Where to stay:
After many great trips to Byron, here’s our top three places to stay.
- The Villas of Byron Bay Gordon St, Byron Bay – These are the most beautiful Balinese inspired villas outside of Bali! Every detail has been thought of from the bikes, beach towels, baskets and umbrellas, to the outdoor showers, sumptuous couches and daybeds, this place has everything you could possibly need for your home away from home. And the private pool and spa is just the icing on the cake.
- The Atlantic Marvell St, Byron Bay – The Atlantic is semi famous these days for it’s laid back tropical vibe, carefully put together interiors and it’s fabulous location right in the heart of town easy walking distance from the beaches, shops and great cafes. No kiddies though, so this one is great for a couples weekend away, but make sure you plan ahead as they book out quickly!
- The Byron at Byron Broken Head Rd, Byron Bay – This a hotel with it all – great restaurant, great pool and day spa and beautifully appointed rooms set amongst the beachside bush. Located on Tallows beach and slightly out of Byron, it feels like your worlds away as you walk the winding bush tracks between the buildings. Great for families, couples or just a break on your own.
- Gaia Retreat Newrybar – Ok, this is probably one of my favourite places in the world. There is something about Gaia that never leaves you. It’s a magical and spiritual place located at the highest point in the Byron Bay hinterland. Famously owned by Olivia Newton-John, this retreat is a beautiful blend of incredible day spa, insane food custom designed just for you and the most incredible staff who you feel you’ve known for a lifetime. A true rarity in accommodation and a regular treat of mine – this one is the perfect place to reconnect with yourself, your partner or your friends.
What to do:
- Hire a bike! If you can hire a bike while you’re in Byron it’s an awesome way to trek around the Byron area as it’s so flat. Take the bikes to breakfast, to the beach or just venture out for a ride in the fresh air!
- Go to the beach! Our favourite beaches are The Pass for the long waves perfect for surfers and kids boogie boarding as well, Tallows beach for the incredible long expanses of deserted beach, and Wategos for it’s tranquil, tucked away location.
Favourite shopping – there’s so much happening in the area now, but here are our favourites!
- Island Luxe – the original store in Bangalow as well as the newer Tribe in Byron Bay are both nothing less than spectacular. Despite the higher price point, their selections and global edit are nothing short of inspiring.
- Haveli – a gorgeous, well priced and carefully curated selection of global treasures from Indonesia, India and beyond.
- The Newrybar Merchants – this newby is a wonderful collaboration of creatives who’ve taken up space in on old house in Newrybar and have turned it into a magical space full of handmade and globally sourced goodies.
- Mary Ryan’s Bookshop – this is my all time favourite book shop in the country! The staff have incredible knowledge and can find every customer the perfect book for them! I always leave with way too many books and regret the hand luggage the whole way home!
- The Dispensary – This Bangalow staple is a favourite – but it’s a pharmacy! It has the most divine range of candles and beauty products all set in a gorgeous old building with beautiful vintage cabinetry. It’s the kind of place you feel like you need to tip toe through and just take it all in.
- The Corner Store – a great selection of home-wares and lifestyle pieces that are hard to find anywhere else. It’s hard to walk out empty handed.
- Pompediou – a great selection of fashion! A little something for everyone!
- Ahoy Trader – a colourful collection of art and home-wares that makes you feel instantly at home. Definitely somewhere to pick up something a little different.
Where to eat:
- Bay Leaf Café 2 Marvell St, Byron Bay, 02 6685 8900 – This is a long time favourite of the locals and tourists alike. The menu is incredible with something for everyone and the most delicious selections for Breakfast and Lunch – my pick is the mushrooms – so insanely good that I had them twice!
- Harvest Café 18-20 Old Pacific Highway Newrybar, 6687 6244 – Located in Byron’s beautiful hinterland, Harvest café is located in the historic village of Newrybar ( 20 min drive from Byron Bay) Harvest is one of the most celebrated restaurants in the area and has the most amazing rustic, wood fired bakery and deli as well. Reservations are a must. Tip – go there for outstanding bakery treats on weekend mornings from 8am.
