Historic revamp of homestead
Two 'grand old ladies' of Queensland architecture have been given a new lease on life courtesy of a stunning renovation which has seen them united to create one stately homestead.
Now serving as guest and wedding accommodation in the picturesque township of Kalbar, the buildings, known as Herrmann House, are among the oldest in the area, each dating back over a century.
Owners April and Paul Cornwell explained the project had been driven partly by their passion for preserving Queensland history and also to offer a further attraction for the township.
A couple of years ago the Cornwells purchased a dilapidated old church in Kalbar, renovating it into a beautiful country chapel.
"When we opened it to brides, we realised additional accommodation was needed, so we bought the oldest house in Kalbar, known as Chants Cottage," Mrs Cornwell said.
Initially the couple had plans to renovate and extend the cottage into a multi-purpose dwelling, but when they were approached by a well-known family in the area the project took on a life of its own.
"The Herrmann family is one of the oldest in the area and they had a grand old colonial farmhouse sitting unused.
"They said to us, you've done such a beautiful job on the chapel, we really want to keep our house in the township, could you do something with it?
"So, we thought why not put them together and create a grand homestead?"
And so began the massive task of shifting one cottage through the township of Kalbar and uniting it with the oldest home in the area.
éclat building co was given the job of combining the homes, with director Andrew Marer noting works started with the very worse-for-wear 132-year-old cottage that was already on site.
Then, one winter's morning, the former farmhouse was trucked down the street and combining the homes began.
The houses were levelled, re-stumped, and re-framed then joined together using a wraparound deck, a pergola and an outdoor space to create a four-bedroom, four-bathroom country-style homestead.
In the process, every possible original feature was utilised.
Mr Marer said the renovation took six months, lasting from April to November last year, and had been an incredibly rewarding project for the entire team involved. It also saw éclat building recognised recently with a Master Builder's Award.
"The transformation has really been unbelievable," Mr Marer said.
Meanwhile, Mr Marer noted it was a privilege to work with Queensland's historic homes, and preserving them took patience, time and commitment to ensure they received the attention they deserved.
Originally published as Historic revamp of homestead