As an avid collector of all things vintage, Melbourne stylist and boutique accommodation owner Lynda Gardener feels right at home amid the markets, op-shops, and antique stores in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges.  

“I’m a tragic collector. If I’m travelling, I’ll go to markets and the next minute I’m buying all these old portraits and sketches. I don’t have anywhere to put them, but I must have them,” Lynda says.

She first discovered the joys of vintage shopping as a 16-year-old who tagged along to the markets with her mother.

“I had this fascination with fossicking and finding unusual things. I love things that show age and have character, so I’ve always gravitated towards markets,” says Lynda.

From styling homes to running a vintage store in Melbourne, Lynda has dedicated her life to creating evocative spaces that hark back to years gone, by yet never feel dated. This timeless aesthetic permeates the short stay retreats she owns and runs, three of which are in the Daylesford Macedon region.

Fifteen years ago, Lynda acquired her first property in Daylesford, an 1850s miner’s cottage now known as the White House. She originally intended it to be her holiday home, so it’s decorated with a personal touch.

“It has all my heirlooms and collector’s pieces I love. To this day that house is still booked out back-to-back. It’s one of those spaces that’s never dated,” says Lynda.

Her gift for seeing the potential in everything led Lynda to acquire a small parcel of land (“it was literally a driveway,” she says) next to the White House. It was here that she built Room + Board, a contemporary, self-contained barn with old schoolhouse windows.

She also transformed a weatherboard federation home into The Estate Trentham, a luxe retreat complete with Scandi-cool interiors, a rambling garden and a rustic barn perfect for weddings and workshops.

The gentle simplicity of her cosy properties in Daylesford and Trentham shines through in the pages of Curate: Inspiration for an Individual Home, a new book co-created with writer Ali Heath.

“The region ticks every single box possible for me. It’s so close to Melbourne so the drive never feels too far. It’s a beautiful drive too. I don’t have hours and hours to be driving on a long journey – I’m guessing everyone in Melbourne feels the same,” she says.

Like a true Melburnian, Lynda appreciates good food and wine. Whenever she visits the region, she makes a beeline for her favourite eateries.

“I love RedBeard Bakery for their sourdough bread and treats. It’s a must when I’m in Trentham. In Daylesford, Beppe Kitchen + Bar is lovely, and Pancho Café is a gorgeous little place. There’s always something new opening too,” she says.

Lynda explains that she doesn’t put much thought into building business models or creating five-year plans. Her businesses have all grown organically due to her strong work ethic and passion for curating beautiful spaces.

“I just give things a go and hope for the best. I’ve got this momentum, and I love being creative. I’ve always worked hard and done what I loved. I feel very fortunate and grateful.”

View Lynda’s Trentham and Daylesford properties here:

About the author

Jo Stewart 2
Jo Stewart
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Jo Stewart is a freelance writer and book author who lives in a 100-year-old workers’ cottage in Kyneton. Her work has been published in Monocle, International Traveller, The Age and The Saturday Paper. She is also the author of That’s So 90s, an illustrated book dedicated to the pop cultural wonders of the 1990s. When not writing feature articles about food, music, travel, culture and sustainability, Jo likes listening to live music, spending time in nature, drinking good wine and beer, and hunting for vintage treasures in op shops.