Owner of Bundaberg’s New Vintage store, Sandra Reeves is in the process of finalising her brand new project – a new Air BnB called George's Cottage. Picture: Rhylea Millar
Owner of Bundaberg’s New Vintage store, Sandra Reeves is in the process of finalising her brand new project – a new Air BnB called George's Cottage. Picture: Rhylea Millar

Peek inside: Heartfelt reason behind cottage restoration

HOME is where the heart is and in a bid to offer out-of-towners a cosy place to stay, a Bundaberg businesswoman has given a sweet cottage a new lease on life, transforming it into an accommodation hotspot.

At the start of the year, Sandra Reeves and her family of six had to stay in Brisbane on and off for eight weeks, while her son received treatment for a burn on his leg.

But they quickly discovered that sourcing accommodation for larger families was more challenging than they initially thought, even in the big city.

Forced to divide the family up between two houses, it took a 45-minute drive to reunite the whole Reeves family again, something that Sandra said added to the stress of the situation.

“We’re a family of six so Ronald McDonald couldn’t host all of us in one unit and it was school holidays too so almost everything was booked already, but fortunately our beautiful friends could take some of us in,” she said.

“It’s so exhausting as a parent to have a sick little kid, but if you can have your family in the one house and allows you to go to the hospital, come back, have a shower, refresh, reconnect, have a quick nap and head back to the hospital again, it would just make things less stressful.”

Owner of Bundaberg’s New Vintage store, Sandra Reeves is in the process of finalising her brand new project – a new Air BnB called George's Cottage. Picture: Rhylea Millar
Owner of Bundaberg’s New Vintage store, Sandra Reeves is in the process of finalising her brand new project – a new Air BnB called George's Cottage. Picture: Rhylea Millar

Experiencing it for herself first hand, Sandra said she felt for the families who had to split up for even longer durations of time and it got her thinking.

So when the businesswoman who owns upcycled furniture and homewares store New Vintage saw a beautiful Queenslander cottage on the market, it was love at first sight and the perfect opportunity.

“I said to my husband – imagine opening up this house for our inland visitors from Monto or Mundubbera and the surrounds to stay if they have a sick child or a premature baby and need to be close to Bundaberg and the hospital,” Sandra said.

“To offer somewhere that’s homely, warm, fresh and clean … it would just make the world of difference and when we looked through, I really saw the potential of this beautiful home.”

Sandra Reeves said she has spent months finding the perfect furniture to fill the Queenslander, with all pieces being one off, upcycled and telling a story. Picture: Rhylea Millar
Sandra Reeves said she has spent months finding the perfect furniture to fill the Queenslander, with all pieces being one off, upcycled and telling a story. Picture: Rhylea Millar
Just some of the hidden gems and stunning design features that guests will find in George’s Cottage. Picture: Rhylea Millar
Just some of the hidden gems and stunning design features that guests will find in George’s Cottage. Picture: Rhylea Millar

Filled with character and charm, the couple have been busy transforming the beautiful abode into a stunning Air BnB.

Featuring two bedrooms and a sitting room with a reading nook and daybed trundle, ceiling fans and French doors, there’s plenty to love about the restoration project.

The spacious front porch offers a nice, cool breeze and the perfect place to sit while enjoying a morning coffee or tea.

“The business side of me thought it would also serve as the perfect place for brides to get ready and take photos before their wedding, family holidays, for a weekend away with the girls or for me to host my DIY workshops,” Sandra said.

“We have bookings available from the start of next month and Christmas is already booked out … to know someone is going to remember their Christmas in this space is just amazing.”

Husband and wife duo Daniel and Sandra Reeves dressed to impress during renvoations.
Husband and wife duo Daniel and Sandra Reeves dressed to impress during renvoations.

Together the family have painted the walls and floors, are in the process of installing airconditioning and have ripped up the carpets.

Eclectic furniture pieces compliment the neutral palette with eucalyptus tones, offering a calming and relaxing atmosphere for guests to enjoy.

And after months of researching and sourcing stunning statement pieces, Sandra said the styling is almost done.

“I found the most beautiful lounge which came from a flour mill in Melbourne which I love because the motto of my store is ‘where every piece tells a story,” she said.

“What you see in my shop is what you’ll see in the cottage and I want to show people how you can get an old piece of furniture, paint it, style it and transform it into a reflection of you, which brings so much more meaning to having that piece in your home.

“As a family we’ve stayed in places where there is so much glass everywhere, so we’re just trying to make sure that it’s suitable for families, but still cosy and homely and every single piece of furniture is hand-picked, upcycled and carefully considered.”

BEFORE: The front porch of George’s Cottage.
BEFORE: The front porch of George’s Cottage.
BEFORE: The lounge room and entry way, which has undergone a huge transformation. The walls have since been painted white, the carpet has been ripped up to reveal beautiful timber floorboards and the furniture has been replaced with eclectic, one off pieces.
BEFORE: The lounge room and entry way, which has undergone a huge transformation. The walls have since been painted white, the carpet has been ripped up to reveal beautiful timber floorboards and the furniture has been replaced with eclectic, one off pieces.
BEFORE: The dining room has also been transformed, receiving a splash of paint and it no longer has carpet.
BEFORE: The dining room has also been transformed, receiving a splash of paint and it no longer has carpet.
BEFORE: The flooring of the kitchen has also been replaced.
BEFORE: The flooring of the kitchen has also been replaced.
BEFORE: One of the two bedrooms in George’s Cottage has also received a paint job.
BEFORE: One of the two bedrooms in George’s Cottage has also received a paint job.
BEFORE: The sitting room will have a sweet reading nook as well as a trundle daybed for an additional guest to sleep on.
BEFORE: The sitting room will have a sweet reading nook as well as a trundle daybed for an additional guest to sleep on.
BEFORE: The bathroom has been renovated ahead of the launch on December 1.
BEFORE: The bathroom has been renovated ahead of the launch on December 1.

Accommodating six guests at a time, George’s Cottage in Bundaberg West is $140 per night.

To see all the included amenities, contact the host or make a booking, click here.