- Three Blue Ducks, at the Farm 11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale, 02 6684 7795 – The team from our local fave, Three Blue Ducks, have poured a whole lot of love, sweat and creativity into this 86 acre green space to create a unique farm-to-table dining experience for all – especially the kids. The farm animals, tours, huge playground and vast green spaces mean that the kids are perfectly entertained while the adults enjoy their meal, browse the produce, the store and the garden centre. Tasty wholesome Ducks’ meals are served for breakfast and lunch Monday to Sunday, as well as dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights – but don’t forget to grab something amazing from Bread Social to nibble on throughout the day – delicious!
- Red Lantern Byron Bay & Bangalow – This is both dumpling house and Chinese knick knack store! Perfect pit stop for something yum for lunch!
- Main Street Burger Bar 18 Johnson St, Byron Bay, 02 6680 8832 – Seriously the best burgers I’ve ever eaten!! The milkshakes and fruit sodas made in house were incredible and the sweet potato fires were an absolute MUST! Best place to grab a bite for lunch on the way back from the beach. The kids loved it!
- Fleet Restaurant 2/16 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads, 02 6685 1363 – This is a gorgeous new restaurant with well designed wine bar, share plates style with fantastic and creative food. It’s a small space and a booking is a definite must – as well as a babysitter!
- Milk and Honey Mullumbimby Shop 5/59a Station Street, Mullumbimby, 02 6684 1422 – Milk and Honey is a casual family restaurant specialising in delicious, artisan wood fired pizzas showcasing seasonal, locally sourced produce. This one is a hit with the kids!
For all mums: Saskia Havekes new book Flower Addict is at the top of our list! Not only does this gorgeous book boast some of the most beautiful floral photography, it also is alive with plenty of inspiration for the design lover. Beautiful scents and luxurious soaps just scream Mothers Day! Lumira’s darsana paired with Planet Luxe’s rose petal soap is the ultimate indulgence for lovers of floral scents. Be sure to take advantage of our free online shipping to spoil mum this Mothers Day, we also have some gorgeous screen-printed cards to complete the gift!
For the travelling mum: For frequent flyer mums go with the leather cedar travel candle and a soothe tube to revitalise both body and mind after long journeys. The new Uashmama paper notebook and clutch is also perfect for planning and keeping all the nessecities close at hand when on the road.
For the house-proud mum: Choose one of our new herringbone blankets or signature poppy cushions to instantly revive a tired corner of the house. Our new Urchin vase and Nordic mugs also make for easy updates to the home interior. Moroccan babouche slippers will keep mum looking and feeling effortlessly relaxed when at home.
Happy Mothers Day from The Design Hunter!Tweet
This beautiful free-standing weatherboard home was the beloved family home of our client and her husband and three children. They loved their home and it’s layout and functionality for them as a family but it was feeling tired and lack-lustre and they wanted to inject some colour and personality in to it. The project brief was to decorate and style most rooms within the home to create a cohesive, layered and finished look while including their many treasured pieces and collections from family life. Two different living zones were created – one which was designed more for the adults and the second downstairs for the children with a connection to the backyard and pool. The Kitchen and connected dining area were updated with some tweaks to the joinery, a chalkboard wall and some clever styling.
Some beautiful Mark Tuckey pieces had already been sourced for the Master Bedroom so a favourite piece of art was used as the inspiration to complete the room and it was given some finishing touches with linen, beautiful blankets, lighting and small furniture.
Last but not least on the list were the guest and children’s bedrooms. Each child was given a unique look based on elements that they loved – a colour, a picture or a favourite item. Finally all art was placed throughout the home and collections displayed on new furniture or in new found nooks.
The end result for the home is a beautiful, vibrant family home that pulls together all of the things that they loved in a new and fresh environment – hopefully for them to enjoy for many years to come.Tweet
Mr Pinchy & Co pieces are designed and made to last, working with artisans across the globe their pieces exude a masculine air of old world collector presence with a modern relevance.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Michael, the brains behind this unique brand.
1. We’ve been loving your little brass creatures for a while now and enjoy your eye for detail when recreating them. Can you tell us about how the Mr Pinchy brand came to life?
