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Somewhere Over The Rainbow

We visit a Northern Rivers sugarcane farm handed down through generation­s, full of warmth where the owner has created joy through her love of colour and design.

- WORDS Katie Skinner IMAGES Sarah Walsh Mcintyre

Sarah, husband Murray and their two children, moved to their sugarcane farm in mid-2017. The farm is situated in the Northern Rivers region, New South Wales, close to the pretty coastal town of Yamba. Their home has a lot of sentimenta­l significan­ce for the family as Sarah explains “The property dates back in part to the 1870s and has been in my husband’s family since 1900. We are currently raising the fifth generation of his family in our home. I am originally from Sydney but relocated to the Northern Rivers area a decade ago. I met Murray shortly after and the rest is history.”

The Northern Rivers region has had a renaissanc­e over the last decade, with it being one of the most sought-after places in Australia to live. It combines some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia with lush hinterland and a well-establishe­d foodie’s scene. Sarah’s family love exploring the varied monthly markets across the region and scenic drives into the hinterland behind the Tweed Coast, Lismore and Byron Bay.

Sarah also enjoys supporting local businesses. “There are several boutiques in Yamba that I love to shop at - these include Island Collective, Belinda’s Store, Flots and Jets, One Country Mouse and Shack Yamba. All of these beautiful stores sell boutique homewares, art, fashion, and in the case of Flots and Jets, really funky second-hand finds. There are some lovely places to grab a bite to eat in Yamba including Thai Payu, Karrikin, Indian Fusion and Tapas, Sassafras, and of course, the Pacific Hotel which sits above Main Beach with the best drinking view you will find on the East Coast.”

The family have not taken on any significan­t renovation­s since moving in, other than restoring some original timber floorboard­s and exposing the original brick of their living room fireplace. However, there’s been

“I’ve always gravitated towards the vintage and colourful, although my taste has evolved over time.”

plenty of painting. Sarah used Dulux Vivid White in living room and Dulux Antique White USA, Dulux Lama, and Wattle Teal Twilight for the kitchen. Her love of colour and texture is evident throughout the home and she mixes second-hand pieces with new to create her distinctiv­e look. “To thrift for quality, quirky second-hand finds as well as being patient enough to wait and save for the right pieces. I am now really trying to see my home as something to be curated over time. Buy what you love, what speaks to you and worry less about trends. I’ve always gravitated towards the vintage and colourful, although my taste has evolved over time.”

Sarah describes her style as a fusion of colourful eclectic boho and mid-century modern with a little rock n roll maximalist for good measure. When asked who inspires her, she exclaims “Oh so many! On Instagram, I am so inspired by the vintage, eclectic styles of Lee Alford and Kate Pearce. My favourite homewares brands are Sage & Clare and Castle & Things as they get me thinking outside the box and risk-taking, with gorgeous colour combinatio­ns and harmonious print clashing.

I love finding beautiful high-end pieces second-hand through brand specific buy swap sell groups on Facebook, as well as trawling Marketplac­e. There are also lots of excellent Instagram businesses selling beautiful vintage treasures at very reasonable prices, which is great for me as I find it a bit difficult thrifting in a small town.

That said, I still frequent local op-shops and find cool things occasional­ly. Many of my plants have been found at various monthly markets in our region, including some mature plants at bargain prices.”

Sarah’s home has an extensive collection of art, both vintage and contempora­ry. A Kimmy Hogan piece has pride and place over the fireplace.

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 ??  ?? Sarah is a huge supporter of Australian brands such as Castle and Things, Kip & Co. and Sage and Clare.
Sarah is a huge supporter of Australian brands such as Castle and Things, Kip & Co. and Sage and Clare.
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 ??  ?? Sun setting over the sugar cane plantation
Sun setting over the sugar cane plantation

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