For this week’s Up Closet and Personal we are going to let Georgie Stuart from Bimlow Cottage introduce herself – and what a story she has!
I’m Georgie and ten years ago we left the city and moved to a tiny hamlet west of the Blue Mountains called Edith (halfway between Jenolan Caves and Oberon). We lived in the original 1890s cottage until three years ago when we needed something bigger for our family. We loved the area and couldn’t bear leaving so I found a 1910 weatherboard house for $10k on Instagram and had it relocated onto our paddock next door for us to live in. We renovated it over a number of years and once we moved, we put our cottage on Airbnb. While we made some improvements before guests came in, we wanted it to feel like what it did when we were living in it – filled with vintage treasure collected over decades. Growing up my nan had an amazing antique shop called Matong Memories in the Riverina region. I have very fond memories of my time in the shop and have grown up op shopping and regularly going to markets and auctions. I’ve always wanted a little shop of my own, so during the latest lockdown I turned a little locked room off the front porch of the cottage into a shop and I’ve filled it with vintage wares, handmade goods, local candles from @southernwildco and more. I’m looking forward to having guests back so they can check it out. When I’m not working on the cottage, or busy with our three kids I work part-time at Charles Sturt University in sustainability. Moving to the country has given me the time and space to pursue the things I love, including collecting, cooking and gardening.
Favourite place to shop?
The op shops, farmers and flea markets, Lunatiques in Sydney and online vintage sellers.
Last vintage purchase?
I recently bought some beautiful French linen from @lagrossetoile.
The one that got away…
This is a bit weird, but I often dream about stumbling upon the ultimate op shop and having basketfuls of amazing finds and then waking up to find out that it was just a dream and all my treasures are gone.
My girl Ada’s wardrobe from Salvos is filled with op shop treasures – vintage dresses, quilted jackets, blouses etc. I love the combos she puts together. Everything that Lili and Gerda wear in ‘The Danish Girl’. And Julie O’Rourke @rudyjude
Last book you couldn’t put down?
I stumbled across ‘Playing Beatie Bow’ by Ruth Park in an op shop and couldn’t put it down. It’s set in The Rocks and follows the main character Abigail as she travels back in time to 1873. I couldn’t put it down and then read some more Ruth Park.
What movie can you watch over and over?
As kids, my sister and I watched ‘A League of Their Own’ and ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ on repeat. I still love them both.
Edith’s best kept secret?
We are so lucky to have Kanangra-Boyd National Park on our doorstop. The views of the Blue Mountains are spectacular and it doesn’t have the crowds of the other national parks in the mountains. Perfect spot for a bushwalk, a picnic and a swim in the waterfalls. Also our cottage and tiny shop 😉
Favourite or dream travel destination?
We recently stayed in a very rustic stone cottage on the Goulburn River at Ulan. It was a one-room cottage with an open fireplace and absolutely no phone or internet reception. It was the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy nature. We will definitely go back. I’d also love to go back to India and to spend time exploring New Zealand and Tasmania more.
Words to live by?
I recently read ‘The Minpins’ by Roahl Dahl with my son Donny and loved the famous final quote “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”