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plus advice from our feature architect




are you mortgage ready? we help you find out



are we having an affordability crisis in the Northern Rivers?

a young local family inspiring future generations 1






Glorious Giveaways 02

Empty Nesters 23

Contributors 03

Different Roles 27

Industry News 04 Art Inspired 05 Retaining Walls 09 Eco-column 10 DIY Files 13 Urban Gardening 18

Market Finds 33 Spring Recipes 34 Shop Your Style 39 Coastal Kids 40 Feature Architect 41 Q&A Style Files 45







Made popular with the rise of TV renovation shows, we’ve rounded up the most stylish feature wall ideas of 2016.

Meet Annie Bauer and Rhian Slapp, the young couple inspiring others with their self-sustainable living and positive vibe.

We search the Northern Rivers for fun and practical outdoor entertaining areas that will get you inspired this Summer.






How to enter...

WIN a HANGING CHAIR worth $475!

To win any of these amazing prizes, tell us in 25 words or less ‘what inspires your style at home?’ In your entry, indicate which prize you would like, your full name, postal address, contact number, email address and age. There are two ways to enter: 1. VISIT OUR WEBSITE and email from our ‘contact’ page. 2. WRITE TO US at Coastal Design Comp, PO BOX 269, Lennox Head, NSW 2478 (with details above).

BYRON BAY HANGING CHAIRS PRIZE #2 Byron Bay Hanging Chairs was created out of pure ‘love and obsession’ with the iconic hanging chair from the 60’s and 70’s. The classic shape, raw natural material and the charm will make it a perfect addition to your home. The hand-made Rosie Hanging Chair, valued at $475, is the ultimate recliner, and will be given away to one lucky reader.

WIN a JU RUG w TE orth $440!

WIN a FU LL PAGE bus iness advert!

HA'VELI OF BYRON BAY PRIZE #1 Hand braided by skilled Indian artisans, this classic natural fibre jute rug is a must-have for an eco-friendly household. The strong fibres used to make this durable rug makes it ideal for high traffic areas, without the need to compromise on style. Valued at $440, measuring 180 cm diameter, this beautiful handwoven rug will be going home with one lucky reader. A visit to Ha’veli of Byron Bay is to immerse yourself in a luxury bohemian tribal experience. Discover individual pieces restored and refurbished by master craftsmen and contemporary designers.

COASTAL DESIGN PRIZE #3 Are you a local business in the home or garden industry? Would you like to reach over 10,000 homes in the region along with our significant online audience? We are giving one lucky local business a FREE FULL PAGE advert valued at $1200!



/contributors We are a local team of journalists and designers excited to launch the Northern Rivers’ first FREE home and garden publication – Coastal Design.


A special thanks to all our incredible advertisers, writers and designer, and a special thanks to our super talented photographer Dean Turner.





Bronwyn Thirkell Writer A successful children’s author, Bron lives in a world of creative writing, coastal dreaming and sticky-fingered children. A keen DIYer, she loves all aspects of design.

Kimie King Web/graphic Designer Kim is a talented Website & Graphic Designer with 10+ years experience in marketing, PR and media. Kim specialises in websites, logos, print and digital design, and is easy to work with.

Simon Smith Writer Simon is an environmental engineer for the Ballina Shire Council. A loving family man, he has a passion for technical writing and enjoys sharing his knowledge of environmental issues.

Kim Smith Editor With a media and journalism degree under her belt, and with a passion for publishing, Kim wanted to fill the need for a home and garden magazine in the booming Northern Rivers.

We would love for you to share with us your own home & garden inspiration. Simply tag the following: #coastaldesignhome #coastaldesigndiy #coastaldesigngarden

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Dean Turner Photographer A family man, Dean is completely obesssed with photography! His style is described as Iconic, candid and a bit of classic. His passion and talent for photography is perfectly matched by his professionalism.




We will feature our top 3 insta pics each issue. #nrcoastaldesign




If you have anything newsworthy you would like to share, please email GREEN BUILDERS RECOGNISED AT HIA AWARDS The 2016 HIA Australian GreenSmart Awards were announced on September 6, with winners congratulated on meeting evolving sustainable expectations. The 2016 HIA GreenSmart Home was won by Queensland’s Eco Essence Homes, with judges impressed by the 8 star-rated home’s smart design which used the natural environment for both heating and cooling. Benchmark Building Projects, based in Casuarina, won HIA GreenSmart Renovation/Addition Project, by taking on the challenges of preserving ancient trees, endangered birds and a steep sloping site.

NEW ISLAND RESORT REQUIRES 3500 WORKERS The property developers behind Pacificus - the Great Barrier Reef’s newest island resort community, have revealed the litany of skilled and unskilled workers needed to build the $950 million Hummock Island project. Earthmoving, building, landscaping, construction supervision, engineering, and equipment operations are just some of the jobs up for grabs during the construction. All in all, the property developers are calling for around 3500 workers to travel to the site, located 30kms south of Gladstone. Following construction, more than 700 permanent jobs in tourism will be created.

AMENDMENTS MADE FOR SKENNARS HEAD Site specific subdivision requirements have been prepared to guide the future development of the Skennars Head Village Expansion Area. In addition to the site specific controls for the Skennars Head Expansion Area, other relevant provisions of the DCP will apply to future development relating to matters including urban structure and design, infrastructure delivery, open space and environmental restoration works. Amendments can be viewed at Community Access Points in Ballina, Alstonville and Lennox Head.

BYRON TOWN CENTRE RAIL CORRIDOR The Byron Bay railway corridor has been identified within the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan as a catalyst site for improvement and pedestrian connectivity. Now the Council invites you to submit your ideas for what to do with the space. If you have an idea for revitalising the railway corridor, submit your idea or register to join a railway corridor tour at A strong element of the concept is the retention of the rail infrastructure and the opportunity for light rail with a drop off point at the southern end, connecting to Bangalow.

DARLING POINT NAMED AUSTRALIA’S MOST EXPENSIVE NEIGHBOURHOOD ABS data has revealed the average price of a home in Darling Point is $7,400,000, making it the most expensive neighbourhood in Australia in 2016. Home to mostly mature residents, the average weekly salary is $2511. Sydney is home to nine out of ten of Australia’s most expensive suburbs. The only suburb outside of Sydney to make the top ten list was Peppermint Grove in WA, home to some of Perth’s wealthiest families. The average Peppermint Grove home costs $3,550,000, however a home with views over Freshwater Bay will set you back a cool $10 million+. A surprising addition to the list was Box Hill, situated more than 40km from Sydney’s CBD. Once populated by single homes on acreage, rezoning is changing the landscape with developers rushing to create medium and high-level density housing. The Top Ten list: 1. Darling Point 2. Potts Point 3. Cremorne Point 4. Box Hill 5. Bellevue Hill 6. Vaucluse 7. Dawes Point 8. Tamarama 9. Peppermint Grove 10. Rose Bay




l a c o L r u O

ARTISTS... It’s well known to anyone living locally that there is an abundance of creative talent who call the Northern Rivers home. We showcase the work of some of these incredible artists, whose artwork we would love hanging on the walls of our homes! THESE simple hanging strategies will let you put your artwork where it belongs. 1. KEEP IT SIMPLE: With mats and frames, the easiest thing to do is stick to the most versatile colours: white mats and black frames. Have all your art framed the same way. Choose various coloured frames in a coordinating palette if you want to liven up a neutral environment. 2. HANG AT EYE LEVEL: Most galleries hang their art at average eye level, about 58 inches high. The center of the artwork, not the top of the piece, should be at that height. Adjust gallery height for the people in the house. Think about hanging art a bit lower in kids’ rooms.




