Inside The Dreamiest Spanish Inspired Home in Byron Bay...
Set on 120 acres in the Byron Hinterland, just five minutes from Bangalow (the sweetest little country town you’ll ever visit) and 10 minutes from beautiful Byron Bay, lies this incredible Spanish inspired home. Built with repurposed materials and foundations from the original property (we’re thinking the same thing, how was this a renovation?!) to achieve that authentically rustic look; this was the perfect location to shoot our new Upcycled Denim range. It’s safe to say that when we stepped into this breathtaking home and took one look at the view, our jaws dropped. We chatted to owner Emma Lane, who is also the brains behind The Farm, about what inspired the property and why recycling is so important when renovating. Read the interview and shop the looks below… Images by Ally Chloe and Matt Johnson.
Tell us about the property, was it a renovation or new build?
The Range is a Spanish inspired Australian Finca (if that makes sense!), set on 120 acres in the Byron hinterland. The property is made up of the main Homestead, the barn (a studio) and a two bedroom cabin, the inn. The Range has a rustic elegance and there is hardly any white walls or surfaces. The property was a renovation in theory, but the level of work that went into it really qualifies this to be a build.
Why did you choose to build in the Byron Hinterland? Tell us what you love about this area…
We have lived in several areas in the Byron region – being Federal, Byron Town and Watego’s. We feel this part of the hinterland feels a million miles from the hustle and bustle, yet arms distance to the delights of the beach and lovely restaurants. We are 7 minutes to Broken Head, 5 minutes to Bangalow and 10 minutes to Byron. There is something magical and therapeutic about looking over the rolling green hills and nature. We are also high on a hill, one of the highest points of the hinterland, so we often see the birds fly past at eye level. On windy days we have two resident Wedge Tail Eagles play on the wind thermals. It’s all these elements that make the hinterland such a pleasure to live in.
Where did you draw inspiration from for the concept of your home?
We have drawn our inspiration from both Spanish and Australian architecture and lifestyles. Soft renders and old terracotta tiles speak to Spanish European summers, while large timber awnings and expansive decks reference Australia. Spain and Australia have different elements to contend with, and it’s the combination we have used at The Range that suits this climate the best.
Do you have a favourite room in the house and why?
The main living room – its open plan and vast, yet still manages to feel warm and friendly. I think this is created by using recycled timber beams in the ceiling and 300 year old Croatian tiles for the main floor finish. The sunken lounge or conversation pit in the winter provides a more intimate space within this large space, and the open fire encourages you to gather round.
What is your favourite feature in the house?
I have several favourite features, but if I was to keep it to my top two it would be the hand-crafted Bernie and co -recycled Australian hardwood bathroom vanities. I love to challenge the norm with interiors - when people say you can’t use timber as a bathroom surface, it makes me want to do it even more. These vanities work brilliantly and I love the softness that timber provides in a bathroom that is traditionally stone or tiles. My second favourite feature would be our copper bench top in the kitchen. We wanted a warm colour as opposed to the coolness of stainless steel. It’s very organic and changes constantly.
You mentioned that many of the materials used throughout the house are recycled, repurposed or sourced from nature. Explain the process and importance behind this…
There is no such thing as ‘away’ when we throw things away it must go somewhere. This is very evident when you knock down a house and rebuild – where do you put the old slab for example? Most of the time these items will need to be buried in the ground. This was one of the reasons we decided to work off our existing slab and re-use some of the old building. There are only a finite amount of resources on this earth, so we need to be conscious about those we have. Old trusses were made into book shelves at The Range, and even the tiles were from an old house in Croatia. The benefits of working like this means not only the planet will thank you, your home will have a history already etched in its bones, and you can feel this when you walk into a space that has taken the planet into consideration. Recycling turns things into other things which is really magic!
We adore all of the unique trinkets throughout the house - it’s a beautiful mix of old with new. Where are the best places to buy these type of keepsake ornaments and what do you look for?
Here’s a list of my favourite local stores… I look for texture, handmade items with character, often one-off items. For example, at Pampa I love that no two items are the same, as they are all handmade by indigenous artisans, there is a story behind each item. I think this ultimately adds layers of interest in your own home if you have purchased items with a story and that have been created by hand as opposed to by a machine.
Your next purchase for the house will be…
Definitely a couple of Pierre Jeanneret Chairs from Tigmi Trading.
For those out there thinking of renovating or building, do you have any hacks you can share or secrets to make the process smoother?
Put together a mood board that is about what you love and feel rather than what is trending or featuring strongly on Pinterest – it should be more of “I will create this because I love it” rather than “I’ll have what she’s having!”
Trust in yourself and your first instincts - they are usually spot on for your needs. Often other people’s ideas and concepts will steer you away from what you really want
If you have an idea and you really want to do this, push for it even though it may initially be said that it can’t be done. Often it may take a little extra effort and research, but in my experience anything is possible. Be brave!
Buy one great item to every three average purchases – everything needs time and patience, and all good things come to those who wait, plus it means that much more when you have to save up for it.
Find a builder that you get on with who can share your vision - lots of “no you can’t do that” early on would send my warning bells off. Generally speaking you will be working on a build or renovation for some time, so you will need a good personality fit! We have been very lucky with this to date, it’s another trust your first instincts when selecting a builder.