Love at first sight

Three years ago, Rochelle Orazio discovered a classic Queenslander in the southwestern Brisbane suburb of Sherwood and was instantly in love. "I think you know immediately whether or not it's the right house," says Rochelle. "Within a minute, I was saying, 'This is it!' and tugging at my husband's arm."

Built in 1927, the three-bedroom home has changed very little over the years, still featuring beautiful original timberwork, picture rails, skirtings and flooring. Rochelle, an interior designer who runs her own business Hedge & Picket, enhanced the home's sense of history, creating an overall feel of warmth and classic charm. With two young children aged seven and five years, Rochelle and Stephen were in search of a little more space, so when they discovered such an endearing home on a 810-square-metre block that included a swimming pool, it was the perfect find. "I walked in and after being in the house for about a minute, I knew it was the home for us," says Rochelle.

The charming property immediately captures attention with an impressive fern hedge that arches over the front gate, beautifully framing the home's classic weatherboard exterior. "It's almost like a secret garden," says Rochelle, who used this as inspiration for the name of her business, Hedge & Picket. A typical Queenslander, the home itself is built 2.2 metres off the grounds allowing for natural ventilation through the floor, important in a hot climate. "We have no air conditioning because of the way it's built," says Rochelle. The front door opens into spacious lounge and dining areas, not strictly open plan, but very much connected. It was in fact this space, with its ornate picture rails, fretwork and intricate ceilings that initially captured Rochelle's heart. "I didn't care what the rest of the house looked like, to be honest," she says. "As soon as I walked into the living/dining, that sold it for me."

Want the full story? Find it in Country Home Ideas vol. 16, no. 6

Story by Susannah Hardy
Photography by Eloise van Riet-Gray
Styling by Lana Caves

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