Trop­i­cal dream­ing The By­ron Bay hills re­vi­talise a fam­ily of four

A HOME IN THE HILLS ABOVE BY­RON BAY PRO­VIDES THE IDEAL LIFE­STYLE FOR THIS TREE-CHANG­ING FAM­ILY

Home Beautiful - - {EDITOR’S LETTER} - STORY & STYLING NATALIE WAL­TON PHO­TOG­RA­PHY CHRIS WARNES

POS­I­TIVE OUT­LOOK A per­fect van­tage point to take in sweep­ing views of

By­ron Bay’s land­scape (op­po­site), the kitchen win­dow seat, which fea­tures clas­sic tim­ber mould­ing, was one of the key de­sign fea­tures that home­owner Ange (pic­tured) and her fam­ily wanted to in­stall. She chose lush green for­est vel­vet from a lo­cal up­hol­sterer to soften the space. “I love how it matches the out­side,” she says. Ange, who de­signed the in­te­ri­ors her­self, sourced the dark­toned mar­ble for the ta­ble and had lo­cal black­smith Ed­ward Blower from East­ern Forge cre­ate it. The tan leather chairs from In­te­ri­ors On­line ref­er­ence the nearby Ch­ester­field and are a beau­ti­ful coun­ter­point to the green seat­ing area.

High up on a hill in the hin­ter­land of By­ron Bay, New South Wales, look­ing to­wards the rolling waves of the Pa­cific Ocean, is the home of Ange, her hus­band, Smi­ley, and their two chil­dren, El­liott, 11, and Cin­na­mon, eight. A sweep­ing drive­way guides vis­i­tors to a main en­trance that is both so­phis­ti­cated and wel­com­ing. In­side, can­dles are lit and mu­sic plays, there are so­fas to sink into and young­sters run about freely. And then there is that vista to­wards the sea – per­haps one of the home’s best fea­tures. Yet, the view in­side is just as spec­tac­u­lar. High ceil­ings abound in the up­per-level liv­ing ar­eas, and there’s a chic French coun­try vibe that runs through­out, with more than the odd ref­er­ence to fash­ion. This is no sur­prise con­sid­er­ing Ange, who grew up nearby, and up un­til re­cently lived in Syd­ney with her fam­ily, is a free­lance stylist and fash­ion de­signer for her busi­ness AC The Col­lec­tion. “Fash­ion plays a big part in our styling and decor choices,” she says. “Art Deco and any­thing re­nais­sance al­ways res­onates with me.” How­ever, this two-storey ’80s home looked far from fash­ion­able when the cou­ple first bought it in 2014. “It had add-ons and ar­eas within the home that didn’t quite flow,” re­calls Ange. “I knew it was go­ing to be a huge project, and at that stage my head wasn’t re­ally around it at all.” Ange and Smi­ley, who com­mutes to Syd­ney to run Neon Records, Of Leisure and Pep­per­mint­blue Pub­lish­ing, de­cided to live in the home for some time be­fore mak­ing any sig­nif­i­cant changes. “We needed to see if this was re­ally where we wanted to set­tle be­fore we em­barked on a huge ren­o­va­tion,” says the mum-of-two. The cou­ple, who she ad­mits “are not keen ren­o­va­tors”, even­tu­ally de­cided to take the plunge, and in early 2016 moved out with the chil­dren and dog for what was to be a nine-month ren­o­va­tion.

KITCHEN

The former, rather dated, kitchen was poky and filled with tim­ber cab­i­netry and lots of lam­i­nate. “The rooms were all quite boxed in and sep­a­rate,” says Ange (pic­tured, with her son, El­liott). “Try­ing to give the home more flow was our goal.” To­day, the kitchen fea­tures painted tim­ber cab­i­netry in Du­lux Oo­long and Taub­mans Crisp White, while over­head hangs a black trio pen­dant light from La Maison (for sim­i­lar, try ‘Manor’ from Bea­con Light­ing). Ad­ding fur­ther lay­ers of so­phis­ti­ca­tion are Fameg ‘Bent­wood’ stools from Zanui, which Ange cut to the per­fect height, and beau­ti­ful honed-mar­ble bench­tops.

LIV­ING ROOM

The sump­tu­ous vel­vet sofa with rolled arms stands in front of a tim­ber-topped cof­fee ta­ble from Max Spar­row, one of Ange’s favourite stores. “I know my style – I don’t change it up too much,” she says. The tan leather arm­chair from Robert­sons Fur­ni­ture And De­sign (for sim­i­lar, try the ‘Kent’ from In­te­ri­ors On­line) adds a mas­cu­line touch and re­flects Bri­tish-born Smi­ley’s pen­chant for English club fur­ni­ture. The on­trend Art Deco-in­spired bar cart is from By­ron Bay Hang­ing Chairs.

