Marianne and Malcolm Booth
Towards the end of the 1990s, and fresh from restoring an old inner-Sydney house, and ready to leave the city’s business world behind, Marianne and Malcolm Booth were searching, as Marianne put it, ‘for something to do with the rest of our lives’. They acquired the near-defunct North Bundaleer and turned it into a place that encourages one, ‘to revel in the simple things’, like sipping champagne on the hill behind the house with only mobs of kangaroos for company, or dozing on the verandas.
Marianne was born in England and, in her early twenties, went to Africa where she spent 12 years in Nigeria, Ethiopia and Zambia. She then went to New York for four years and studied psychology, before coming to Australia and becoming a management consultant in organisational improvement techniques, which she continues to do on a part-time basis.
Fourth generation Australian, Malcolm was born in the southern highlands of NSW.A metallurgist, he worked in the copper industry, eventually as the CEO of a manufacturing organisation in Port Kembla, before moving to Sydney as an internal consultant in organisational improvement. He later established his own management consultancy in Sydney.
All the artworks and objects in the house were ‘bought because we like them; only then do you think about how you’ll put them together’. Every room is decorated differently ‘The philosophy of the house was that we wanted it to look as if it was the aggregation of two or three generations, which means the furniture has to be from different periods and a slight mix of style’.
Intrinsic in the resurrection of the homestead was Marianne’s philosophy of decorating ‘to take the edge off the formality of a room, sprinkle a few jokes around, cock the snoot so you don’t feel you’ve got to be too precious’.
COMMENTS FROM OUR GUESTBOOK
A purely delightful 24 hours—I will never forget sipping beer atop the knoll, the beautiful house, wonderful food, but best of all, your good company.
Martin Booe – Los Angeles