Jason Mowen waited till he was 45 to purchase his first home. However this inside designer’s alternative of a weatherboard cottage within the nation four-and-half-hours north of Sydney was a shock to many. “My buddies thought I used to be loopy, however the extra individuals advised me to not do it, the extra decided I grew to become,” Jason says in the present day, sitting in his elegant book-lined front room in Murrurundi, a NSW city well-known for the thoroughbred studs dotted all through the world.
The horse connection is a vital one on this story. Based mostly in Sydney’s inner-city Darlinghurst for a decade, Jason is the primary to confess that on the floor his choice to go for rural life was a shocking one, till you study he grew up on a property within the rolling inexperienced hills round Maleny in Queensland.
“My mom and grandfather used to breed racehorses and I bear in mind her talking of Murrurundi once I was a child. Then I went to college in Armidale within the early 90s and I at all times remembered this quaint little city with the lengthy identify that I used to drive via on my option to Sydney,” he explains.
“I drove via once more in late 2015 and simply fell in love with the place. It felt unspoiled: it wasn’t gentrified nor ruined with dangerous improvement. It was additionally actually inexpensive and I beloved that no-one again in Sydney had heard of it.”
On prime of Jason’s lists of necessities was a spot the place his mom Jicky would even be completely satisfied to spend time. This meant any potential new dwelling wanted to be in an space the place this completed horsewoman’s beloved horses may very well be close by — 4 of them at the moment are on agistment in a close-by paddock — and so the seek for a home started. Fortunately, Jason was ready to be affected person as a result of it was practically a 12 months earlier than the precise one got here alongside.
Strolling across the backyard on a late afternoon, it’s straightforward to grasp why, although he had not initially deliberate to dwell within the property full time, Jason quickly started to seek out it tougher and tougher to go away this quiet sanctuary with its deserted tennis court docket and majestic pine timber hovering into the sky.
“In late 2019, I made a decision to surrender the residence I’d been renting for 10 years in Darlinghurst and transfer to the house I beloved, and owned, in Murrurundi, as I felt I may do a lot of my work remotely,” he explains.
In-built 1905, the home known as Dovecot — a reputation Jason was initially puzzled by till he learnt extra about its previous. “There isn’t a precise dovecot [a structure for housing doves or pigeons] so I couldn’t perceive why it had been named that till I found it was constructed by a person named George Dove — so, home of the Dove — which I completely love. I purchased the home from his granddaughter, Judy, who was born and lived all her life right here. It has a very good power. Judy was a beautiful individual, vastly esteemed in Murrurundi, and there was clearly lots of love on this home through the years.”
Jason is regularly studying increasingly more in regards to the historical past of Dovecot — simply as he’s along with his vacation dwelling in Italy. “Dovecot was my first home after which, only a few years later, I made a decision to purchase a vacation place in Europe,” says Jason. After discovering how efficiently he can work remotely from Murrurundi, he’s hoping to spend three months a 12 months at his second le casa — one half of a country palazzo relationship again to 1580 — in Matino in Puglia.
“I see my life sooner or later, as soon as issues get again to regular, as residing between Matino and Murrurundi. I’ve at all times been a little bit of a gypsy and often spend 5 to seven years in a spot earlier than transferring on however I do love Murrurundi. It lets you be quieter, which is nice for uplifting each creativity and contentment. And being surrounded by such nice magnificence — the great thing about this glorious outdated dwelling and backyard and the encircling pure great thing about the mountains and panorama — I’ve lived all around the world and it simply doesn’t get higher than that.”
This story initially appeared on Michael Reid Murrurundi in March 2021.