. Our current arrangements feature a mix of 'leftover' natives, foraged weeds, and the beginnings of our flowers.




The lounge room

Never underestimate the power of some good curtains! The giant picture window in the lounge room is one of the drawcards of Mather Farm, used across a number of our designs.




Unleash the natural light! Changing the curtains and unveiling the jarrah floorboards made for a rapid transformation.



The giant picture window overlooks our native plants and birdbath, making it a great spot for a quiet coffee while you watch the world go by. The nesting coffee tables undercovered in a Victorian op shop makes the space work for all types of uses. Lamps and directional lights give a soft, romantic glow when needed ;)



Many of our favourite purchases can be found are in the lounge room. he recliner, the MCM mirror and the epic drinks cart, help the 1950s vibes shine. They have been mixed with a series of functional IKEA pieces. The trunk, which doubles as a dining table, is an upcycled family heirloom.


Every cozy rental needs a fireplace for winter. This one has been a journey of discovery, but we're pretty chuffed with the finished result.



The hardwork here was all Erin's Mum! When removing the metal cover, we found that the heater wasn't properly connected.



We've roadtested many different rugs to make sure that they are 100% pet-friendly and easy to clean. Here's our chief rug tester at work. Nobody is brave enough to tell this guy he can't come to the visit the farm with the rest of the fam.





The hard parts

Like all projects, there's always the unexpected. Here's ours.


Appliances

Since we've had the farm, we've been able to test that the kitchen works for all kinds of challenges - cozy dinners for two, grandiose Christmas dinners, easy tray bakes for large groups (so much better with fresh local lamb!), lazy Sunday brunches with friends, and stylish charcuterie boards for girl's weekends.


Cooking for friends & family ourselves we realised very quickly that the original oven wasn't going to cut it - and entertaining with a crowd doesn't work without a dishwasher. We've also added extra bench space - always helpful when cooking for a crowd.




Floors

One of our "hobbies" for several months was removing carpet glue from floor boards - can attest that it's very meditative. We took a risk when we brought the place that the floors were in tgood condition as promised, choosing not to pull up all of the rugs and carpet as it would have caused a trip hazard for the former owner.


While we found several termite-damaged sections, Erin's Mum has been an absolute trooper diligently fixing damaged sections. The house no longer feels like a game of Mine Sweeper, dodging our blue "hazard" tape.




Kitchen & serving ware

Good quality pots, pans, and servingware aren't cheap. But it was a non-negotiable for us. There's no Uber Eats or food delivery in Kellerberrin. Interestingly, we must not cook much pasta - our first test guests let us know that we were missing a colander.


The simple life makes the "what to have for dinner conversation easy" - it's either cook or heading to the Kellerberrin Pub to check out Anna's epic cooking.




Basic Restoration

It's been tedious spent slowly picking away at 70 years of neglect to bring the many heritage features back to life, particularly around doors, entrances and lighting


  • Using graffiti remover to remove black texta instructions written on walls

  • Scratching kids stickers off heritage glass doors

  • Fixing broken fly screens

  • Changing locks from the 'utilitarian' to the 'bougie'

  • Filling in numerous holes to keep the original metalwork

  • Changing doors and locks while keeping original metal features

  • Upcycling original barndoors





Unicorn spotting

Tradies are magical creatures rarely spotted in Kellerberrin. While it can be a three-month wait for non-urgent work, they've been critical for turning our vision into a reality.


Having functional eating and entertaining spaces wouldn't have been possible without:

  • Joel from Wheatbelt Plumbing and Gas, while a very busy human, has always managed to squeeze us in

  • Shane from Wheatbelt Decor had an affinity for the ol' girl, carefully restoring our metal windows indoors and out, painting everything by hand without a lick of masking tape (he's also a talented sign writer!). He did a stellar job working with oil-based paints at the height of winter.

  • Gary from O'Neill Electrics has been working with us to install our new winnings including the oven, and some stunning light features that highlight the historical cornices

  • The team from DKT Rural Agencies. It's been an absolute lifesaver being able to order everything that we need locally, rather than carting everything along the Great Eastern Highway like we did when we first started this adventure. They don't even laugh too hard at the silly projects we're always dreaming up.

  • Steve from Wheatbelt Maintenance Services has been heaven-sent to help with the myriad of odd jobs and keeping our fire extinguishers serviced







We're still smiling and excited for this adventure and can't wait to welcome you to our 1950's oasis.



Don't forget to follow to our blog as we give you the inside scoop on our spaces across Mather Farm, bringing a bit of rustic luxury to Kellerberrin.


Looking for book your next stay? Book here.





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