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This Family Home Is A Slice Of Europe In The Perth Hills

Homes

We see a lot of houses here at TDF, but we’ve never seen an Australian house quite like Bronte Taton’s! 

Bronte’s family home is reminiscent of classical Greek architecture, and surrounded by a French-inspired garden in Darlington – a quaint country town 30 minutes from Perth. 

The creative director and antique collector at Cleo Collects moved here with her husband Joshua Casey, Indigenous program coordinator and design teacher shortly after the birth of their daughter, Clementine. The move has felt like returning home to Bronte, who grew up between Paris and California. The dream!

17th November, 2021

The picturesque rose garden. An array of heritage rose varieties in shades of yellow, red, pink, peach, white surround the garden hedge. Visitors walk through the rose garden, up the stairs and up to the portico to enter the home through the arched French doors. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

Behind Bronte is an original artwork by local artist Emma Hawtrey and an antique heirloom walnut cabinet. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

The portico is a room outside overlooking the hedges and heritage rose garden. Here, the three arches on the front are framed six times throughout the home and into the rear garden. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

The breakfast table with doors opening to our rear garden. Italian walnut heirloom dining chairs with an original green velvet upholstery. Photographs of scenes in Florence and the Cinque Terre by local Darlington photographer Kevin Norris. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

The central arch overlooking the garden hedge and native bushland surrounding the property. One of Bronte’s favourite spots to sit and read a book. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

The hall is filled with an eclectic array of furniture and artwork collected from their travels such as a Spanish Brutalist stool, Spanish Brutalist telephone table and Turkish travertine coffee table. Antique French clawfoot dining table used as a room divider. His Master’s Voice vintage record player unit. Perth artist pumpkin bowl artwork by Ella Holme. Hand woven baskets from Groote Eylandt, an island off the Gulf of Carpentaria. Bowl from local Fremantle pottery artist Winterwares. Murano glass chandeliers. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

The space between the arches features Ella Holme’s ‘Kitchen Table’ still life, a Spanish Brutalist telephone table and an antique claw foot french dining table. Bush dye cushions from Indigenous artists in Groote Eylandt.  Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

The central hall table filled with freshly potted branches from the garden, an array of art and lifestyle books and a handmade ceramic bowl from Winterwares. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

The formal dining area featuring four Victorian rush chairs, Italian walnut dining table, mid-century Danish rosewood dining chairs and a Murano glass chandelier. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

A glimpse at the entryway featuring French oak floorboards with marble detailing. An eclectic array of furniture, including an antique Georgian English flamed mahogany console, a pair of Murano glass lamps, artworks from Kununurra, WA and an array of indoor plants. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

French J. Pansu tapestry. Wassily chair. A sculptural olive tree provide an intimate indoor-outdoor setting. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

The main bedroom. Paintings by Ella Holme. Antique single bedheads found on a farm outside of Northam from the early 1900s. Vintage glass and metal bedside tables with vintage whicker shade lamps. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

Clementine and Bronte exploring the hidden paths of the garden and taking in the scents of the flowers and the sounds of the birds and running creek. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

A natural creek flowing through Darlington flows through Bronte’s property and garden every winter. This bridge connects the hedges and front garden to an intimate entertainment area amongst the greenery. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

The entrance to the house. Behind these walls is our own paradise, a mix of native and botanical plant varieties. Photo – Jack Lovel. Stylist – Amy Collins-Walker.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 17th November 2021

‘We instantly felt nostalgia of our summer months spent in Europe: long lunches in summer with family, days spent reading outside on the outdoor lounge, and unique architectural details where an antique piece would feel at home.’ – Bronte Taton

New parents Bronte Taton and Joshua Casey were considering a tree change to the Perth Hills when this truly unique home hit the market earlier this year. The family were craving more space and a garden, leading them to this house in Darlington, with its nods to classic Greek and French architecture.

‘The home was built in the early 1950s post war. We were told that a soldier had spent time in Greece and Italy and fell in love with the culture and architecture, wanting to recreate a similar aesthetic in the Perth Hills,’ says Bronte. 

Bronte grew up in Paris and the home immediately reminded of her home. ‘We instantly felt nostalgia of our summer months spent in Europe: long lunches in summer with family, days spent reading outside on the outdoor lounge, and unique architectural details where an antique piece would feel at home,’ she says.

Bronte also spent time as a child in California, always residing on the outskirts of town, away from the hustle and bustle. The bush-like location and established garden here provides a similar feeling, while the nearby village feels akin to a quaint English village. ‘I feel we get the best of both worlds,’ says Bronte. 

Walking up to the front door is reminiscent of strolling through a Paris garden, full of meandering secret paths, manicured mazes, and rose bushes. The latter were established by a former owner of the property, an avid gardener and head of the local Rose Society!

The home’s classical details have proved the perfect canvas for Bronte’s furniture pieces – a mix of French and Italian antiques, coupled with modern elements. As the director of Cleo Collects, Bronte specialises in sourcing rare antique and vintage pieces, and has collected items from all over the globe: from antique sellers in Spain to Indigenous artists in Groote Eylandt. 

The openness of the living space bordered by the arched hallways is also ideal for showcasing Bronte’s ever changing artwork collection, creating small stories throughout the home.

‘It’s a relaxed space, filled with interesting objects that I believe will always hold their value;  some luxurious – all filled with character,’ Bronte says.  

Bronte and Joshua feel so fortunate to live in such a unique setting, and are grateful to have inherited such an established garden and home. The couple have plans to renovate the kitchen and bathroom eventually, but are in no rush as they continue getting to know their dreamy, character-filled home and surrounding neighbourhood.

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