who lives here?

Real Living (Australia) - - HOMES -

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.

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