In the main liv­ing ar­eas, floors were ripped up and sub­sti­tuted with a con­crete tile floor­board in­ge­niously laid in a her­ring­bone pat­tern. “It’s prac­ti­cal and hard-wear­ing: cool in the sum­mer, warm in the win­ter,” says Ange. Doors and win­dows were re­placed, bath­rooms made over and the ex­te­ri­ors painted in Color­bond’s chic ‘Gully’. Be­fore the ren­o­va­tion, Ange wisely cre­ated a mood­board of what she en­vis­aged for the home, which has evolved into a strik­ing black-and-white pal­ette in­spired by Euro­pean liv­ing, with touches of the un­ex­pected – stand up, stun­ning Man­hat­tan wall­pa­per fea­ture wall in son El­liott’s room. Tra­di­tion­ally de­signed cof­fered ceil­ings in the liv­ing rooms also set the home apart, and to­day re­main one of Ange’s favourite style fea­tures. “There is al­ways a sim­i­lar­ity in the homes we love and live in,” she says. “We tend to em­brace clas­sic de­tail and un­der­stated el­e­gance with a dis­tinct edge. I love any­thing with a touch of mod­ern grandeur, but there al­ways has to be a re­laxed am­bi­ence and warmth to it.” While ini­tially want­ing a com­plete tree change fur­ther into the bush – “I was af­ter a typ­i­cal farm­house with loads of or­nate de­tail and char­ac­ter,” re­calls Ange – she’s happy the fam­ily has landed here, only a few min­utes’ drive from By­ron. She’s par­tic­u­larly pleased with the in­vest­ment they have made with the finer de­tails of their lovely home. “These are ar­eas that set your place apart,” she says. “Any­one can come in and style up a room to look good, but once ev­ery­thing is stripped back, there still needs to be a level of crafts­man­ship and pol­ish.”

SIT­TING AREA

Ange in­stalled gor­geous black-framed French win­dows and crafted cof­fered ceil­ings in the liv­ing area that ad­joins the out­doors and pool zone. The look re­minds her of Euro­pean homes she’s stayed in over the years, and they also have an el­e­ment of Hol­ly­wood glam­our. “I love tra­di­tional ar­chi­tec­ture,” she says. The com­fort­able sofa, which the chil­dren (Cin­na­mon, pic­tured) of­ten hang out on, and the tex­tured rail­road-in­spired cof­fee ta­ble are from Robert­sons Fur­ni­ture And De­sign (for sim­i­lar, try Tem­ple & Webster), while the rug is from Tigmi Trad­ing.

DIN­ING AREA

A clas­sic black arched lamp

(for sim­i­lar, try the ‘Fa­gen’) from In­te­ri­ors On­line adds a fo­cal point to the light-filled din­ing room, which over­looks the pool. “This room has a nice en­ergy and the added bi-fold at the back cre­ates that in­door-out­door liv­ing that is quintessen­tially Aus­tralian,” says Ange. The ‘Bos­ton’ ta­ble is from Al­fresco Em­po­rium and the ‘Amer­i­can Oak Cross’ chairs are from Mi­lano Repub­lic.

“ALL OF MY IN­TE­RIOR STYLING HAS A fash­ion el­e­ment TO IT SOME­HOW, FROM SHAPES AND colours TO THE BOOKS I HAVE LY­ING AROUND” ~ ANGE

MAIN BED­ROOM

In the par­ents’ re­treat (top), lush vel­vet fab­ric in blush (for sim­i­lar, try War­wick Fabrics) de­liv­ers a touch of lux­ury to a beau­ti­fully pro­por­tioned win­dow seat, which is sim­i­lar in style to the one near the kitchen. “I love this fea­ture as a place to re­treat,” says Ange. The pretty art­works are by Sarah Pook.

FAM­ILY BATH­ROOM

Ange wanted to cre­ate a chic bath­room (left) for the kids so they could grow into the space. A Klaylife beaded pen­dant hangs over a Vic­to­rian-style claw-foot bath from Cast Iron Baths. A Turk­ish towel from Hope & May adds a mod­ern ar­ti­sanal touch, off­set by a sil­ver Uash­mama laun­dry bag.

EL­LIOTT’S ROOM

Ange’s son, El­liott, wanted a room that felt like a New

York apart­ment. The strik­ing city land­scape cre­ates the per­fect back­drop to the in­dus­trial-style desk from La Maison (for sim­i­lar, try the ‘Vin­tor Trunk’ from Zanui), while geo­met­ric bed­li­nen from Bed Bath N’ Ta­ble adds to the so­phis­ti­cated city-look.

EN­TRANCE

There was a sur­pris­ing fea­ture about the abode. “Pre-ren­o­va­tion, there was ac­tu­ally no front door!” says Ange. “I had to have a beau­ti­ful en­trance – first im­pres­sions are ev­ery­thing.” Once in­side, clas­sic monochro­matic tiles from Beau­mont Tiles and grey walls set the scene for the rest of the house. Along­side the fab­u­lous art­work ‘Cry­ing Boy’ by lo­cal artist Shaol Min­nikin sits a row of wall hooks from

Our Cor­ner Store.

CON­TACTS

Builder

Brett Har­ley Con­struc­tions, 0429 321 440.

Land­scape ar­chi­tect

Aaron Fox Land­scap­ing And De­sign, 0414 018 450.

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