Made from paper, rock and wood
For artist Lisa Madigan, The Cottage is a retreat, inspiration and reflection of her creative life, writes Bronwyn Phillips.
It may be 35 kilometres from the coast, but The Cottage in the Kangaroo Valley, owned by creative powerhouse Lisa Madigan and her husband, Rob, evokes the beach with its neutral walls, floorboards, rustic timbers, clam shells and white linens and towels. No surprise, given the artist and stylist grew up in the heartland of Australian surf culture, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Ten years ago, Lisa and Rob, an auto electrician and diesel mechanic, were on their honeymoon, driving along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria and the south coast of NSW. “We were quite disenchanted with the Sydney real estate market and loved the idea of finding something in the country,” the artist, in her mid-30s, explains. “We hadn’t been to the Kangaroo Valley before and completely fell in love with it. When The Cottage turned up, it felt right.”
Packing up their lives in Sydney’s inner west, the couple, with their Dalmatian dogs Oberon and Mia, moved into The Cottage and started renovating and repairing. “We wanted something with good bones that we could put our stamp on, and with a lot of history and character,” says
Lisa. They certainly found it in the Kangaroo Valley. “Structurally, it was fantastic, it had some maintenance done, but most of it was original.”
Built in the 1880s, The Cottage was originally home to The Kangaroo Valley Times newspaper. “There was a printing press in what is now the lounge room – there is a big dent in the floor where the wheel had worn the timber away,” says Lisa, who was smitten by The Cottage’s former life in newspapers. “The interior was
Kangaroo Valley, NSW Lisa Madigan (with her Dalmatian, Oberon) enjoys The Cottage as an escape from city living.
“When The Cottage turned up, it felt right.”
Inspired by the tranquil surrounds, Lisa incorporates outside elements in the interior decor. The wood trestle table (top), for example, is adorned with dried floral arrangements.