Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Of Frills & Friezes

One of my favourite Hills houses has just come on the market. Olivet House c.1920 (formerly known as Wachenappee) sits in all its grandeur at the end of our street here in Stirling. For a while back in the '90's it was a very gracious Boutique hotel, but was converted back to a private residence by the present Owners.

The land holding is a substantial 6,600 sq. metres approx (1.5 acres) of fabulous Hills garden & the house sits in a wonderful elevated position.

Very nice hedged courtyard outside the back door.

It has all the accoutrements required of a country estate.

The stairs leading down to an all-weather tennis court (puts our dodgy old clay court to shame!!).

Fabulous mature trees throughout the garden.

Meandering paths lined with the traditional Hills camelias & rhodies.

And a wide verandah to yell instructions to the gardeners from.

However, as we wander inside things sort of turn pear-shaped. A strange combo. of marbled colour washes on the walls, skirting boards & dado line. I have no doubt that a large amount of money was spent in the '90's getting all these specialist painted finishes done, but I reckon they detract from the true 'personality' of the house.

The formal sitting room is OK.

I feel a refit coming on here in the kitchen.

And the casual meals area off the kitchen has great potential. Love those French doors leading out to the verandah.

The formal lounge room has a bank of fabulous windows, but more of that painted marbled wash-ie thing happening with the walls. The chunky velour sofas seem to be caught in a time warp.

There are 7 bedrooms, and here's where the frills really kick in.


More frills & garlanded friezes.

This is one of the 5 bathrooms, & the ultimate awful frilly Austrian blind thing is in situ. This is a magical property, & I'm sure with a little clever design, strict adherence to the Less Is More theory, a large skip bin, the phone #'s of Heckle & Jeckle (aka Mike & Chris our favourite Painters & Decorators) & a fat cheque book, the new Owners can end the Frills & Friezes era Olivet House is sadly stuck in - good luck! Estimated sale price is $3 - 3.5 m.

Images: with apologies again to Jamie Brown @ Bernard Booth


  1. Wow Millie, this truly is a grand home and it would be lovely to think that its new owners will get rid of the frills and bring back some gorgeous style befitting of the exterior.

    Felicity x

  2. Millie, buy a lotto ticket and save that beauty! ;-)

  3. I'm sure the owners thought it was the height of fashion at the time...but at 3 mill I don't think I'd like to be spending more money on that gorgeous girl... such a shame.. :(

  4. What a gorgeous garden! Very romantic. The house has good bones - but a huge job to make it "belong" to the garden as we all want now. Although, it would be magnificent with the right designer!

    Cheerio from Melbourne - Virginia of bluefruit

  5. those gardens are so beautiful, that I would ditch the frills and live outside.


  6. Oh what a grand home. Those gardens (esp the 'meandering path' image) make me dream of such green-ness in our back paddock. The home, such a great do-er-up-er-er (an amazing term considering the price).

    Nice home to dream about Millie (-:

  7. Millie...after a little defrocking the inside will be as pretty as the outside.

  8. You are right about the paint finishes being a bit dodgy. I lived in a rental property with a similar washy paint effect and it made me feel a little queasy!
    Stunning gardens and tennis court though.
    Clare x

  9. MOTH needs to buy you this. You two could have it whipped together pronto. Your gorgeous guys could help rid it of the fluff.

    Rebecca :)

  10. It is beautiful! I agree though that the decor seems to scream it's decade! ha. Still...what a lovely place!~

  11. How gorgeous - I think I could cope living there ;)

  12. Welcome back Millie, hope you had a great time. This house is beautiful, with a few tweeks it could be amazing. Thanks for sharing with us. Julie in Holland :)

  13. And yet another perfect example of one of my favourite sayings "money does not buy style" - sheesh! sooooo much potential. xx

  14. So 3.0 to 3.5 with 0.5 for paint and curtains. Ever noticed how estate agents never actually say million - sounds so much more reasonable that way....

    I so wanted a balloon blind like that when I was 12...
    In fifteen years bloggers will be mocking our hamptons-esque kitchens and industrial chic of the noughties...! A x

  15. Ah yes Ann, how right you are. But can our new Bathroom-From-Heaven please be exempt from their derision!
    M x

  16. someone needs to do the world a favour and bury those sofas, HIDEOUS. Isn't it sad when bad taste kills a lovely house, lets hope the next people have more sympathetic taste!

    I have been laughing about your comment on my blog about the royal wedding; if anyone can whip those boys into a frenzy Millie you can ;) Best of luck! Vanya x

  17. It has Heidi written all over it. Thanks for the heads up. Heidi

  18. For sure, Abraham Lincoln with dutiful wife, Patty, in tow, would love to spend a few days and nights in this place.


And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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