History meets luxury in Penguin
At 93 Main Road, Penguin, you will find Novo Luxury Apartment. Its Italian-inspired name, a reference to new beginnings, is exactly what owners Tania and Chris Mitchell have given this historic building – a fresh start.
A single-storey, weatherboard and shingle-roofed bakery, built in the late 1880s, stood at the address before burning down in 1911. The current double-storey brick building took its place shortly after. The front façade, which still exists on the upper storey, features beautiful arched windows and the eye-catching words ‘B. BROWN EST BD 1888’. The building continued to operate as a bakery until 1972. Common for the time, the owners lived on-site in the upper storey, which was also used as a space for dough preparation.
There’s no dough in sight when you visit today, but the history is still very much alive. Tania and Chris have combined the old and new throughout the apartment. Every room features a historic gem complemented by luxurious modern touches they have carefully selected.
As you enter the apartment on the ground floor, you are greeted by the original, heritage listed staircase guiding you to the upper storey.
Under your feet are the original Baltic floorboards and if you look up, you’ll see the gorgeous patterns of the pressed tin ceiling in the first bedroom.
The restored exposed brick in the kitchen and main bathroom are what feature-wall dreams are made of.
A unique stand-out are the original metal floor tiles in the lounge room. They were a surprise to Tania and Chris when they pulled up the carpet, but after hours of restoration, they give the space a fascinating twist.
The history is accompanied by beautiful contemporary facilities such as a freestanding bath, double shower, heated bathroom tiles, spacious kitchen, electric fireplace, locally sourced furniture and vibrant artwork, which are all brought together with natural colours and textures. The apartment sleeps up to eight guests, who can enjoy two bathrooms and a large ocean-view deck and barbecue.
Most of the furniture was sourced from Cocoon Designs, the boutique in the retail space downstairs. Cocoon Designs also crafted the large and small dining tables from recycled church pews, as well as the luggage racks in the bedrooms, made from 100-year-old train bench seats and Singer sewing machine legs – another perfect example of combining the old with the new.
Although the building has been through a lot in its time, one thing that has never changed is the breathtaking view of Bass Strait. The massive north-facing windows in the lounge and dining rooms frame an uninterrupted, panoramic outlook. You can’t help but stare in awe as it stretches into the horizon. Enjoy it from one of the comfortable armchairs or take it in with local produce on the deck – a seamless combination of history, luxury and natural beauty.
Novo Luxury Apartment recently won Best Renovation/Addition Project of the Year and Bathroom of the Year at the Housing Industry Association Tasmania Awards.