We have big news—Salt Creek Cottage has been featured in the April 2021 issue of Homes & Gardens UK… what the?! Homes & Gardens UK is the UK’s longest-standing homes and interiors magazine, running for over 100 years. To be featured in a publication of such prestige, and an international magazine at that, is an absolute pleasure. Check out the beautiful spread below, including the eloquent and flattering write-up by Ali Heath.
This article was first printed in Homes & Gardens April 2021 Issue, with words written by interiors writer & stylist, Ali Heath, as well as photographs by purpose-driven interior, travel and lifestyle photographer, Marnie Hawson.
The Grampians, Victoria—One of the Most Pristine, Pure and Undiscovered Parts of Victoria
Sometimes a place captures your imagination and has a lasting influence.
For Amanda Cochran it was the draw of the Grampians that took hold: ‘I first came to this area 13 years ago and despite moving away for a period of time, the grounded and magnetic energy of this mountainous region kept pulling me back. It is one of the most pristine, pure and undiscovered parts of Victoria,’ says Amanda.
Located at the foothills of Mount Sturgeon and Mount Abrupt, 300 kilometres from Melbourne, the colonial style, Victorian weather-boarded cottage, dating back to the early 1900s, is nestled in the village of Dunkeld.
Surrounded by picturesque open land, where casually roaming kangaroos, wallabies, emus and possums are the norm; yet just a few minutes from the main high street, with the iconic Royal Mail hotel and an irresistible bakery.
The Beginning of The Grampians Goods Co.
In 2016 Amanda’s personal journey evolved from full time mum to: Claudia, 11, Elodie, 8, James, 5, to the additional role of business founder – for her new start-up, The Grampians Goods Co.
What started as the seed of an idea for the creation of aromatherapy candles – a personal, handmade solution to more toxic synthetic alternatives, has quickly grown into a business, creating homewares, lifestyle products, and a bath and body collection, that includes a rich source of locally farmed, natural ingredients.
Salt Creek Cottage: A Timely Opportunity
Twelve months ago Amanda had an opportunity to take on Salt Creek Cottage – a newly renovated dwelling, known affectionately as Salty.
‘I had never seriously considered owning a retail store, or a boutique rental property, but after completing Sarah Andrew’s Airbnb Masterclass, to meet prospective customers, I knew instinctively that the cottage would be the perfect way to soulfully bring the business to life,’ smiles Amanda.
Although the interior had been beautifully upgraded by the previous owner – white washed spaces, a contemporary kitchen and chic subway tiled bathroom, Amanda was keen to add more depth.
‘I created a storyboard, reimagining the interior as a surveyor’s retreat at the foot of our incredible mountain ranges. The Grampians was discovered and named, by Major Sir Thomas Mitchell, a highly regarded Scottish surveyor and the cottage now lends a fictional-meets-historical nod to those roots.’Enlisting the help of Inside Story – run by Lynda Gardener and Belle Hemming, they assisted Amanda with colour, sourcing and styling, to create a cocooning escape.
The Layout of Salt Creek Cottage
At the front of the cottage two bedrooms flank the hallway entrance; which leads down into a new extension – home to an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area, filled with an abundance of natural light.
Throughout, the luxurious space juxtaposes the wilderness of the surrounding landscape – layered with covetable textiles and fabrics, that are displayed effortlessly alongside antique books and vintage artworks.
Rich olive green walls are complemented with foliage picked from the garden and rooms are filled with the natural scent of Amanda’s candles – and soaps, made from certified organic extra virgin olive oil and hemp seed oil, grown on nearby farms.
In the bedrooms, moody charcoal greys permeate the spaces and lend a sophisticated, yet relaxed ambience; whilst throughout favourite finds, such as the tartan upholstered bedhead; an original survey map of Dunkeld, recovered from Parks Victoria archives; and precious antiques – including Amanda’s grandmother’s timber chair, add style and authenticity.
The cottage has become a place for customers to experience the brand and its connection to the inspiring landscape: what began small, has grown into something I am immensely proud of,’ says Amanda. With the boutique rental just 12-months in, one can’t help but think this new part of Amanda’s story is only just unfolding.
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