who lives here?
Lara and Matt Fells, founders of footwear and clothing label St. Agni, their son Jude, five months, and Harper the Cavoodle. St-agni.com; @stagnistudio
LIFE SEEMS TO IMITATE ART in Lara and Matt Fells’ Byron Bay home. At first glance, the space is pared back and predominantly white, but it’s the considered touches – think handmade vessels, rattan furniture, cosy throws and rugs – that are reminiscent of the couple’s design label St. Agni and its handcrafted, woven leather wares. “My style is very neutral,” Lara says. “I like pairing whites and natural tones with lots of texture.” Since first moving in, the couple haven’t made any dramatic changes as they loved the simplicity of the house, but with Lara’s minimalist-leaning and relaxed aesthetic, a sense of tranquility descends upon every room. “I like our home to have a very calm feel,” she adds.
COASTAL LIFESTYLE The couple were first drawn to the home’s open-plan layout and four-metre-high ceilings in the living and dining areas, which flood the space with sunlight. “Natural light is so important to us,” Lara says. “It was one of the things that really appealed to us when we bought the house.” To maximise this natural light, concrete floors have been painted white and large windows left curtainless, except for the bedrooms. The location was also a big drawcard. “We’re a five-minute walk from the beach and really close to the centre of Byron Bay, but you wouldn’t know it – it’s so quiet,” Lara says. A covered outdoor lounge and dining area takes advantage of the tropical green garden and makes for the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast. During summer, friends gather here for barbecues.
KEEP IT LOCAL When it comes to homewares, Lara and Matt proudly support their fellow local artists and labels. Everything from the master bed to floor rugs can be attributed to the couple’s creative friends, and several pieces were made by the couple themselves, including a speckled vase that was a present from Matt and framed sketches drawn by Lara. “I really enjoy sourcing things from lots of different places,” she says. “I’ve found a lot of our furniture secondhand on Gumtree and eBay – I like pieces that have beauty in their imperfections.”
Open-plan living The living space, which includes the kitchen and dining areas, is Lara’s favourite part of her home. “I love that it’s so open with lots of light and high ceilings and that it’s very simple, with three pendants and a window splashback as the focus.” The splashback was an existing feature, the pendants were handmade by Sit Still Lauren, the vintage chairs came from eBay and the table is from MCM House.