Ah there is a funny story behind this… The name actually started with the ‘Mr Pinchy’ crab, our first piece which we had purchased from a craftsman in a small village in Java (Indonesia)… Lou my wife to be and now business partner were back at our Villa, some discussion ensued with several drinks to loosen the creative thoughts about developing a brand around the crab piece we had just bought… Now this is where it gets risqué… I de-robed into the pool and began a crab dance using my hands as claws and danced side to side as you’d imagine a crab would do… Lou in hysterics said oh ‘Mr Pinchy’ and then and there it stuck! We love brands that don’t take themselves too seriously but are passionate about producing quality pieces.
2. Where do you draw your inspiration for the collections from?
Mr Pinchy & Co draws inspiration from the rawness of the animal kingdom with our sourcing and design process always lead by what objects would we like to have in our own house. Brass is a timeless material that carries an old world feel which encapsulates what Mr Pinchy & Co is all about, beautiful and masculine pieces that are made to last.
3. We love your latest inclusions of Champagne coolers and gorgeous serving trays. What’s next for the Mr Pinchy range?
Without giving too much away we are currently developing more animals along with a further entertainer range incorporating our signature brass accents, marble and some new materials you haven’t seen from us yet… Stand by Life In Style Melbourne.
4. What does a typical day for Michael Beer, aka Mr Pinchy, look like?
It’s a juggling act shared with my wife and business partner across day to day Mr Pinchy & Co and our young kids, nothing is ever as structured as you would hope but there are many people doing the same thing as us! Thus many a late night ensues…
5. What’s a lesson you’ve learned in starting your unique and creative business?
Keep pursuing what you truly believe in, it sometimes seems like a long road but if you are passionate about your brand and your product is unique people will engage with it. It is also extremely important to stand behind your design and don’t let a manufacturer tell you it can’t be done… The designer/manufacturer relationship is key, it’s the difference between shit boring seen everywhere product and amazing product.Tweet
As the summer months have closed in and before daylight savings ends my quest for a weekend away in the great outdoors (minus the actual fuss) has lead me to Seal Rocks and the new ‘glamping’ set up by Simple Pleasures Camping Co.
The current site sits at Trechery in Seal Rocks on the Mid North Coast.
Before your arrival the team set up beautiful canvas bell tents or tipi’s in the best locations and fit out the space with carpeted rugs, a proper bed, lighting, linen and cutlery.
All you need to do is pop the champagne and light up the campfire.
What I’m bringing along …
Bread board for cheese plater
Living on one of the most gorgeous private lanes in Paddington, it’s difficult not to be inspired and get creative!
This summer I’ve been sketching beaches and landscapes like mad and have also turned my hand to a couple of paintings. My favourite is of an ancient fig tree dappled in moonlight which is just at the end of our street, one evening we were having an al fresco dinner with our good friends and neighbours and the tree was our backdrop.
I used a mixture of professional acrylics and decided to frame it in oak with a clear satin stain. I’m thinking I may do an Autumn/winter tree series as I enjoyed this one so much! I can’t wait to see how the lane way changes with the new season, and what beautiful colour opportunities it brings with it…
If you feel like exploring your creative side, pick up a pencil and book on to one of the many one day sketching courses around the city. Perfect for keeping creativity flowing in the cooler months.Tweet
As we head towards the Easter long weekend, its almost been a year since my husband and I started talking about painting our Randwick home. As a normal weekend is never long enough to turn the house upside down moving all the furniture and pulling out the rollers and drop sheets – a four day weekend over Easter presents the perfect opportunity.
Our home is very bright with loads of natural light, so we have selected a few darker colours to be paired back with one of my favourite whites – Dulux White on White. We have grey tones prominent throughout the interiors with polished concrete floors and charcoal carpet in the bedrooms so we are sticking to this colour palette when selecting our paint colours. We have a long wall that runs from the entry wrapping around into the lounge room that we have selected to paint in Dulux Western Myall. This colour is a warm deep charcoal that complements our white linen sofa that sits on this wall. All the doors will be painted in a darker almost ink charcoal – Dulux Baltic, in a high gloss that will sit beautifully next to the powdery white of the rest of the house.
