Really this story starts back in 2019 when we were thrilled to be on the winning team of Tess and Luke at The Oslo in St Kilda for The Block. The crazy and brilliant chaos of that project is another blog post altogether, but relevant because it is where I first crossed paths with Matt Menichelli of Elevate Building Group and Shaynna Blaze (Interior designer, TV personality, Author, Creative Director, Producer, Gender Equality Advocate).
A year later, Shaynna, Matt and I teamed up for a project with Allie Harris, who did a spectacular renovation of her Thornbury home, Parkview House.
Recognising that as a team, we gelled so well together were able to move forward on projects so collaboratively, it was a pleasure so be asked to work on a personal project of Shaynna’s.
The story behind Country Home Rescue was a very personal one for Shaynna. She lived in the house during a difficult period in her life and fell in love with it. The decision was made to keep, rather than sell, the house and realise its full potential with a renovation. In an interview with Postcards host Livinia Nixon, Shaynna admitted she and her family found themselves falling in love with the building.
The idea for the garden was to create beautiful spaces with a strong sense of nostalgia that tied in to the period style of the house - almost the antithesis of the contemporary, linear landscapes we usually design. The garden was to have highly detailed pergolas that complemented the house, softened by an almost cottage-style garden with colour and scent being key to the planting design.
Being a horticulturalist, it was so wonderful to find someone who also loved plants and saw them as the central design element, not purely functional (screening, hedging etc). I think we both could have talked for days about the beautiful plants that thrive in the region and those that bring warmth and homeliness to a garden scape. If you visit Kyneton, be sure to check out the Kyneton Botanical Gardens.
This home however, was not just a home for Shaynna, but also her two children Carly and Jess. Shaynna described finding a home to have as a family base again as cathartic.
A new family home meant that the garden needed to reflect the needs of not only Shaynna. It was Carly who had the biggest wish list and in some ways, those wishes challenged Shaynna’s. Carly, a talented film director, wanted to attract native bees to the property, so we integrated native plants that would encourage those bees to hang around. We then had to ensure the native plant selections complemented the exotic flowering plants in the plan.
Just a snippet of what's ahead for Country Home Rescue. Premiers Wednesday 16 November 7:30 on Channel 9 and 9NOW.
Shaynna Blaze - www.shaynnablaze.com/country-home-rescue
Elevate Building Group - www.elevatebuilding.com.au