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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.