Pictured above (right): The finsished product Sugar Shack dining room.
Built in 1927, the Sugar Shack Cottage was nicknamed for its time as a store room for the nearby bakery. In time for the building’s 90th birthday the shack was re-energised, and is now a place for family, friends and visitors to stay when they visit our Shire.
Between their busy work schedules, we caught up with Jonny and Nicole to talk all things Sugar Shack!
How long has the whole process taken? - from the first day of owning the property, until today, ready to welcome guests?
Nicole: It’s certainly not what we originally planned to do with the Cottage, but with another renovation project on the go, we hope it will help Jonny spend more time at home. The renovation was pretty quick, but it always is when you are living on a construction site!
Whose idea was it to make the property a holiday house?
Jonny: Definitely Nicole’s idea. I came home from a week working away, and all of a sudden we didn’t live at Harvey Street anymore haha.
What was the worst and best room to renovate?
Jonny: The back bathroom (second bathroom). I went to demolish the walls and discovered that the back section of the house had been built around an old tank stand. There was literally not a single level or plumb thing to work with. In some ways, it was the easiest to renovate in the sense that I was kind of starting from scratch, but to work with the rest of the house was a little tricky. I was always asking the question- do I make it right, or make it work with the house?
In your busy lives as a fulltime musician (Jonny) and Community Development Officer at the Shire of Dumbleyung (Nicole) how did you find time to give the building some TLC and restore it to its former glory?
Nicole: One of the downsides of Jonny being a musician means he works all weekends while I work week days, so it was amazing what he would get done during the week between his admin work - he wears a Bluetooth earpiece so he can renovate while making business calls!! We also put in a lot of late nights trying to get the job done!
In a few sentences, what does the Sugar Shack offer?
Nicole: We are very new to this, but we strive to offer a place which makes people feel at home. They may feel like they have stepped back in time - don’t worry, there is colour TV! It is private with great outdoor and indoor areas, and plenty of activities (for those who like to stay occupied) including puzzles, things to read and you can even check off a quirky “things to do list”.
What’s in store for the Sugar Shack holiday Cottage in 2018?
Nicole: We have personally loved living at the Sugar Shack. It will be missed and we hope people will enjoy their time there as much as we have, with fun, laughter and fond memories of Dumbleyung. We don’t have any expectations for 2018, only to see how the Sugar Shack unfolds......
Well done Jonny and Nicole on the opening of the Sugar Shack, and thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for Quack Chat! To view more photos or book the Sugar Shack this summer visit www.sugarshackhc.com.