How to Renovate a Tower
On the initial inspection of the property 'The Tower' at Mount Ophir Estate stood out to be a unique and incredible sight to behold. But after opening the doors with pink, green, baby blue and maroon walls we knew that there was a lot of work to be done to get this beautiful architectural icon to the standard of five-star luxury accommodation. The first complication was the replacement of the old bathroom on the top (third) floor bedroom, accessed by two flights of stairs. This bathroom was completely gutted and all the rubbish was removed out of the top floor window.
The next obstacle was the decaying and termite ridden floor boards in intermittent areas throughout the tower, these were all replaced with similar aged boards sourced in Melbourne.
Luckily for us the structure of 'The Tower' is extremely sound, the brickwork is all in amazing condition and we didn't have any damp issues.
After the clean out , plumbing, tiling and floorboard works were completed and then we set to work on the interiors, paint choices and painting team. We felt such a specialised job needed the experts so we called Kim and Karl Faber who had done previous local painting for us and they finished the job in just over two weeks.
Sourcing furniture was a difficult exercise in a circular tower with a spiral staircase. The bedroom on the top floor needed to have a luxurious feel. We asked a carpenter to build a bed base in the tower so that we could fit the size of bed we wanted. Unfortunately, after we tested a queen size mattress which made it through the second floor window we managed to get it stuck in the stairwell up to the top floor. We had to remove this again and come up with another idea! We canvassed Facebook for mattress ideas and we finally purchased a roll up mattress from One beds that fitted neatly through the window and up to the third floor.
Due to the Tower having a French provincial heritage, we thought this theme was ideal and the style of the eventual customer we aimed to host. We sourced items from our favourite antique dealers on 1stDibs and Miguel Meirelles Antiques . This style really suited the original building and gave the interiors a relaxed, comfortable but opulent atmosphere. My favourite items are the two chandeliers which hang proudly in the first and second story. The smaller white chandelier has small bunches of grapes dotted throughout it, which we thought was fitting. After a very long search,a perfect navy velvet couch was found at Rees and Rees in Wangaratta which was hoisted by forklift into the second floor.
The final touches were they beautiful artworks that we sourced from local artists which happened to be all women. There are some very fine artists in the region with very interesting and differing styles.
We choose Catherine Stewart's artwork for the bottom floor, two very large and colourful paintings depicting the region. A beautiful photograph by Gerogie James whom has documented the transformation of the estate from the start of our journey. And, two beautiful illustrations by Kirrily Anderson a local Chiltern artist in the top floor bedroom.
The process from start to finish renovating this beautiful 'Tower' has been a great joy, even there has been a few frustrations, namely my tape measure apparently not working correctly and dragging items through windows was a little tiresome. It's all worthwhile when you sitting in the tower on the second floor on a Sunday afternoon drinking a cold glass of fine wine.
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