3. HANG ART IN A GRID: Hanging a grid of photos is a great way to make a big statement while still keeping the focus on the individual photos. A symmetrical grid takes some additional time and math. Have patience. Keep about 2 to 3 inches between frames. 4. THINK OUTSIDE THE FRAME: Flourishes such as ribbons and hanging wire add extra character to hanging art and give it more of a traditional look. Clipboards are great for hanging children’s art or art that is rotated often.





Byron Bay artist Liesel Arden is best known for her captivating portraits, instilling strong themes of storytelling. Trained in traditional styles of oil painting, Arden’s work merges traditional oil painting concepts with a contemporary painting style. Her most recent body of works was the Signify Thirty Project where she painted a portrait a day for 30 days of some of Australia’s most influential people to raise funds for Motor Neuron Disease.

Based in Lennox head, Natalee spent three years in Sydney where she completed a Bachelor of Fine Art, at COFA, UNSW. She is predominantly working in painting and drawing with an emphasis on collage and design techniques that allow her to create rich and multi layered surfaces in each artwork. The concepts focus on the diverse relationships that individual’s hold with nature and the built environment.

Jai Vasicek, the creator behind AHOY TRADER, is an artist and creative mind residing in Byron Bay. Jai’s work draws on inspiration from numerous cultures and travels and is a blend of classic and modern art and design, with stunning artworks, murals, paintings and textiles that evoke the beauty and passion of life and nature. Jai’s colourful crosses and wall tiles have become highly sought after.




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Angus McDonald is an internationally recognised Australian artist living and working in Lennox Head. Angus has a comprehensive art practice and the exhibition encompasses oil painting, gouache, photography and prints. It extends from Renaissance – style realism to mosaics composed of polaroid photographs to abstraction.

Kylie has grown up in the Northern Rivers and has been inspired by its natural beauty and wildlife. At the tender age of 11, she was hospitalised for an extended period of time. It was then that she picked up the pencils. Drawing was not only an escape, it filled the long days. This is when her interest and passion for drawing was ignited. As a mother of 2 gorgeous boys, Kylie is excited about where her drawing may one day take her.

Byron Bay photographer John Derrey’s work celebrates the spirit of the ocean and the Australian coastline, from the iconic Cape Byron lighthouse to dolphins, whales and the magical surfing moments that only Byron offers. After 20 years of offering his unique visual perspectives through his Byron Bay gallery, he’s now widely regarded as one of Australia’s foremost ocean and landscape photographers.




for every budget

INSPIRING feature walls

Exposed brick walls add character

WALLPAPER: It’s the perfect, affordable way to bring life into your home, and with advancements in digital art printing, there are many options available to replicate a work of art for your walls. Two stand out trends for wallpaper this year have been Faux Natural Surfaces - think wood, stone and brick, with extra attention to gritty imperfection. And, Geometric Patterns have been a popular choice. CONRETE RENDER: While the concept of using concrete inside certainly isn’t new, it is a trend that is on the rise. Concrete can add an urban edge to your home. The possibilities for creative expression using concrete inside are seemingly endless. With the combination of concrete walls and timber, a room can at once take on an almost masculine sophistication.

wallpaper ALL you need is one fabulous feature wall to really make a room stand out. The most important thing to consider is choosing the right wall. You want to make sure that it’s a wall worth highlighting, an easy step in choosing the right wall is identifying where your eye is naturally drawn to when entering the room. Once you’ve chosen the wall, the next big decision is to decide on the design. Always choose something that you love but keep in mind the golden rules of decorating. Dark colours will make the wall look closer to you; therefore the room will appear smaller. Light colours have the opposite effect and make the room appear larger.

concrete render




Whether you’re moving into a brand new home or just tired of a particular space, feature walls require less time, effort and stress than full redecorating. We’ve rounded up the most stylish feature wall ideas of 2016.

r and rustic charm to any interior.

pressed tin

RECLAIMED TIMBER: Reclaimed timber is an extremely versatile, natural material with many benefits around the home. Once reserved for floors and furniture, reclaimed timber has become a popular trend for feature walls this year, and is a great way to add warmth, depth and character to an ordinary space. As striking as any art piece, a feature wall of undulating grainy blocks or vertical and horizontal panalling can enhance any room. The rustic and inviting feel that timber creates has led to it becoming a popular choice for commercial fit outs as well as homes. Why not try it as a feature wall in the bathroom? Be creative but try not to go overboard.

PRESSED TIN: According to our friends at DIY Decorator, decorative pressed tin panels add a stylish focal point to any heritage, commercial or home renovation. Pressed metal feature walls are very versatile and can suit modern and traditional settings – foyers, atriums, shops, restaurants, offices and homes. Originally used on ceilings and gables in the early 1900’s, pressed metal panels now feature as decorative interior walls, kitchen splashbacks, bathroom walls, shop counters and wet areas. If you have a large wall to cover then you can be really bold with the design choice by using a larger pattern. Small walls are better suited to smaller designs. Visit for further examples of how to use pressed tin as a feature wall in your home.

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Retaining walls are a great way to add visual interest to a garden or to create separate levels on a sloping block in order to maximise your useable garden space. If you’re thinking about building a retaining wall, here are a few things to consider before you start.



COUNCIL REQUIREMENTS: Do you need council approval for your wall height? You may need to check with your local council on building permits.

Retaining walls are usually thought of as utilitarian and for merely holding back soil. But you can use them to create beautiful outdoor living spaces and incorporate multi-use spaces.


MAKE A CREATIVE DESIGN Add a curve to dress up a straight wall and to add a little more texture to your landscape, or use materials that suit your style.

retaining WALLS 03



DRAINAGE & LEVELING A retaining wall that has a slope dropping to it will need additional drainage at the base. Add gravel and a fabric-covered drainage pipe at the base. For each course of stones and blocks, be sure to check for level. This will help maintain a sturdy wall, plus you’ll keep an even look.


