A Toowoomba couple have brought the expertise of a lifetime’s collecting and dealing antiques to their Federation home, the Burfield House.

Burfield House Toowoomba_008

Brenton and Sharon Kinnear happened upon a life of treasure hunting by chance. More than three decades ago, as newlyweds, they set about furnishing their first home together and soon discovered a shared love of things old and worn, rather than shiny and new.“We started buying pieces that needed work,” Sharon says. “We found we enjoyed the whole restoring/conservation process.” “As Sharon was busy going about buying and collecting things in the early days, someone had to then pick them up and do the restoration work,” Brenton adds.“That’s when I became involved and loved the transformation from junk to a useful and beautiful piece of furniture.”

Burfield House Toowoomba_011Burfield House Toowoomba_009

As time went by, their hobby took a firmer grip on their hearts and minds, and they decided to take a leap of faith. “An existing antiques shop became available in Coffs Harbour, so we jumped in,” Sharon recalls. “Brenton then went off to do his French polishing trade … we had the Coffs shop for 14 years, then one in Grafton for six years.” But as the children grew, the couple realised they needed to be closer to amenities such as high schools and universities and decided to pack up the farm and move to Toowoomba, on Queensland’s Darling Downs, about two hours from Brisbane. The physical move turned out to be a lot tougher than the decision to make it, given their now vast collection of antiques.

Burfield House Toowoomba_018 Burfield House Toowoomba_021jpg

They finally found a place to set up shop near Toowoomba’s historic railway station in the CBD, and they found their forever home just a stroll away in Burfield House. The home is believed to have been built by a couple who were partners in the Cramond and Stark department store which opened in Toowoomba in 1905. Through renovation and repair many original features remain, including the intricate cast iron balustrade on the front verandah, now painted a crisp white, and pressed metal ceilings in several rooms. The Kinnears have plans to extend Burfield, but without altering its style.

Burfield House Toowoomba_025jpg Burfield House Toowoomba_027

The complete story was originally published in Australian Country issue 20.1. Click here to subscribe to our magazine.

Click here for more home and interior stories.

Words Tamara Simoneau
Photography Anastasia Kariofylldis

More Like This

Douglas Blain

The Extraordinary Journey of Douglas Blain: Preserving the Past with Passion

Douglas Blain’s remarkable life has been devoted to rescuing old buildings and turning them into boutique hotels.

Montville Mist Springwater

The Collins’ Montville Mist Springwater Success

Alli and Peter Collins juggle raising a family and running, Montville Mist Springwater from their home in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Paper Pocket Australiana

Our Top 10 Favourite Calendars and Diaries to Kick Start Your 2024

Discover Australia’s favourite range of 2024 Calendars and Diaries from Paper Pocket. Keep track of your year, organise your appointments, plan your […]

Date & Ginger Bundt Cake

Date & Ginger Bundt Cake Recipe

This date and ginger bundt cake is an adaptation of my mum’s much-loved sticky date pudding recipe.

Lemon Cake Recipe

Weekday Lemon Cake Recipe

A (very) simple melt-and-mix number, perfect for when a lemon cake is in order, but fuss is not. A while ago, […]

Visitors Paradise Home

Turning a 1929 Home into a Visitors Paradise

Aussie wildlife and mushroom foragers are among the many visitors to Sue and Tony Johnson’s paradise home in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills.

Heritage Home Renovation

A Heritage Home Renovation Back to the Origins

After almost three decades of renovations, Darren and Sue Turner have returned their 111-year-old home to what it once was.


Seduced by Simplicity: A Kiama Transformation

Michael and Michele Bell turned a Kiama beach house from the sixties into a stunning seaside home that’s too good to leave.

Follow Us on Instagram