Diana McInnes’s many lives as a stylist, graphic designer, ski instructor and avid collector inform her high country hideaway.

Blow-to-the-solar-plexus views pan over a luminous Lake Jindabyne and up to the Snowy Mountains range beyond. A mature, tree-filled garden that is golden honeycomb in autumn and rose scented in spring. Elegant European-inspired rooms filled with furs, antlers and old ski paraphernalia line the walls juxtaposed with a feminine oddity or arrangement of flowers.

This is the home of Diana McInnes, business owner, mother and bon vivant. She has a distinct style that spills from what she wears, how she lives and what she sells in her much loved retail store. Design and Detail is located in the old shopping centre in East Jindabyne. It is set among cafés, restaurants and ski hire outlets but it is a much more than your usual shopping fare. It is a way to live.

“The store features a carefully chosen assortment of new and vintage items, some familiar, others more left of centre,” Diana says. “I sell everyday classics that will not date but will mellow and improve with age and are destined to become favourites. It is an ever-evolving collection and one that is always interesting.”

It’s in this eclectic and fascinating space that Diana spends much of her working week. Either that or she is on the road sourcing new and unusual finds for her business.

“Most weekends I head to a local country clearance sale,” she says. “This is where I find some of my treasures for the shop. Not only do I love getting a bargain at the sales, but it’s such a great place to catch up with other like-minded hoarders and also sample the CWA ladies’ scones at the catering van. I have been known to come home looking like the Beverly Hillbillies with everything but Granny tied to the roof.”

Diana moved permanently to Jindabyne in the late ‘90s after a taste of winter seasons as a ski instructor. For a few years she also pursued this line of work in North America, but soon grew weary of life lived out of a suitcase.

“I’ve lived many lives,” she says, with a chuckle. “I’m a qualified graphic designer but I also worked as a ski instructor, restaurateur, visual merchandiser, stylist and now business owner.”

The garden that surrounds Diana’s home is just as impressive. While it is not big it has plenty of variation. An orchard with a variety of fruit trees is towards the rear of the property, overlooking the lake. In close proximity is a formal garden complete with roses and the like, while the entry of the home features cool climate plants and a fishpond. The garden also features mature deciduous trees.

This story was originally published in the June/ July 2014 issue of Australian Country. Keep up to date and subscribe to the magazine here.

Read more home and interior stories here.

Words Siobhan O’Brien
Stefanie Lees