In April 2013, when Iain and Anneli Day purchased Beranlie which is adjacent to their other property Liddesdale, the house was a modest fibro cottage that had been unoccupied for eight years. Undeterred, eight months later Iain and Anneli and their children Ryan, 16, Jahna, 13 and eleven-year-old Ben, relocated from Iain’s family property Marylands, 62 kilometres in the east with hopes to transform the old house into a comfortable family home.
The Days initially lived in the house to get a feel for it and work out what alterations were required. “We thought it had reasonably good bones and with four bedrooms it was a fair sized house,” Anneli says. “Iain and I had some ideas and were prepared to reassess as we went along.”
Their brief was to make it a functional, practical and welcoming family home to fit with the landscape and their lifestyle. Renovations began in December 2013 and the family of five lived in the small, nearby school house for the seven-month duration. “It was cosy but we made it work,” Anneli recalls. “The kids slept in swags and we rolled them up each morning to make room so I could teach school. Each weekend, when the builders left the mad clean up, would begin in preparation for the next week of progress.”
Since the renovations were completed mid-2014, Iain and Anneli have planted trees and carted in truckloads of soil, manure and silage to create raised garden beds of roses and perennials. A wide arbour marks the entry way into the garden and old timber gates and a cart from Marylands provide points of interest.
We live in a harsh climate so it’s lovely to have an oasis to come home to. I love the contrast the white provides against the garden surrounds and the bush backdrop.
“We’ve turned a basic house into a home. It’s certainly been a great learning process, at times challenging, but we love what we’ve created. It’s a beautiful precinct but still a work in progress. It’s where we want to live, and continue to raise our family. I couldn’t think of any better place”
This is an excerpt from our Spring Graziher magazine Homestead feature.
Words by Claire Mactaggart
Photography by Jessica Turich