It has been seven years since Lynda Gardener opened The White House Daylesford, and ever since then she has wanted to open another property. “I kept the dream alive and never stopped looking and working on it,” she says. Recently she opened the studio-sized accommodation The White Room Melbourne (pictured above) in Fitzroy North as well as a three-bedroom place, The Estate Trentham in the town of Trentham. Lynda has continued to run her shop Empire Vintage throughout her accommodation projects, and gave it its own renovation - making it more a mix of new products as well as vintage. It’s been renamed Gardener and Marks too - to reflect the style of products she uses in her interior design business with partner Amanda Henderson-Marks.

The original interview with Lynda Gardener was published on  9 July 2009.

Up until recently Lynda Gardener has mostly been known for her Melbourne store Empire Vintage, selling an assortment of homewares. But always alongside this she has received a fair amount of press in relation to her home that is furnished in the style of the shop. Now Lynda has taken this combination one step further and created a country home that is available as accommodation - The White House Daylesford.

Which five words best describe you? Passionate, creative, dedicated, caring, a little over energetic!

What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job was working as a secretary at Levis Strauss but I quickly moved into a visual merchandising role, setting up all their concept stores around Australia - purchasing props from all around the country and making sure the stores were absolutely perfect for opening day. I was there for 12 years and loved every minute of working for such a large corporate company.

What’s your proudest achievement? I have many, some are really small, but still just as important to me! Opening my own store 15 years ago and still going strong, all of my interior decorating work, particularly my latest project The White House Daylesford, having my homes over the years featured in books and magazines around the world.

What’s been your best decision? To step out on my own and achieve everything I have so far.

Who inspires you? People all around me: artists, decorators, stylists, creative people.

What are you passionate about? Everyday things - watching my dog run around in the park chasing birds with his forever wagging tail; time that is spent with my friends/family, the next project I will be decorating, travel, dinners, my home, enjoying life to the fullest and the list goes on and on and on.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? To relax... it has taken me a long time to actually learn how to sit and just take the time to do nothing.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My list would change daily, but lets start with Coco Chanel.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? So many dreams, build up my interior business, continue to travel each and every year, perhaps another country house, a book... opening up another business? I never stop thinking of new ideas.

What are you reading? Mainly interior books/magazines... and most recently a little book by Pia Jane Bijkerk [interviewPARIS:made by hand.

images courtesy of lynda gardener; photography lisa cohen

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