People and Places
SARAH ELSHAUG IN CONVERSATION Casual chats with Peninsula people by Liz Rogers

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Maitland Street Interiors owner Sarah Elshaug spent her weekends and holidays riding horses on her parents’ 22ha farm in Balnarring as a kid. Fast-forward to present day and this interior design creative continues the tradition with her own daughters. Oh, and there’s some chatting with cows too! Here’s a snapshot.


The Elsie & Hugo collection of limited photographic prints is so cute. How and when was the idea conceived?

I’ve always had a passion for nature and love being surrounded by animals. Through my work in interiors I get to create beautiful internal environments for my clients. It was a natural progression for me to use photography to bring these two loves together.


Any problems getting your subjects smiling for the camera? How long did the shoot go on for?

It took a lot of patience. I spent an entire afternoon in the paddock that day but loved every minute of it. The cows were content and not bothered with me getting up close for the perfect angle. 


What do you love so much about cows?

They have their own unique character traits and individuality in their markings and body shape. They also have very gentle, soft eyes and cute fluffy ears.  Their ability to ‘talk’ to each other is also very sweet.


Where can readers get their hands on these gorgeous interior style statements?

We’re excited to have Elsie + Hugo ranged exclusively by The Interiors Assembly. All Elsie + Hugo prints are limited editions and available to purchase in three sizes at 


What’s next on the photographic agenda? More animals?

Following the success of the portraits of Elsie, Hugo, Molly and Levi, I’ll be releasing a new series featuring other cows from the herd and this season’s new calves.  Mum and Dad’s alpacas Cecil and Cedric may make an appearance too. 


What was your favourite thing to do as a child in Balnarring?

We grew up riding horses and eventing with Hastings Pony Club until we were 21, competing at the PCAV State Championships and Royal Melbourne Show. My first job as a teenager was at Marmaduke’s Deli in Balnarring and I learnt to drive bumping around the paddocks in Dad’s old Holden Commodore. We spent endless summers swimming at Merricks Beach or Mills Beach in Mornington. All of it was great.


Describe an ideal weekend away with your own children at the farm.

I’m happiest at the farm with my own girls (Jessica, 9, and Ebony, 6) and spending time with Mum and Dad and my brother and his family. The girls have taken up my love of horse riding. They enjoy bonfires after a day moving and feeding the cows, riding on the quad bike and making cubbies in the hay. In summer we spend hours on the beach fossicking for shells and sea glass and then pop in to see Jill at the Red Hill Baker in Balnarring for a treat. We love visiting the Enchanted Maze, Main Ridge Dairy and Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm.


Favourite thing to do or place to go on the Peninsula?

We put on our walking shoes on the weekend and adventure along the Red Hill Rail Trail from the Station Ground Recreation Reserve up along the ridge to Red Hill.  Then a coffee at the Epicurean café before returning back down the trail. It’s perfect for viewing the Peninsula’s rolling hills, the sea and breathing in the fresh country air.

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