By Eliza Brown, CEO, Mount Ophir Estate, All Saints Estate & St Leonards Vineyard

Nobody was more excited than we wereto see the results of our renovations on The Lodge at Mount Ophir Estate.


When we first walked through the property, I was genuinely horrified. The house had no internal walls, a half-tiled bathroom and an un-grouted kitchen – and a resident familyof possums.


The Lodge was clearly in dire need of renovation and repair. But it had perfect bones, and we could envisage it as abeautiful Airbnb for discerning travellers.


We started with the internal ceiling. With help from Baz and Jason from the All Saints Estate maintenance team, we pulled out the boards which had been eaten by termites and damaged by water. Nick put together an electrical plan, and we enlisted the help of electricians to re-wire the whole house. There was no insulation either. Because temperatures in Rutherglen get to -3°C in the winter and the high 30’s in the summer, we put sound insulation and split systems throughout the house so guests would be completely comfortable.


To finish off the bathroom, we reused most of the tiles that had been previously laid and matched some new ones to them. A bathtub, kitchen and laundry that Nick purchased were installed over a period of a week. Along the way, we had purchased antique chairs, which we matched with a new dining room table. We also sourced two church pews. We both love art and anyone with creative expertise, and we felt that this house needed some authentic local touches!


We stumbled across a very talented local artist, Lucy, @bymetcalfe on Instagram, who decorates ram skulls with beautiful bright fabric. As The Lodge was renovated with guests in mind, we wanted the place to have a homely feel, especially for families travelling with children who wanted to experience the fantastic Rutherglen hospitality. Having a vacation with children can be frustrating if you don’t have the home comforts, so we made sure our guests would find good laundry facilities, and an available high chair and cot. Another great idea was to have one queen bed which can split into two. This always helps when you are accommodating families or friends travelling together.


This last house was a great achievement for us. With seven homes renovated in two years, we can finally sit down and have a little rest before the next hare-brained scheme comes along.