SIZE DOES MATTER Larger walls above three feet may need an engineer’s touch. Also be sure to check with local council codes. 9




CREATE A SOLID BASE Dig out your base several inches below grade and tamp/compact it to level. Add any filler, such as gravel, before adding your first stones or blocks. The base sets the tone for the entire wall.


choose your colour wisely ecofriendly

Can your choice of house colour save on your energy bill and reduce the effects of urban expansion?



URBAN expansion and greenhouse gas induced climate change are warming our planet. So researchers around the world are exploring ways in which different technologies can reduce the warming effects of urban expansion. Examples include “green roofs” and “cool roofs” which can help reduce electricity usage, improve air and water quality, and shrink our carbon footprint. Studies consistently show that green roofs and cool roofs can play a significant role in reducing the urban heat island effect. Could something as simple as the colour of your home save on your energy bill? Consider this: would you be cooler wearing a light shirt or a dark shirt on a hot sunny day? The scientific fact is that white reflects the radiant energy rays of the sun and black absorbs them. Likewise, as the surface temperature of a house increases, it increases the indoor temperature. Light coloured roofing and /

or reflective coatings are like a white shirt because they reflect radiant energy. Even a light grey hue is better than blue or green. The same colour principle applies inside your home. Darker walls absorb more light and reflect less. Consequently, more lighting is required for rooms with dark walls than those with light walls. Interestingly though, the colour of a room can also affect your perception of temperature. Research has shown that people estimate the temperature of a room with cool colours, such as blues and greens, to be up to 5 degrees Centigrade cooler than the actual temperature. Conversely, warm colours, such as reds and oranges, will result in a 5 degrees Centigrade warmer estimate.



PROFESSIONAL DESIGN AND DOCUMENTATION SERVICES AT AFFORDABLE RATES. Multi-award winning Stuart Osman Building Designs (SOBD) offer you the services of a professional team dedicated to designing the lifestyle you require. Our services include design, 3D modelling, detailing and documentation, project management of the building approval process, and project management of required consultants. Call for a consult today. Covering the Northern Rivers. | 07 5520 3022 | Unit 2/71 Township Drive, Burleigh Heads, QLD 4220












02 6681 6555 12



DIYFILES WHAT YOU NEED: + Pine board + Cordless Drill and 40mm Screws + Liquid Nails + Wood filler, Gap Filler + Caulking Gun Paint + Hooks

project by DIY DECORATOR

STEP 1 Measure your wall and determine where you want the boards and battens.

DIY Decorator was established in 2013 by two mums, Kylie and Sam, both serial decorators who love all things to do with interior design and decoration. Find more of their DIY projects at

STEP 2 Cut the horizontal boards and the vertical side boards to size and attach to the wall by screwing into the studs with the cordless drill. STEP 3 Measure and cut the vertical battens and glue them to the wall with liquid nails adhesive. STEP 4 Use wood putty and gap filler to fill any screw holes and gaps between the timber boards and the wall. Paint the boards and the wall. STEP 5 Attach the hooks to the wall with a cordless drill. inspire














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If you are planning to buy a home, then it is important to know what factors can affect your ability to get a mortgage. We sit down with local mortgage broker Zain from ZEP Finance to help clear up some common concerns.

GET MORTGAGE READY What can I do to prepare myself before buying a home? I love to see clients before they are ready to buy a home as it means we discuss strategies to get them into the strongest position financially when they are ready to buy. For example, - Lowering credit card limits (it is the limit not the balance the lenders look at) - Showing consistent savings in a separate savings account – if you are living at home rent free figure out what your new weekly mortgage payment will be and save this amount per week. - If you are getting a gift from a family member get them to gift this to you at least 3 months prior to applying for the loan. - If you have a personal loan you will not be able to pay off before applying for the loan, focus on saving rather than putting extra money onto the loan. Reducing the balance will not help your borrowing capacity as the lenders just look at the monthly repayment. - Set a budget and really focus on reducing your spending, setting these habits now makes it easier to do it later when you might need to.

What is the ideal deposit amount? If you are buying a property with as little deposit as possible I feel that a 10% deposit plus the costs is the sweet spot. Using a 90% lend you get a lower mortgage insurance premium, the assessment of the loan is not as tight as applying for the loan above 90% borrowings and you can still get good discounts on rates. On top of that you start the journey with a lot more equity in the property than using a less than 10% deposit and paying all of the fees.

How will I know what home loan type and interest rate is best for me? The short answer to that is that you won’t. Most clients I see who are just starting out are only listening to friends of family’s advice (which generally is not very reliable). That is why you need the services of a good broker. Our process asks about your lifestyle and future goals so we align your loan to your lifestyle and even help you set up your bank accounts correctly. Don’t forget this is the biggest financial decision in your life and lasts 30 years. You take your car to a mechanic because they are a professional, in the same way you should take your home loan to a mortgage broker.

Are there any particular suburbs or property types you feel represent growth opportunities in this region? Affordable housing is a big thing in our area and many other areas around Australia. I am seeing lots of clients do really well out of subdividing land or simply building a granny flat and generating a second income from an investment property. This strategy can work in all areas in the local region.

Should I buy property now or wait for prices to slow down and then buy? I hear this question a lot and I have seen a slight drop off in investors in the market in the last 6 months but some of that has to do with the lending changes in policy. I am busier than I have ever been and the reason is rates are low. It is looking like we are going to have an extended period of low rates plus rents are high and everyone needs some where to live. For investors there is still great deals out there you just need to find them. If you are buying your own home the mortgage payment is cheaper than paying rent in a lot of cases…seems like a no brainer to me.

What should I expect from my broker? Well that is hard to say as we deliver a lot more than other brokers in the industry. If you were using our services you would get the guidance to know how much you can borrow and what the total costs to this would be, we would research home loan options for you looking for competitive rates which fit with what you are looking for in a home loan. We would give you education on the loan and how we should set this up for you. We would help you research properties and get reports on properties to help with your decision. We would deal with all parties in the loan to make the buying or financing process as easy as possible. This includes the conveyancer, bank, real-estate agent, accountant and anyone else you wanted us to update. On top of this you would expect a fast answer and we would always be contactable.

What’s the most important piece of advice you give to your clients? The best thing you can do is to know the market you are going to be buying in. Even if you are not ready to buy yet, keep a close eye on the market and the internet to see how long properties are listed for and what prices properties are selling for. If you are free on the weekend go to a few open homes or even an auction. This will help you find the right property and move quickly.




Affordability CRISIS Why is affordability such a big issue these days? Who’s being affected? What’s being done about it? Here, Bronwyn Thirkell takes a look. A stand-out finding from this year’s HILDA report is that homeownership is going backwards. Based on current trends, we will very soon have less than 50 percent of adults owning their own home in Australia. The HILDA report is a comprehensive picture of how people’s lives evolve over time. For 15 years, 17,000 Australians have been answering questions about their income, savings, family life and health. For those over the age of 65 years, it’s mostly good news in terms of property but for those in the lower age brackets, the dream of owning a home is slowly slipping away.

