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The Charmed Farm: Tamsin's Table in Australia

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Nov 04, 2014 01:05 AM
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by Christine Chang Hanway last modified Nov 03, 2014

As we contemplate getting ready for the holidays, we’re taking inspiration from a self-proclaimed “accidental farmer” in Victoria, Australia. Twelve years ago, former ad exec Tamsin Carvan bought a 113-acre hilltop and started growing vegetables and raising turkeys, pigs, and “chooks” (that’s Aussie for chickens). She and her partner, Allan Walker, and her eight-year-old daughter, Martha, now have the satisfaction of growing just about all the food on their table. Along the way, Carvan and Walker also renovated their dark farmhouse, turning it into a handmade, whitewashed hub that's not only their living quarters but also the setting for Tamsin’s Table , Carvan’s field-to-table cooking workshops and seasonal feasts. “A chance to learn or share food and cooking knowledge that springs from family and community traditions (all that good stuff you will never learn from a book) is what we are all about,” says Carvan. Let's take a look. Photography by Eve Wilson via The Design Files . Above: A welder turned furniture maker, Walker designed and built Carvan's kitchen using his signature salvaged materials—and then carried on in all the other rooms. He created the cupboards and shelves from old Baltic pine floorboards and made the island from a mix of found wood. After purchasing the stools at a recycling center—$10 AUD ($8.80 USD) for six—Walker replaced their vinyl seats with Baltic pine and painted the metal legs black. The house has become a showcase for his work; commissions can be placed via Made by Al at Tamsin's Table. Above: The main setting for Tamsin's Table workshops and meals, the open kitchen has a domestic scale thanks to personalized elements such as the box shelving, which functions as both display space and storage. See more examples in Trend Alert: 11 Kitchens with Wall-Mounted Box Shelving . Above: Cooking utensils are easily accessible on an open shelf, and hooks enable Carvan to hang her Copper Pots as Kitchen Decor . The black backsplash is only two tiles high—unobtrusive and pragmatically stylish. Above: Every country kitchen should have an old-fashioned range—Carvan's is by UK company Rayburn. Walker crafted the open shelves next to the stove using a scaffolding plank, Baltic pine lining boards, and legs made from a 1920’s cedar door frame. In Object Lessons: The Great British Range Cooker , we explain why the traditional range is still a popular option today. Above: An old dresser partially stripped of paint lends character to the dining room. Above: An assortment of wood chairs surround a century-old table that was made by a local Swedish shipbuilder and is on a long-term loan from neighbors. Above: In the living room, Walker's hand-carved wood lamp in the corner mixes with furniture from several countries and eras. Above: Vintage crates and a plank of wood serve as a side table. Above: The living room opens to an office. The unfinished trim around the door frame is an inexpensive way to add a rustic touch. Above: Wood for the desk came from an old service station and the legs were composed from a 1920’s cedar door and frame. Above: A bedside table made from offcuts of wood stands next to a generational patchwork quilt—it's stitched from fabric collected by Carvan, her mother, and grandmother. Above: The wood vanity in the bathroom is supported by metal struts from an old lawnmower and jack handles found on the farm. Above: Carvan repurposed an old bathtub that had been buried under one of the farm's apple trees. Above: The shelves in Martha's room are made from an old dressing table. Above: A still life of faded farm bounty in the entry. Above: Carvan's front hall has the informality of a mudroom. Gardenista's recent issue  The DIY Mudroom has tips on creating your own practical entry hall. Above: Carvan and her daughter, Martha, at their farmstead gate—in South Gippsland. Victoria, one of Australia's greenest regions (see map below). Go to Tamsin's Table  for the latest roster of harvest meals and classes.  Tempted by life on a farm? Here's some more inspiration. Fishkill Family Orchards: A Family Farm Goes Sustainable Want to Trade It All for Life (or a Weekend) on the Farm? Garden Visit: A Modern Farmer and Her 10 Acres in Australia Below: Tamsin's Table is in the town of Poowong East, a 90-minute drive southwest of Melbourne. More Stories from Remodelista Table of Contents: Holiday Prep Current Obsessions: November Arrives Required Reading: Wabi-Sabi by Leonard Koren






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