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Beautiful home in the family for six generations

Jane Thomson at the window looking over Eltham Valley. Jane made sure the new windows are as close as possible to the original timber windows.
Jane Thomson at the window looking over Eltham Valley. Jane made sure the new windows are as close as possible to the original timber windows. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

JANE Thomson and Simon Payne's property has been in Simon's family for six generations.

The house that Jane, Simon and their three daughters live in was built in the first few years of the 1900's.

"It was built as the retirement cottage for the main property," says Jane.

The sitting room is part of the new extension and this room is where the family gathers together. They deliberately don't have a TV here.
The sitting room is part of the new extension and this room is where the family gathers together. They deliberately don't have a TV here. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

"The main farm house is across the road, though the property has been split since then.

"We renovated this house five years ago to become a contemporary family home. It was a very English style cottage with hardly any windows or light, plus it was very small," Jane says.

"When we did the renovation we wanted to be respectful of the original style of the house. We knew that people had been born and died in this cottage, so we wanted to be true to the original structure and I think we have achieved that," said Jane.

"We essentially wanted to create a seamless experience, so we made sure that we matched the floor boards as close as possible to the original wood, though we couldn't get exactly the same timber as some of those dark timbers don't even exist anymore," she added.

This is the corner of the nursery room.
This is the corner of the nursery room. "Luckily we had three girls so we didn't have to change the colour!" explains Jane. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

"We timber lined all the interior walls and we also made sure we used classic timber windows. They were all made locally in Lismore which is nice.

"We added the big new living/dining and kitchen area plus a master bedroom walk in robe and ensuite."

"We also retro fitted where we could and insulated the house throughout. We designed the house to maximise cross breezes and added solar panels and a solar hot water system," she said.

"We think it's a fantastic family home now. We have three children and it serves us really well. Our family have lived on the property for six generations and our plan is to keep this house in the family. You never know what will happen, but whatever does, we plan to be here!"

The children's outside cubby house.
The children's outside cubby house. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

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