How has it reached this position?

of the stock of housing. Back in the early 80s, these fiscal drivers did not matter so much. Ample greenfield sites meant plenty of opportunity for the construction of new housing, but today, such opportunities are drying up. While prices rise, incomes have stayed relatively stagnant, creating the situation where the cost of the average house is 4.3 times household income. Some groups have no choice but to lower their expectations of the ‘great Australian dream’. Bill Randolf, from the University of NSW says, “There is no doubt that from about 2000 onwards, house prices detached from earnings and incomes and started to head for the sky. The rise of the investor market is severely distorting house and property prices”.

who have recently purchased land in the popular new Epiq Estate, moving out of Lennox Head to a more affordable area was never an option. “We’ve been wanting to purchase a home for years,” Bianca says, “but we weren’t going to give up being close to our friends, family and life here. Sure we could have gone out to Alstonville or down to Wardell, but Lennox Head has and always will be our home.”

So where to from here? The Housing Affordability Fund (HAF) is a five-year, $400 million+ investment by the Australian Government that is helping to reduce the cost of new homes for homebuyers. The fund aims to address two significant barriers to increase the supply of affordable housing: The holding costs incurred by developers, and infrastructure costs such as the laying of water pipes, sewerage, transport and the creation of parks. So far, 75 projects have been approved for funding with projects located in every state and territory. Eligible purchasers buying a nominated HAF lot will receive a HAF rebate, which will be paid at settlement. The HAF rebate is not available on established homes and lots.

Population growth, low interest rates, deregulation of mortgage markets and rising real incomes A generational divide have helped fuel the demand Home ownership is not just falling for housing. However, deep for the under 35s. Figures from the seated structural problems have 2014 The Wealth of Generations contributed to an inflationary bias report show ownership rates in land and property markets. had also fallen for the 35-44 Fiscal concessions in the form age group and similar signs of capital gains and land tax were emerging in the 45 to 64s. exemptions, negative gearing and The reasons for this are many. For concessionary capital gains tax the under 35s, it comes down to for “mum and dad” investors, as location. Today’s young buyers well as asset test concessions to homeowner retirees, offer powerful aren’t willing to compromise on Learn more about what’s their ideal locations, therefore incentives to accumulate wealth in being done to combat housing they’d rather keep renting housing assets. So essentially, the affordability in the next issue of than move to an area that affordable housing issue isn’t so Coastal Design. much about a shortage of housing, doesn’t match their ideals. For Bianca and Tobin Edwards, but an inefficient distribution 17 COASTAL DESIGN | OCTOBER 2016 | |




Planting for your Environment LOMANDRA HYSTRIX Naturally growing on the edge of creeks, swamps and rivers it will thrive in both full sun and shade. Protect from sea breezes and trim in spring every 3-5 years.

WHEN planting a new garden or maintaining an established one, it’s important to make choices based on saving water, energy, time and money. It’s also important, however, to make choices that care for the surrounding environment. Gardening for your environment allows you to present a diverse selection of native plant species that look great, grow well in local conditions, and are friendly to the wider environment of the Northern Rivers. Gardening in this way allows you to enjoy local birds and other animals, while at the same time avoid problem plants. Many of our local animals now have a hard time surviving due to limited natural environment, so as an urban landowner, you can do your part and not only create a garden that looks great with little maintenance, but create one that’s a food, nesting, sleeping and protective source.

BLUE FLAX LILY Dianella caerulea is a wonderful garden ornamental known for its attractive foliage and striking edible blue berries. It will keep growing year after year and adapts readily to cultivation. NATIVE GINGER Ornamental Gingers are iconic tropical and subtropical plants that have spectacular, brightly coloured leaves. Flowering for around 5-6 months, they offer great value to your garden and look great around the pool. CAPE YORK LILY While a Nth QLD & NT native, the beautiful Cape York Lily grows well in the Northern Rivers shade. Flowering in early spring it sports mauve bracts and yellow flowers. It can even be used as a spice similar to turmeric.

NATIVE ROSELLA The beauty of the Native Rosella is that not only does it produce many lovely flowers over an extended period, it also has edible parts, useful fibres and works to attract native birds and insects to your garden. LEMON-SCENTED TEA TREE The shrubby habits and beautiful fragrant foliage make this tea tree ideal for informal hedging and attracting birds. Preferring a well-drained full sun position, it thrives in coastal conditions. COASTAL APPLE Producing jucy yellow edible fruit that’s loved by birds, the Coastal Apple offers bright clusters of lemon-coloured flowers and shiny bright green leaves. Takes the salt air well.

Check out the Ballina Council website for your Urban Garden Guide -

NATIVE GARDENIA Preferring a warm, sheltered and sunny site, this native evergreen produces clusters of highly perfumed, small, white, tubular flowers along the stems. These are followed by large yellow fruit, which are edible when soft. 18


simply living

While most young couples give themselves a pat on the back for growing a few herbs, Annie Bauer and Rhian Slapp are showing the world what self-sustainability really means. By Bronwyn Thirkell

I pull up to Annie Bauer and Rhian Slapp’s Lennox Head home and I have to admit, I feel a pang of jealousy. Their home sums up just about everything that’s wonderful about the Northern Rivers. Just minutes to the beach it’s surrounded by 330 acres of cattle farm, resulting in endless picturesque views and a laid-back country lifestyle. To me it’s the ultimate dream. Three years ago, at just 25-years old and having never lived anywhere but with parents and as part of a share house, Annie and Rhian took a giant leap of faith. Having stumbled across what they describe as a “magic pocket” of Lennox Head, they found themselves, together with Annie’s parents, scraping enough funds for an auction. The house? A picturesque little cottage in the hinterland behind Lennox Head. “Rhian is a Lennox boy and would never move far from the ocean,” Annie tells me, “but I wanted country. When we found this house, it was the best of both worlds.” 19

We take a seat at their beautiful long table and I can just imagine what it’s like to entertain here. The table itself is made of reclaimed wood from an old bridge, the seats retired pews they found in Bellingen. Adorned with glasses of wine and a few cheeses, I’d be in heaven. The room is a large closed-in veranda. Knowing Annie and Rhian have just had a baby, I picture a little boy rolling trucks up and down and having a whale of time. Yep, I could definitely see myself here. The more I talk with Annie and Rhian, the more admiration I have for the pair. The couple is passionate about sustainability and off-the-grid practices and while most feel that a simple veggie patch is doing their part for the environment, Annie and Rhian are taking sustainability to the next level. As well as solar and rainwater tanks, Annie and Rhian have devised a plan of action that will see them living almost entirely off the land. They’ve incorporated six vegetable patches,


