Google Translation of the German text:
Fleur and Mike Leslie • Photography Marnie Hawson • Living Inside
About a hundred years ago, a train journey in first class was a very special luxury, with courteous service, a stimulating ambience and fine materials.
Rather run-down and covered in graffiti, a former steam train carriage was waiting to be given a new lease of life. From 1926 to 1983 he traveled by rail, only then did the adventure journey begin. An environmentalist/craftsman bought it for AUD$400 and invested $60,000 to have it moved to his property in southern Australia, on the edge of Otway National Park, two hours from Melbourne. He used it as a living shed and workshop, while behind it he built a three-story log home from wood he cut himself and railway parts.
“We bought the property in 2013,” says Fleur Leslie. “It had been on the market for many years and was completely run down, but it immediately appealed to both of us. At first we were drawn to the main house, the train was just a sideshow, but it also quickly became a passionate project.” The nurse, who loves to travel and hike, and her husband Mike, a 3D designer, had theirs together in 2011 Founded company "Dufflebird" with the idea of offering "unique getaways for the curious". What began with one's own holiday home now includes six different, unusual accommodations.
The Steam Carriage train car underwent a loving refurbishment for nine months before becoming a part of Dufflebird. Together with the “great” craftsman George, Mike tirelessly lent a hand himself. In addition to the restoration of beautiful wooden elements, the wiring and piping had to be completely redesigned and walls were moved to divide the carriage into three bedrooms, bathrooms and a large living, cooking and dining area.
The most dramatic change, however, was on the outside: the previous dirty pink carriage was painted black, instantly transforming it into an elegant retreat. Inside, it continued with glossy black paint for the floorboards and cabin doors. Fleur and Mike made sure to retain original elements such as signs and fittings and complemented them with time-matched light switches to create an authentic ambience. In combination with the carefully chosen furniture, the chandeliers, the beautiful linen bed linen, the use of brass and bronze, they have created a place that is like a first class train journey into the past.