The Tale of Hannah Logan
If youve ever dreamed of living in a farmhouse in the country, you might seriously consider packing your bags and saying goodbye to city life after reading this profile. We certainly did after spending the day at the idyllic, newly renovated home of Hannah Logan in Apple Tree Flat, NSW, which she shares with her winemaker husband Peter, their beautiful, bubbly, blue eyed five-month-old daughter Clementine, Dalmatian dog and a handful of very curious cows.
If you didnt know Logan was the general manager of Logan Wines, youd naturally assume she was an interior designer. Theres not a single corner of the home left untouched. From the yellow door (the colour is Gold Rush by Dulux, incase youre wondering) to the cluster of little bentwood style chairs made out of the muselet collected from the champagnes they drink to the custom painted lilac bentwood chairs to the exquisite selection of wallpaper in each bedroom (the Quoll wallpaper in the nursery is utterly magical), everything about this warm, inviting house is perfect.
The elegant blonde haired Logan resembles a modern day Grace Kelly. She originally moved from Sydney to the country over a decade ago with Peter, who had already established Logan Wines. When you start dating a winemaker with his own label, I found that you very quickly become entrenched in the work and lifestyle yourself, she says. Before they were married in 2003, Hannah left her job in media and advertising and joined Logan Wines. I relished the challenge of building the profile of Peter, his wines and our brand. We joke that Peter is responsible for making things taste good, while Im in charge of making things look good. I oversee our brand image, which involves the creative management of everything from label design and brand communication, the interior design of our Mudgee Tasting Room right down to staff uniforms and newsletters. It's a busy, busy life but I love working so closely with Pete to build our family business (and its a business that does have a few good perks). Together we are building a solid brand locally and internationally for Logan, and loving it as we do.
A decade after moving to the country, shes clearly settled into her new life. The first few years were tough and living in Apple Tree Flat is a lot quieter, which we have now learned to enjoy, she says. Its very peaceful here, very beautiful country and we have learned to enjoy a different side of life, things like gardening, cooking and just enjoying a quieter pace. Its a pace that suits parenthood perfectly. Since Minnie was born at the start of Autumn, weve taken the first several months of her life very slowly, hibernating through Winter. Minnie has had a very peaceful, easy and relaxed introduction to life. We might go for days without even leaving the farm, and I think thats been nice for her, says Logan.
Of course, the first few weeks after Clementine was born werent so quiet. Their daughter arrived during the busiest two weeks of vintage, which is the time when the grapes come into a winery for crushing and processing. Peter was starting at 5am and not coming home until after 7pm. There was no time for quiet days at home as the three of us to settle into this new life, recalls Logan. Because of that and the fact that I had a c-section birth, I organised a Mothercraft trained baby nurse to come from Sydney and spend two weeks with us to help us settle in. Anna Rosen was amazing. She helped Logan get Clementine straight onto a four hourly feed routine and also helped during the night when her daughter was unsettled so they could get some sleep. I think getting Clementine straight into this feed/sleep pattern set her up beautifully to transition into a more structured routine. Wed read Save our Sleep, and loosely started following her age appropriate routines, and encouraged Clementine to self settle from an early age. Some days for whatever reason it doesnt work, and we know then that Clementine just needs a big cuddle and extra attention and help to get off to sleep, but most days and nights she is a sleeping angel. In the evening this means we get a few hours of just our time and a long uninterrupted sleep.
On motherhood, Logan says the best advice she has been given was from a girlfriend shortly after she gave birth. It was about three weeks after Minnie was born, she says. I was exhausted, emotional and feeling quite shocked at how hard this actually was. I popped into town and had coffee with some girlfriends, and one of them said you know it will take a while before you love motherhood. As shocking as that may sound to some, it really did resonate with me after. And in those few weeks after she said this, I was still struggling with sleep deprivation and kind of thinking what have I done!? and I kept remembering this comment. It wasnt that I didnt love my daughter, I adored her and was so concerned for her and worried that she was ok. Was I doing an ok job? Was she happy? It made me realise that I wasnt a bad person and that often new mums feel like this. And that it would get better. And sure enough, I think it was around the seven week mark for us, it just all started to fall into place. I think my hormones settled down, I was getting a bit more sleep, Id recovered from the birth and Clementine seemed to have really settled into life and I just had this huge switch in the way I was feeling about my new role. I actually started to enjoy it. I stopped worrying so much about it all having to be perfect.
The couple lived in this house for many years before embarking on their renovation. They initially started working with an architect (Stephen Buzacott and Kevin Ewart of Buzacott Architects) on integrating a pool and a new master bedroom and ensuite bathroom. It got bigger and bigger, but we figured it was more practical to do one big renovation than stage it over a few different projects, says Logan. We are so thrilled with the final design and flow of our house. Its big and spacious, but doesnt feel ridiculous for just the three of us. We can have lots of guests staying and everyone has space and were not on top of each other, and then it goes back to just us three and it feels petite again. Its perfect.
Logan also worked with interior stylist Megan Morton. Megan is a long time acquaintance and employing her help on the finer interior design was the best decision Pete and I made, says Logan. We spent so much time on the design with her, it was a wonderful and very interactive process. We worked room by room, with Megan and I both doing quite a bit of sourcing of references and products, sending them back and forth to come up with these perfect rooms. I loved it, if I wasnt doing what I am doing now I would love to get involved in interiors in some way. I dont think I could do what Megan or my sister Briar do, but I could see myself loving working for them!
Hannahs little list of loves:
A glass of wine once I know Clementine is in bed for the night. At the moment its usually a glass of our 2014 Hannah Rosé. My husband, winemaker Peter Logan, created this wine as a surprise gift for me on our wedding day.
My morning personal training sessions at the gym Its my time and taking care of myself. I also love stopping for coffee on my way home after - just quietly that may be the best part of the outing! I think about that coffee on my way into the session, and all the way through it! We are so lucky to be living in a rural town yet still have access to great coffee!
Tea, I lose count of how many teas I drink through the day.
Weekends in Sydney (Manly) We try to get to Sydney at least once a month for a long weekend. Most of our family is close to Manly so we base ourselves there and just love it.
Christmas, love it I love spending time with my huge family. We close the business for two weeks and take a well-deserved break. I am very excited for Clementines first Christmas this year. She will be 10 months which I think will be a very cute stage. We are staying local this year and are spending our holiday in Manly so it will be a lot of quality time with her cousins that I am looking forward to.
Our Bath I love soaking in the bath at the end of a long day.
Our Chow by Rachael McCarthy Catering Mudgees best caterer/chef has recently launched a gourmet range of home cooked meals, delivered fresh and freezable. I love cooking but its a lovely treat to have one of Rachaels meals once or twice a week and spend more time with Minnie than cooking.
Our Philips Avent baby food steamer and blender. Its an all in one appliance and makes preparing fresh nutritious purees for Clementine a breeze, I am really enjoying the introduction to solids, and having this appliance makes the preparation so easy. We are getting pretty adventurous with our flavor combinations and she loves it.
The Bridge A Swedish/Danish crime drama. Were currently watching the first series on DVD and its awesome.
French Children Dont Throw Food, by Pamela Druckerman. I read this whilst I was pregnant, and picked it up again only a few weeks ago. Its all about the authors discovery and research into the wisdom of French parenting as an American mother living in Paris. The French parenting style sounds so calm, pleasant and overall enjoyable compared to her rather intense and grueling personal experience its just a good light hearted read with a bit of parenting guidance along the way.
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