multiple compost areas, worm farms, and a chicken coop that can only be described as a palace. They heat the home by burning their own wood, cool it by opening their slat windows, and just about every piece of furniture and every new structure is either second hand or made from recycled timber. “I’m an electrician,” says Rhian, “and I’m forever finding treasures on sites.” This leads him to show me their wardrobe, remnants of their old garage and some incredible doors he found on a job. “I find the goods,” he says, “ and Annie uses Pinterest to come up with great ideas for it”. It’s at this point when I first hear laughter coming from outside. It’s the sound of four toddlers having fun in the sandpit and mudpit kitchen. Along with running a self-sustainable home, being parents to an 8-week old Bobby, making furniture and going off to work as an electrician, Rhian and Annie have a family day care running out the back. Annie is currently taking a break from it while she cares for little Bobby, but the daycare is her other little baby. As she puts it, “Rhian gets the garden, I get the day care.” The day care not only provides an income from the property, but utilises Annie’s skills as an early childhood teacher. For the children that attend, it’s a nirvana of play meets environmental learning and as such, the waiting list is huge. “I’d love to take in more kids,” says Annie, “but it complicates matters. So for now I’m content showing four children a day the ways of sustainable living”. As part of the day care, children get to plant, eat and care for the gardens. On the welcome gate as you enter is a flourishing wild raspberry vine with an abundance of berries for the kids to enjoy.

Photos by Dean Turner



Each day they collect eggs from the 20 chickens and parents then have the opportunity to buy these eggs. The money is then used to buy organic feed for the chooks, teaching kids a valuable lesson about cycles. “For me it’s about showing kids a different way of life. When they’re here they have the opportunity to slow things down and understand where their food comes from,” says Annie. “We strive to teach them and their parents as much as we can about sustainability and its importance. They get to see that by planting the right trees we can not only provide animals and insects with a safe and burgeoning home, but we can be rewarded with their presence. Our kids get to enjoy butterflies, bees and other animals in a way that most kids wouldn’t.” These trees that Annie’s talking about include their very own rainforest, planted by the original owners but maintained by Rhian. There’s natives everywhere you turn and behind the house Rhian is currently working on developing an orchard. It really is an impressive vision for such a young couple. They of course haven’t done it alone and there have been tough times, but together they are finding their way and the results are starting to show. Rhian’s father offers guidance having lived off-the-grid for 32-years near Billen Cliffs, and Annie’s parents come from acreage in the


Hawkesbury region. Having helped with the purchase of the house, they plan to spend half the year at the property once retirement rolls around. Who knows, this might be the help this couple needs to reach their eventual dream of making a whole living from their little piece of paradise. Good on you Rhian and Annie. You really should be proud of what you’ve achieved.


Want to see more of Rhian and his efforts to live minimally? As we go to print, filming will have begun on a new reality adventure travel TV series, following Rhian and his mate Dustin Hollick around 10 island nations. The pair will have no cash, no car, no phone, just 10 personal items each, and only 14days to complete each lap. To learn more, visit www., and from Coastal Design - good luck boys!

Photos by Dean Turner

Annie’s family daycare teaching the children self-sustainability practices at a young age. Pictured: Archer Simpson and Vegas Kirkwood.




WHEN the kids fly the coop, it calls for some decision making. You can contemplate downsizing or rent out your spare rooms - but why not take the opportunity to add some extra feathers to your nest?

SOPHISTICATED SANCTUARY If you don’t feel like making major structural changes to your home (after all, you still need bedrooms come Christmas time), now could be a good time to finally splurge on some luxury items. Designer sofas, new lighting, plush bedding and ornate sculptures all work to create a home straight out of Belle Magazine. The only problem is getting the kids to leave again once they see it! YOGA RETREAT We all know how important it is to exercise in our older years, so why not transform a bedroom into a gym that looks so good you’ll be itching to work out? 23

Alternatively create a space for your inner yogi. All it takes is a plain white canvas, a pleasant scent, and a point of inspiration such as a photo of the ocean or a statue of a Buddha. MAN CAVE Creating an in-house getaway for activities such as watching sport, planning fishing trips, playing darts and enjoying a whisky is just about every man’s dream. Themed rooms have been a growing trend, but what you put into your man cave is entirely up to you. The only rule for the room is what happens in a man cave, stays in a man cave. Oh, and bacon eating is a must.

CHEF’S KITCHEN Knocking down a wall to incorporate an unused bedroom space into a living area may provide enough room to have that chef’s kitchen you’ve always dreamed about. As you get closer to your retirement years you may find your love for cooking only grows and once you have the time to cook well, you’ll need a space in which to do it.



Nesters GLAMOROUS ENSUITE If the master bedroom is next to another bedroom, you may consider putting a door between the two rooms to turn next door into the ultimate ensuite. There will be plenty of space for a grand soaking tub, separate shower and a double vanity, or you could go all out and install a sauna. Good bathrooms, like kitchens are a worthy investment, but one that needs to be balanced against losing a bedroom.

HOME OFFICE The simplest of all transitions, a bedroom can easily be transformed into a home office. All you need is some good natural light, a desk for the computer and printer, a lamp for the evenings and a supportive chair. Why not throw a sofa bed in there too for when guests come to stay? THE ULTIMATE GUEST ROOM Most bedrooms end up becoming guest rooms once the kids are gone, so why not make your guest room a little more special? If you have the space and budget, try adding a private patio and installing a glass sliding door to let in lots of natural light. Finish the space with plush furnishings and bedding and it could even double as an income with Airbnb. HOME LIBRARY Books are our never-failing friends, philosophers and guides. The more you read, the richer you are inside. For an empty nester who loves books, the dream of a home library can now be reality. All you need is some strong shelving, a big comfy chair, good task lighting and a globe. Because every library should have a globe.





dream home...

Let us create your

At Davis Architects we bring our local knowledge to every project we undertake. • • • • • • •

Multi-Award winning architectural practice Specialists in unique North Coast lifestyle homes Energy efficient and environmentally responsive designs Innovative design solutions that respond to our clients needs Using natural materials in sustainable and inventive ways Emphasis of “giving back to the environment” on each project Proven track record with local North Coast Councils

02 6680 9202 follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest


award winning architects w w w . 26 d a vCOASTAL i s a rDESIGN c h i t| OCTOBER e c t s .2016


Building a new home is a complex process, one which relies on an array of professionals. But who does what, and when, can be both confusing and overwhelming. Renovation expert Belinda Westblade breaks down each qualified role involved with the home building process, just to make it that little bit easier for you... Belinda is a renovation and design consultant. Learn more at 27



interior designers, architects, decorators, stylists...




WITH so many different consultants offering home design services it can be a bit of a mine field knowing which ones you need or if they are right for you. So lets take a look at who’s on offer and what they actually do!

