A Young Australian Designer’s Inventive Cabin Makeover, Ikea Upgrade Included

The term “loving hands at home” is typically applied derisively to crafts projects, but it feels perfect—in nothing but a positive way—for this high-style, DIY cabin remodel. That’s especially true when you know the backstory: Melbourne interior designer Andrea Moore of Studio Moore teamed up with her father, Lindsay Moore, a semi-retired veterinarian with #skillz, to transform the family’s dilapidated farm property into a trio of vacation houses. Andrea’s mother passed away just as the Ross Farm project was getting started: “it has been a driving force to create something that she would be really proud of,” Andrea told The Design Files.

Today, we’re spotlighting the first, and most modest, dwelling the two tackled, a one-bedroom cabin built in the 1960s. It now comes with a Japanese bath and one of the most memorable Ikea kitchen hacks we’ve ever seen.

Photography by Lachlan Moore, courtesy of Studio Moore and Ross Farm.

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Above: Set on what was once was a small dairy farm, the cabin is a kilometer outside the township of Meeniyan, in Victoria’s South Gippsland, about a two-hour drive southeast of Melbourne. Ross Farm’s two other rentals are part of the property, each with its own vistas, and are rented out individually or as a group.

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Above: Plywood meets sage and worn leather in the living room. The cedar-framed French doors were introduced to make the most of the views. (“We had acquired these a few years earlier and stored them for a rainy day.”)

“It was Dad’s big idea to turn these old buildings into interesting accommodations,” says Andrea. “Our intention was to experiment and make what we could. I designed most of the furniture, lights, and door hardware, and they were made by Dad down in his shed. Since it’s a vacation house, we could push our ideas a bit and try things you might not do in your own home.”

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Above: The photograph over the sofa is of Wilsons Prom, the national park down the road—it (and all of the cabin photos) were taken by Andrea’s brother, Lachlan Moore.
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Above: The combination of soft green and pale wood continues in the dining area. “The cabin aesthetic is both raw and refined, drawing inspiration from the local landscape with a nod to Danish and Japanese sensibilities,” says Andrea. Here and there, Andrea and Lindsay incorporated designs by favorite small workshops: the hanging light is the Loop Pendant by Melbourne leather studio IEFrancis.

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Above: Father and daughter gave the cabin’s Ikea kitchen an entirely new look with a concrete sink, hefty wood  chopping block, and shiny brass counter and backsplash. They upgraded the existing cabinets with blackened steel fronts and folded steel handles that they had a metalworker fabricate.
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Above: There’s a vegetable garden right off the kitchen and guests are welcome to help themselves. There are also fresh eggs from the Ross Farm chickens.
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Above: The Japanese bath occupies what had been a dilapidated shed attached to the cabin. “The whole room is lined with cypress sourced from the surrounding hills,” says Andrea. “It’s highly aromatic and the way the timber insulates the water makes for a memorable bathing experience.”
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Above: Pieces, such as the cypress stool, are prototypes designed by Andrea and made by Lindsay.
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Above: The bathroom has a homemade cypress sink and one of the cypress-framed windows that replaced the existing aluminum ones. The mirror is cleverly positioned on a standing brass valet that also incorporates a small table and towel hook. “Being our own project allowed for an organic approach,” says Andrea. “Most of the ideas were floating around in my head or nutted out on the back of napkins.”
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Above: Another new window brings greenery into the bedroom. The window bench serves as a table and a seat.
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Above: The bed is inset in a knotty plywood niche with an integrated closet on one side.
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Above: There’s also a secluded outdoor shower and wash area tucked between the cabin and its garage. Go to Ross Farm to see more and book a reservation.

Here are three more of our favorite cabins: