Located high on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland, lies the sleepy village of Ravenshoe. With its wide streets and classical veranda-wrapped pubs, Ravenshoe is the kind of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town synonymous with this part of the country. Yet just fifteen minutes from town stands something out of the ordinary… Vine Castle.
Built in 1980, this cinder block nod to medieval times had been home to Dina and her two children for the past 11 years. Vine Castle was a mix of middle ages and wishful thinking – this castle is firmly stuck in the 1980’s rather than the 1480’s. From its slate flooring and colour choices to its gimmicky dining area, Vine Castle was definitely unique.
To add to the problem, the property was surrounded by shrubs and bushes, which hid the unique castle and gave it an abandoned look.
With the tragic passing of Dina’s husband, and her two kids having grown up, Dina relocated to the Sunshine Coast and had been trying to sell Vine Castle ever since. For almost 2 years the property had been on the market, but Dina couldn’t find a buyer who shared her passion for this faded folly.
Due to its eccentric style, Shaynna had to bring a comfort and hominess to this cold, gloomy castle. The dark wood cupboards in the kitchen were replaced with a lighter, spiced oak timber and a larger pantry. A splashback highlighted the new cook top and oven, and was off-set by a fresh Polar White granite bench top. A lighter paint colour gave the kitchen a modern country look. The modern and contemporary touch was also brought to the bedrooms by the updates in bedding styles and accessories, but most evidently through the brighter windows and window coverings.
The large hall, which was both the lounge and the dining area, was dark and uninviting. Lighting was a priority for this space. Feature lights were installed to complement the high ceilings and paint was used to add light to the vast room. Soft filtered light now streamed into the room with the addition of the Luxaflex Wood Essence blinds over the windows. Long-gone was the dungeon-esque setting and the reek of damp and dinginess, and the lounge suddenly became an area a family felt welcomed in. A reading nook was created out of the disused bar, with bright colours and fabrics warming up the large space. The long rafters were painted black to help define the ceiling. Bringing the entire space together is a large dining table that sits proudly in the centre of the great hall.
Charlie’s priority was to open up the façade of this castle, and bring in some light. Eight large timber windows were installed in both the upstairs bedrooms and the downstairs sitting areas.
What were once small glassless holes in the walls are now timber casement windows giving the inside much needed light, and giving the front of the castle a more enchanting look to the now defined entrance. The wider windows now required privacy and shading, and the Luxaflex Wood Essence blinds allowed this to come into effect.
Paint played a major role outside as well, with Charlie painting the front of the house a darker grey colour so the home sits comfortably within its bush surroundings. The ‘Snow White’ slat colour of the blinds, which could be seen through the windows from the outside, helped to further brighten the exteriors and give a more inviting feel. Wholly different from the gloomy and haunted look the house used to present to passer-by’s, it now held the appearance of a typical modern and welcoming home.
A path was created to lead guests from the road to the front door. The frontage was cleared of trees and shrubs making the castle a real sight to behold.
Down by the creek was the perfect space for a viewing platform, which Charlie built in Merbau Decking. Outdoor furniture was placed on the creek-side deck to watch the platypus play amongst the reeds, creating the perfect place to reflect and to inspire.
The products in this episode were supplied and installed by Luxaflex Window Fashions Gallery dealer Cairns Blinds & Awnings, Cairns QLD.