The Architect An Architect is a professional who is qualified to design buildings as well as give aesthetic and technical advice on them in both residential and commercial landscapes including homes, schools, shops, office blocks and temples. To be a registered Architect you need to have completed a degree in Architecture, be registered with a State based board and have appropriate insurances. Architects design buildings for the domestic and commercial market and usually produce concepts that are not always obvious. They look at all aspects of the home, site and clients needs and base their ideas around these. They are great if you have little idea of the look and style of the home you want. Here at Oohm, we advise all our clients to do research first online (pinterest, houzz, oohm) and choose the style of home that feels right for them, so that the architect gets an idea of your personal taste. Fees – Most Architects charge an hourly rate $150 -$300/hr for plan drawings and a percentage of the project costs to manage it – 10% - 15% depending on the value of the work. ie. $10K - $15k for every 100K spent on the project.






A Building Designer used to be known as an Architectural Draftsman. They usually hold a Diploma and are involved in drafting up the plans of a building. Most draftsmen are not so involved in coming up with concepts within the build. While some may offer design advice, many prefer the client to have a strong idea of what they require within the home and some idea of the style and size of the home they want. With our renovation work, we usually use a draftsman to create the plans we need as we have already decided on what we want to do within the reno. They are less expensive than an Architect, but it really depends on how much input you need in the design as to who is right for your project. They don’t normally project manage.

Fees – Draftsman charges are lower than an Architect as they have a lower qualification and less knowledge of design and more in drawing up plans. They charge between $18 - $25 per m2 they are drawing up. Usually the job comes in between $1500 - $6000 depending on the size of the project.


Renovation Consultants are often qualified Interior Designers and Decorators who specialize in renovations rather than new builds. They can help you decide on what is worth renovating and what is not feasible, estimate the cost of the renovation and do property research to advise whether the cost of renovating is over capitalizing or value adding to your property. Most Renovation Consultants will work with a builder to advise on what floor plan works best, what walls to remove, window changes, colour schemes, fixtures and fittings and garden design that best suit the client’s style. Fees - $80 - $250 per hour no matter what size or standard the project is. A lot of the work involves design and selection of the finishes early on in the project and the client can take as much or as little help that they require. The fee for most projects range between $200 - $6000. Most consultants add a percentage to product costs as well. Here at Oohm, we pass on trade discounts directly to our clients which often saves them thousands of dollars above the Renovation Consultancy Fee.

Hendrix & Harlow - Byron Bay 29



INTERIOR DECORATOR = INTERIOR DESIGNER Interior Designers craft interior spaces that anticipate needs, functions and aesthetic inspiration of the client in both residential and commercial spaces. This may include knocking down walls and changing spaces entirely. They are involved in spatial planning and material specification optimizing and harmonizing how a space is used whether it is a home, office or in a shop. They also choose everything from colours to furniture and adorn a space with decorator items. A Decorator also does this and they do overlap some what, but a Designer decorates as part of their overall design concept. Interior Designers apply creative and technical solutions in their work. Most Interior Designers create a concept board to show the client the look they have selected. They can source products and furnishings for you and usually add a 20% mark up. Fees – Designers charge between $80 - $250 per hour based usually on the economics of the client. For example wealthy clients are often charged more. We have Interior Designers that charge the same as the Renovation Consultants.

Decorators are involved with the aesthetics of a space and may change the finishes and colour of walls, floors, window treatments and furnishings. Decorators are often brought in to change an existing space by redecorating and restyling it with beautiful things based on the clients style choice. Decorators work more in the residential field than the commercial side of the industry. Fees - $60 - $120 per hour

INTERIOR STYLIST Interior Stylists dress or curate a space. Similar to Interior Decorators, they also do work for magazines and photographers setting the stage for the home design image. They style the look that the client is after using furniture, fabric and accessories. They can take a blank canvas and fill it with an inspired look. They do not however design structural or remove any existing fittings. They literally are the window dressers of the industry, so if you just need to update your look without changing any fixtures then a Stylist can help you do this. Fees - $50 - $150 per hour or $500 per day depending on what work is involved.



how about your design? home interior

ADVERTISE with COASTAL DESIGN If you are in the industries of home, building, design, horticulture or landscaping, and you would like to DIRECTLY reach your target market with the Northern Rivers’ ONLY Home and Garden magazine, then we would love to hear from you! We offer affordable rates and FREE advert design. - Print Distribution = 10,000+ - Delivered directly to homes - Available from major stockists - Available online - FREE to everyone!


Our social media, newsletter, website, joint-promotions, sponsorship ops, and good old word of mouth are a few of the ‘other’ ways we wish to promote our valued advertisers, and at no extra cost!

For further information please contact our advertising department. email:; phone: 0401 217 355; web:


Shawn Bishop and Jamie Marshall are at the forefront of the industry and possess an intimate knowledge of your community. Dedicated to the Ballina/Lennox Head region, they will ensure that no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of obtaining the best results for your property. Should you wish to discuss any of your real estate requirements, feel free to give them a call.

Shawn Bishop D 02 6618 3302 M 0416 041 839 Jamie Marshall D 02 6618 3303 M 0402 726 011

Dean Turner Photo 0401 262 270




Do you have a market stall? We have started the search within the Northern Rivers’ creative market scene for lifestyle or home related products that we think are AMAZING! If you would like to let us know about your business or nominate a local market stall, then please get in touch




House of Repurpose are all about building furniture and restoring unique pieces of furniture for re-purpose. They use 100 % recycled timber from fences and other types of discarded wood for building their unique furniture. They custom make and have a range of styles. Find them at the Bangalow Market.

Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads, Lismore, Kingscliff, Alstonville, The Channon, Lennox Head, Mullumbimby, Ballina, Ocean Shores, Evans Head, Bangalow, Yamba, Nimbin Bangalow Designer Market - Dec 10. 1. IMOGEN STONE - CUSTOM STONE PRINTS: Printing your own photos on stone is a beautiful and unique way to display your favourite captured moments. 2. SHIBORI: Hand dyed textiles recreating the ancient Japanese technique of Shibori, then digitally printed by Sparkk. 3. SUSAN SIMONINI: Susan creates beautiful unique handmade ceramics made from earthy textured clay.

All products featured can be found at the Bangalow Designer Market on Dec 10 at the Bangalow Public School.

Alive Scapes Inspired by nature, these beautiful handcrafted terrariums and unique living gifts bring life to any home. Whether in the city or country, indoor or out, these miniature worlds bring a sense of harmony into your space. Byron Bay, Bangalow & Brunswick markets



2 33

/market finds





QUICHE INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup (125ml) milk

1 leek, pale section only, thinly sliced

1/2 cup (30g) finely grated gruyere cheese

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, thinly sliced diagonally

Mixed salad leaves, to serve SHORTCRUST PASTRY

1/2 cup (70g) fresh or frozen peas

1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour

3 eggs, lightly whisked

125g chilled butter, chopped

1/2 cup (125ml) thin cream

INSTRUCTIONS STEP 1: To make the pastry, place the flour and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and process until mixture just comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until dough just comes together. Shape into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

STEP 2: Preheat oven to 200°C. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 3mmthick disc. Line a 24cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin with removable base with the pastry. Use a small sharp knife to trim. STEP 3: Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper, beans or rice and bake for a further 10 minutes or until light golden. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 150°C. STEP 4: To make the filling, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the leek and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until leek softens. Add the asparagus and cook for a further 1 minute or until tender. Remove from heat. Add the peas and stir to combine. STEP 5: Whisk the eggs, cream, and milk together in a large jug. Arrange the leek mixture and cheese in the pastry case. Pour over the egg mixture. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until filling is just set. Serve warm or at room temperature with mixed salad leaves.



