Diamondy is a grazing and farming property which has been in the Bassingthwaighte family for 134 years.
Over the years, Diamondy has played host to many a tennis party, served as a popular escape for camping, hunting and dirt biking enthusiasts, and in earlier years even held an annual horse race. In 2011, a sixth generation Bassingthwaighte, Sam with his now-wife Cassie, moved into the original homestead, reintroducing cattle and coexisting on the 10,000 acre freehold property with Sam’s uncle, Tim.
Diamondy has an undeniably special quality; the serenity is engulfing. The 96-year old home stands proudly and is surrounded by an informal cottage style garden which initially appears effortless but after closer inspection shows off its complexity, and the skill and maintenance required to create it becomes evident.
Initially the homestead was a single room which now serves as a lounge area and over the years additions have been made to accommodate growing families’ needs. Sam and Cassie have converted what for years was a small L-shaped kitchen and adjoining small bedroom into a spectacular expansive kitchen which leads onto a large deck area servicing their needs, ranging from breakfast for two to dinner for 20. Utilising the services of a Dalby-based contractor, a handful of tradesman mates and sourcing ex-commercial kitchen appliances from the Sunshine Coast and cabinetry locally; their dream kitchen started to emerge.
The end result is a grand space featuring a timeless style without a hint of pretentiousness and maintaining that warm, welcoming feeling of home. With endless bench space, a large central island, designated servery area, ample storage, impeccable finishes and creature comforts, this kitchen not only looks amazing, but is such a functional and sociable space. Sentimental touches are subtly included, an example being the main beam within the kitchen which features 20 years measuring Bassingthwaighte children’s growth. A highlight is the cool room which is accessed from both the kitchen for everyday use or from the back deck when entertaining and is ingeniously finished off with blackboard paint.
The Bassingthwaightes’ aim throughout the renovation has been to create a home that reflects them as a couple, to integrate the need for modern conveniences, and maintain the integrity of the original homestead. To date, they have achieved this balance beautifully by combining Sam’s eye for detail, Cassie’s skill of mixing the old with the new and a little input here and there from the older generations.
As they both juggle busy off-farm careers, renovations took a backseat as their focus turned to hosting their Spring wedding. October 2012 saw this young couple say “I do” under the sprawling branches of the Chinese elm, celebrating within the ambience of the gardens, with friends and family dining and dancing well into the night under the stars of the Jinghi plains. Their on-farm wedding in the gardens was a first in the history of Diamondy.
Words by Angela Stirling | Images by Janine Waters