Our Conscious Space: Coombs Hill

Beautifully established on a 100 acre stretch of land under the shadow of Mount Buller, an all American structure sits with quietly imposing majesty, as if this is where it’s sat for the entirety of its 160 year existence. The history of the luxury farmhouse though is very different – the spectacular heritage structure was dismantled in America and lovingly reassembled here in Victoria’s High Country. Fascinated by the remarkable commitment to heritage design, we spoke with the family who own Coombs Hill about the story behind the space.

Can you tell us about the decision to create the space – was it something you’d been dreaming of for a while, or was there a moment that you decided it was what you needed to do?

My father in law Terry has for the longest time wanted to import a Barn from America and rebuild it on his land in Victoria’s High Country. For him it was a passion project to recycle something that was going to be pulled down and give it a new life here in Australia as a beautiful home. 

The ethos of Coombs Hill is very much about celebrating and connecting with heritage, what are your thoughts on the energetic value of old, soulful spaces and vintage furniture?

For us recycling the 160 year old barn timber structure is what provides the soul within the house. From the warmth of the colour to the smell of the timber when you walk in, its an experience in itself. Paired with collected pieces over time, the space feels calm and peaceful and as if its always been there. 

Can you tell us about the design and building process? Which companies did you work with and why?

My father in law Terry is a builder for 40+ years. He built the barn himself over nearly 3 years with the help of local trades for certain aspects. The 12metre stone fireplace took 18 months alone to build with mudstone from the property itself.  The interior furnishing and styling was chosen and implemented by myself and my husband Wade (also a builder). There was a desire to blend the old with new and use the history of the barn along side modem building techniques to bring a sustainability element to the Barn. 

  • The barn achieves a 7star energy rating
  • All windows are double glazed
  • All walls, floors, ceilings and roof are insulated with thermal insulation
  • The hydronic and hot water heating system uses a high efficiency heat pump system. 
  • All penetrations through the fabric of the building have been foam filled to minimise heat loss/gain
  • The Barn uses fresh rainwater and a 160000L tank for all water requirements of the building. 
  • All wastewater is processed through a septic system and is disposed of (safely) in the nearby paddocks therefore not contributing to mains sewer system
  • Not to mention the stone sourced from the property itself to create the fireplace and of course the timber structure of the barn which was dismantled from America and rebuilt here in Merrijig. 

What about Coombs Hill are you most proud of?

The determination and passion Terry put into the build is definitely at the top of the list. I would also say that we are most proud of how we have been able to create a space that feels like home, it feels welcoming and cosy even with the vast scale of the space. 

Is there one particular memory that speaks to the magic of the space?

When the 12m stone fireplace was completed it was a very special moment. It is in the focal point of the room and frames the entire area. We have a photo my son at 8 months old in front of the fireplace when it was just started and then to see him running around in front of the fireplace the first time we stayed at the Barn after completion in Feb 2021 when he was just over 3 years old was very special. It shows the time and determination that went into the project. 

What would a perfect day at  Coombs Hill look like?

Freshly brewed coffee in the morning watching the sun come up over the mountains. A trip into town and a wander around the shops followed by a lunch at Delatite Winery then an afternoon spent on the deck watching the sky change and the wildlife pass. Finishing the evening in front of the fire with a wine and book. 

To book a stay at Katherine’s spectacular, soulful space, visit coombshillbarn.com.au , and you can follow Coombs Hill on Instagram @coombs.hill

Join our community

Good things only delivered to your inbox every fortnight, with tips for self-care and sustainable living.

It appears you're using an old version of Internet Explorer which is no longer supported, for safer and optimum browsing experience please upgrade your browser.