• 4 fresh oranges, peeled

Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Add more ice if you would like.

• 2 cups ice


• 1/3 cup milk (your preference - regular, soy, coconut, etc.)

Oranges are high in vitamin C as well as vitamins A and B1, potassium, folate, calcium and dietary fiber.

Oranges have been shown to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.

Vitamin C and fiber in oranges are associated with reduced risk of colon cancer.

• 1-2 tablespoons honey (or agave or your desired sweetener), if needed • 1 teaspoon vanilla




ENTERTAINING Ready to entertain the warmer weather? Take a look at these three functional and fantastic entertaining areas, found right here in the Northern Rivers.

AS Spring and Summer roll in it’s time to turn the focus to outdoor dining and entertaining. While being barefoot by the barbie in summer still runs deep in Australian tradition, these days we’ve become a lot more sophisticated, and with a host of new trends in outdoor entertaining, many humble Aussie backyards are going from laid-back to luxe. An outdoor space for entertaining friends and family should reflect the home owner’s personality and style, however a balance needs to be reached where individual style meets practicality and functionality so the space can be enjoyed at any time of the year. 35



BYRON BAY (pictured) HAVING a well-designed outdoor area adjacent to your kitchen is a great way to get more space when needed and to add value to your home. The indoor-outdoor concept is not a new idea, but when you combine it with an open floor plan, you can create a large entertaining area that your guests will savour. And that’s exactly what this Byron Bay home design has done. The open plan living throughout the home has been designed to flow outdoor over looking the pool. The beautiful use of timber creates a humble, warm feel. PROJECT BY DAVIS ARCHITECT





BROKEN HEAD (pictured above)


THE design of your outdoor entertaining area is limited only by three main things – your imagination and sense of style, and your budget. There are so many designs and themes that you can choose. Just a few examples of what you might choose include: A whimsical hideaway; Bali style or tropical; Beach theme; Outdoor cinema; Modern; Cottage garden; French provincial; formal. This modern timber and glass designer beach Villa, available as a holiday get-away, embraces the indooroutdoor lifestyle synonymous with the

surrounding tropical region. Huge bi-fold doors open the kitchen and lounge pavilions on to the surrounding decks and designer pool. The pool is surrounded by multiple lounging decks including a unique hammock and daybed sanctuary for private reading under the palm trees and garden yoga. Choose your theme or style, research ideas and let your imagination run wild. AMALFI VILLA BYRON, available through AGENT - UNIQUE ESTATES



IN Australia, our mild climate has always ensured that the swimming pool is the focus of our lifestyles at home. More recently, the trend of the swimming pool incorporating alfresco areas, outdoor rooms or covered retreats and external or adjoining kitchens has reinforced this Australian icon as the centre for all our relaxation, leisure and entertaining activities.

The tropical gardens and lush surrounding grounds create a relaxed ambience that make it the perfect private retreat or an inviting entertaining area. PROJECT BY STEHNBUILD

This outdoor entertaining certainly represents all of these things. The indoor and outdoor dining overlooks the magnificent pool.



BYRON BAY (pictured above)




STYLE our local picks

INDUSTRIAL VAST INTERIOR Vast Interior Ballina specialises in hand-crafted quality timber furniture and inspired cultural designs for the home. Created by hand, they use sustainable, renewable and recycled materials for 90% of their product range.

15 Sheather Street, Ballina

VINTAGE A COLOURFUL LIFE The Colouful Life range specialises in quality indoor and outdoor cushions. All of the items are made by hand in their studio with a strong emphisis on colour, quality and uniqueness. If you love vintage and retro inspired homewares, then A Colourful Life is for you.

BOHEMIAN HA’VELI OF BYRON BAY “Haveli” is derived from ancient Arabic Persian and Hindu script “an enclosed place/palace”. Every collection is sourced from artisans to create unique contemporary urban and industrial designer furniture and home wares. Tribal bohemian jewellery, creative lighting, architectural pieces, ethnic fabrics and rugs for your home, maintaining individuality and craftsmanship of an authentic nature.

/shop your style

1/5 Centennial Circuit, Byron Bay



Clever Kids DIY Projects Build your own BIRDSEED ORNAMENT



The kids will have a ball making them, and the birds will enjoy eating them.

Kai is an energetic 5 year-old boy, he is a terrific big brother to sister Archer, and currently goes to Lennox Head Preschool. Kai loves gardening and digging up dirt (what kid doesn’t?).


What a fun way to get creative and share your creations. Five lucky winners will receive their very own pixie door (pictured below). Find a secret wall or tree for your door and let your imagination run wild.

To Enter:

a Fairy Garden or 1 Build Pixie Tower out of recycled

2 3 4 Things you’ll need: • 4 cups birdseed • 3/4 cup flour • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin • 3 tablespoons corn syrup • Cookie cutters • Cookie sheet • Parchment paper • Cooking spray • 1/2 cup water • 2 straws • Twine find full step by step instructions at

materials and things from the garden. Take a photo of your creation. Email your photo to info@ (you may want help from a parent or friend for this part) Great effort - be proud of yourself.


Love Your Environment!

I believe that you learn something new every day so I want to share with you the most fascinating facts I have learnt about the environment.

FACTS about COMPOSTING Impress kids and teachers at school, family and friends with your composting knowledge. 1. Composting creates a medium for plants that is filled with the nutrients they need to flourish. 2. Compost is made up of things you already have in your home. 3. Composting helps the environment and reduces the trash we send to the landfills.

Things you can compost: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Vegetable/fruit peels and scraps Spoiled, rotten or moldy fruit Cut grass Leaves Straw Sawdust Eggshells



Byron Bay Beach House - designed to take advantage of the wonderful coastal subtropical environment.

feature ARCHITECT Since his move from the big smoke, Ed Davis has become one of the region’s most celebrated architects. We learn more of his vision and share what advice he has for our readers. By Bronwyn Thirkell. SINCE his move from Sydney in 2004, Ed Davis has become one of the region’s most celebrated architects. His architectural work is widely recognised as some of the finest in and around the Byron Shire, with his laid-back approach to coastal design being perfect for the Northern Rivers lifestyle. How lucky we are that he decided to uproot from the big smoke to settle on the North Coast. When Ed first came to Byron Bay on a school trip with friends in 1989, he fell in love. It was a love that never left and despite having established a successful architectural career in Sydney, the lure of Byron Bay eventually proved too much. “I love the beach and coastal lifestyle that this area offers and my partner and I, together with our three kids feel very lucky to be able to call this part of the world home,”


says Ed. “We still do projects in Sydney, but our focus lies here in the beautiful Byron region”. It’s perhaps this love for the Northern Rivers lifestyle that makes Ed’s designs such an asset to this locality. A look at any one of his Byron Bay projects tells you he has mastered the art of seamlessly combining lifestyle with artistic design. By living a breathing everything that’s special about calling this region home, he’s been able to take coastal design to a whole new level. He truly thinks about what people like to do in our climate and then he incorporates elements that allow them to do all these things easily from inside their home. “Be it surfing, BBQs, yoga, reading or lounging under a tree, I like to observe what people really like to do and then draw on that activity in a way they can enjoy it even more,” he says.



