Lynda Gardener knows what she likes. And so she should, after working as an interior designer for the last 24 years and amassing an impressive collection of rare and vintage furniture and homewares.
In November last year, Gardener opened her fifth boutique accommodation, Room + Board in Daylesford (her others are The White Room in Fitzroy, The Estate in Trentham, The White House Daylesford and The Apartment St Kilda, and she’s also behind the design of homewares store and cafe Trentham General).
A new, barn-like build clad in grey weatherboard, from the outside Gardener's latest looks low-key. But inside it’s a cosy, contemporary studio where everything feels tactile and lived in, full of ornate flourishes playing off against more subdued, neutral elements.
“You’ll always see my signature through all the properties, but they’re all a bit different,” Gardener says. “I tailor every space to what I want, number one. I’m pretty selfish like that because I do stay at my own places, so it’s very bespoke. It’s very styled, but very homely, very natural.”
The house is one big space with a combined kitchen, lounge and dining area, and a bedroom at the back. A central bathroom – stocked with Loom Turkish towels and Salus skincare and haircare – is separated by a sliding barn door. More barn doors open onto the back garden.
“I wanted it to be totally open plan,” Gardener says. “As soon as you walk in the door, it’s sort of unexpected. I bought beautiful old floor-to-ceiling schoolhouse windows, so it feels like a bit of a conservatory with [the] baskets and hanging plants.”
Outside there are more plants, and comfy chairs on the deck perfect for devouring a book in the sun. The freshly landscaped garden includes a few silver birch trees, and there’s a day bed in the glasshouse just a short walk down the garden path.
Back inside, in the bedroom, hand-drawn sketches from Portugal and Berlin are taped to clean white walls. The bedhead is woven from natural hemp, and bedding is by local linen maker Major Minor.
The kitchen combines minimal styling – white tiled walls, moulded concrete benchtops, a recycled timber table and stools – with functionality. There’s a Smeg fridge, a gas cooktop, an oven and a dishwasher.
If you’d prefer to explore, on the streets nearby there’s country pub The Daylesford Hotel; Pancho Cafe, which has a dog-friendly courtyard; and Cliffy's Emporium, an eatery in an old 1950s corner store. All are walking distance from Room + Board.
Breakfast is provided on the first morning: a hamper crammed with tasty stuff including free-range eggs, greens, herbs, homemade bread, butter, jam, coffee and milk from family-run farm Fleur de Lyonville (which also provides the blooms). There's also tea by the Cottage Herbalist.
Room + Board is at 58b Albert Street, Daylesford. Stays start at $345 per night, twin share, including breakfast on the first morning.