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A home where country meets city living

A home where country meets city living

DKO Founder and Principal, Koos de Keijzer, and Clemence Harvey de Keijzer, Director of Harvey Taylor have transformed their country home into an off-the-grid haven in Central Victoria.

Capturing magnificent views and backing onto a native bush forest, the couple is transforming their farmhouse home into a contemporary living space through simple architectural changes to the original.

Embracing the home as a work in progress that will continue to evolve over the years, the foundational layer to the renovation includes new timber floors, the removal of several walls, the addition of a new sky light and thermal timber frames to the windows. The renovation so far has been to the kitchen, living room, dining room and laundry. Stage two plans are currently underway for a main suite, bathroom ensuite and wardrobe renovation.

Open spatial planning via the removal of walls was essential to creating a new flow that works with the couple’s lifestyle. The kitchen for example was repositioned to become a central focus point and hub, while the living spaces were opened into a sprawling volume. Moreover, in shifting from an interior of small separate rooms to an open arrangement, the expansive view across the one-hundred-acre property has been maximised.

“We wanted to fully embrace the views over Pastoria and get a sense of the expanse of land and sky from the living space, so we reimagined the compartmentalised floor plan of the existing home. The house sits in the land and embraces the land simultaneously,” says DKO Director Koos de Keijzer.

Selecting interior furniture pieces that they love and are mostly repurposed, the interiors are plush with 70s-infused, Italian classics, and are a deliberate departure from a country aesthetic. The pairing of a vintage brown velvet Vico Magistretti Maralunga sofa (Mark Denver Antiques) with a new olive-green velvet Mario Bellini Camaleonda sofa (B&B Italia, Space) for example is robust and comfortable.

While the Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin floor lamp and Frank Gehry Wiggle Chair for Vitra are pure sculptural delight. Bellini dining chairs add the warmth of colour, as do the artworks including photographs and a sculpture by Polly Borland (Sullivan + Strumpf). Butterfly chairs (Angelucci) and Mark Tuckey Egg Stool and outdoor table (Cult), further the unravelled timeline.

Continuing to convey a balanced blend of urban and rural, the material palette is elegantly natural. The Frank Lloyd Wright Inax Japanese handmade tiles used for the entire kitchen wall for example, or the large sculptural vein cut Travertine island bench in the kitchen (G LUX), and the single free floating Flos Belt light by Erwan & Ronan Bouroullec (Living Edge), would be equally at home in the city.

Exterior local stone walls clad the house, many with lichen and moss adding to their textural richness, and anchor the exterior aesthetic of the home to the landscape.

“The original stonework on the exterior of the house is made from rocks gathered from the property, I am landscaping the gardens around the house primarily to open up the views, curate the planting, provide shade and emphasise the rocks in situ,” says Harvey.

Charming, elegant and contemporary this country home renovation is also simple with material honesty and richness informing the whole. However, the engagement with nature is what makes this home remarkable.

Project details

Architecture and interiors – DKO
Location – Pastoria, Victoria
Traditional custodians – Taungurung Country
Photography – Dianna Snape


Gillian Serisier

Gillian Serisier is an editor-at-large for Indesign Media Asia Pacific, where she covers all corners of design and art across the Habitus and Indesign network. Gillian has contributed to many outstanding publications, and her extensive knowledge and sharp words make for compelling storytelling.