Byron Bay Beach House 2 (below) a series of indoor and outdoor living spaces connect easily and directly to the large northfacing garden.


featurearchitect In relation to residential design, Ed’s philosophy is simple. It’s all about how people “feel” in their home, not about how the building looks. “I start with the thought of ‘how can I make this space feel comfortable?” he says. “How do I create a sense of general ease and elegance in relation to this particular site? If the user does not feel comfortable and the space is not generating an overall sense of well being, then the design has not been successful.” Lucky for Ed, he’s good at what he does and he has a legion of happy fans more than willing to sing his praises. In terms of catering for our unique environment, Ed’s had to overcome certain North Coast factors that can prove challenging. “Because the North Coast is a mild subtropical climate, we design mostly lightweight modern open-style homes that cater for the warmer months. But the four months of winter can still get cold, therefore we must incorporate some component of thermal mass to allow a home to stay cool in summer yet warm in winter. There is also so much rain and humidity in this area and as architects we should respond to this from both an environmental and practical viewpoint. Most of the year can be spent outside enjoying the environment, so we like to spend a lot of time considering the second living room (the outdoor entertaining space). We consider this space as we would the kitchen, dining or main living space. Often we will include outdoor kitchens, built in bench seats or banquet seating, daybeds, outdoor showers and pools as part of the design. We also must presume there will be a need for a surfboard rack. There’s always a need for a surfboard rack, right?” he jokes. “It’s a very different approach than designing for a cooler climate like melbourne or Hobart for example.”

Byron Bay Studio - formally a steel industrial shed. Awarded “Best Affordable Housing” at the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Country Division 2015.




Ed’s Advice... • To take advantage of the wonderful coastal subtropical climate, buy a house or block that faces north and then have your architects design you a home that has a seamless indoor-outdoor entertaining space that “brings the outside in”. The easier it is to transition inside and outside during your daily rituals and when entertaining, the more enjoyment you will get from your home.

• Incorporate timber when you can. Timber is a great product environmentally - probably one of the best and there are heaps of opportunities to use sustainable recycled timbers and other materials on the North Coast. If we can lessen distance in construction, we can impact the environment in a very positive way.

featureARCHITECT 43



• When considering a renovation, always call an architect. I like to think that living in a good architect designed house is a bit like having a holiday whilst at home. An architect increases your home’s daily sense of joy. • When shopping for an architect, try to find someone that reflects your own thoughts about architecture and your own sense of style and materiality. A good clientarchitect relationship is key to enjoying the design process. Design is about dialogue and

creating a narrative space. • Encourage your kids to play with LEGO. I would play for hours creating all sorts of wonderful things and now I get to walk through and experience my designs. How cool is that?

To learn more about Davis Architects, view previous projects, or discover an ongoing collection of thoughts, observations and ideas within Ed’s practice, visit Have a project you’d love to talk to Ed about? Give him a call on 6680 9202.

Courtyard House - the brief for this terrace renovation was to create indoor/ outdoor living spaces inspired by Japanese architecture.




Q & A with...

Jai Vasicek

Jai Vasicek, the creator behind AHOY TRADER, is an artist and creative mind from Byron Bay. Jai’s work draws on inspiration from numerous cultures and his stunning artworks, colourful crosses and wall tiles have become highly sought after. When did you first develop an interest in design? I spent my childhood sailing the world aboard my family boat ‘Malachi’, the ocean, nature and different cultures have always influenced me, my interest in design was born from this inspiration. Tell us a little about how Ahoy Trader came about? My work draws on inspiration from numerous cultures and bridges boundaries between classic and modern art and design, murals, paintings and textiles that evoke the beauty and passion of life and nature. This is where Ahoy Trader first came into fruition a place where I can convey all of this. Favourite holiday destination? I travel a lot but I would say my favourite place I have recently travelled to is Greece. I also love Fiji. Any design faux pas? Too many to mention but I thought it was great at the time! What’s your most recent home wares purchase?

As I own a store that sells home wares my tastes are constantly changing so I tend to keep mixing up my actual home ware purchases. I love to find objects that can take on a new form by turning them into something else. For example an old children’s bed frame that became a rustic clothes rack. Favourite artists, designers or stores? I am inspired by everything! Artist wise I was extremely lucky to meet Ken Done recently and he very much inspires me as I am sure he does many others. What are your top 3 styling tips for the home? Keep it clean and simple. Do not overload the eye but incorporate colour. See the beauty in things that can be passed off as old and reinvent them. Minimalist or hoarder? I want to be a minimalist but my hoarder ways do creep up on me! But then it is time for a big cull! What’s the biggest mistake you see customers make with their personal styling? All of my customers have great taste with their personal styling! My only thing would be to buy what you like not what you think is ‘in’. Your style should reflect yourself. Describe your personality in 3 words A typical Leo. 45 .




LUCKY TO BE A LOCAL: We search the Northern Rivers for our favourite pieces for the home, by talented locals making it BIG both here and around the globe.



OUR LOCAL PICKS 1. Revelry Beni Ourain by Tigmi Trading: Hand woven by the Berber tribes from Morocco. Made from the finest quality 100% natural wool. Available from Newrybar Merchants.

3. 4.

2. The Coco Hanging Chair by Byron Bay Hanging Chairs. A vintage inspired shape, this elegant classic is made from natural rattan. $499.


3. Rustic White Bowl by Susan Simonini (Gold Coast). Moulding artistic flare with beautiful handmade ceramics. $35. 4. Monte Cushion by Pampa (Bangalow): This hand woven traditional flat weave cushion is made from Argentinian sheep’s wool. $195.


5. Tile Art by Ahoy Trader (Byron Bay). Designed by Jai Vasicek, each handmade tile is unique. $110. 6. Bovine Dreaming by Angus McDonald (Lennox Head): Limited edition fine art print on cotton rag by world renowned artist. $870.




Exclusive designs created by Vast to give your home that unique new look!



Phone 6686 8802 47 COASTAL DESIGN | OCTOBER 2016 | | instagram @vastinteriorballina

Coastal Design October 2016