Here are my tips and tricks when it comes to your next painting adventure…
– Begin by determining the colour palette for your room/ home and keep in mind all your furniture, décor and floor treatments – as well as the lighting within the space.
– Always do a test patch to see how the paint colour looks and changes with the natural light sources throughout the day before committing to colours or depth of the shade.
– Check the weather to make sure your planned painting day will be a sunny one to ensure all the walls are dry and the paint smell is minimal before bedtime.
– Beware of the splatter effect and place drop cloths on floors and on any furnishings that can’t be removed from the room (a shower cap will also protect your hair – yes it can be messy business).
– Apply blue painter’s masking tape to all of your fittings and any trim edges which may be fiddly and difficult to paint around.
– When painting any room, I always recommend painting from the top-down in sections so you remember where you started and finished.
Of course you can always enlist someone from our design team to help you select your paint colours as well, please email email@example.comTweet
Recently I was presented with the opportunity to fly round trip to Bali for less than $200, and who says no to that?! I first travelled to Bali in 2010 and looked forward to experiencing this magical place again.
I’m headed to this spiritual land over Easter and seeking a different kind of trip, one filled with staying away from the typical resorts and getting closer to the real Bali. A quick 5-day adventure will start on the Bukit peninsula, exploring some of the most beautiful beaches of Bali, and in between dreamland and the Impossibles resting for one night in beachfront accommodation in Bingin Beach.http://www.sunsurfstaybingin.com
Word is there’s a lot of stairs to get down there as the location is at the bottom of the cliffs, but apparently it’s well worth the effort.
Hoping after the long haul from Sydney to settle into a local warung, (potentially Kelly’s Warung) and watch the sunset with a Bintang in hand here:
The next morning, I’d like to join a yoga class at Mu followed by a dip in their incredible salt-water infinity pool that overlooks the peninsula.
Plans then move me up to the meditation mecca that is Ubud (after only a few hours taste of Ubud back in 2010 I said I’d be back for more!) My charming accommodation, overlooking the rice paddies, is a good 10-minute drive from the hustle and bustle of the main drag.
I plan on getting a scooter and making the most of my few days by indulging in the spas, yoga and getting dresses made of course from the market!
What I’m packing …
1. My Turkish Towel: from the plane to the beach it’s a versatile travel must have
2. My Australian Passport! It’s my first time travelling as an Australian CitizenTweet
With the last days of summer just behind us and three busy children (2, 11 and 13) in my house, my mind is turning to all of the things I MEANT to do with them this summer and didn’t. So we’ve come up with a plan so we don’t miss out on exciting adventures over the coming months of Autumn while the weather is still gorgeous here in Sydney. We’ve created an “ideas jar”. Each of us comes up with 3 things we really want to do, writes them secretly on pieces of paper and then each weekend we set about picking one at random and ACTUALLY doing it! I had a sneaky peak in the jar and here are some of the things on our “Last days of Summer” to do list:
Take a ride around Sydney on a double decker bus – the red ones! http://www.viator.com/Sydney-tours/Hop-on-Hop-off-Tours/d357-g12-c97?pref=02
Visit the hidden beaches of the Royal National Park just south of Sydney http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/
Visit Jamberoo water park https://www.jamberoo.net
Our Head of Design, Margo Reed, has a special passion for creating Kitchens for her clients – and she is a master! Here we asked her to share her wisdom for how to revamp your Kitchen WITHOUT the major renovation …
A new kitchen is often at the top of the list for most people’s dream renovation however due to factors such as budgets or renting its something not everyone can achieve. But we’ve got a solution for you! If your kitchen is in need of a spruce up and you want to achieve something fabulous without the time and money involved here’s our top five tips and tricks to help.
1. Hardware – Something as simple as changing the existing handles can instantly modernise or add interest to your overall look. Think sleek chrome for a minimal, modern style or decorative brass to add that touch of traditional. These can easily be added and removed when you leave if renting! We particularly love these handmade leather beauties from MadeMeasure
2. Benchtops/Splashbacks – Replacing the bench top or splash back. We know it sounds like a messy one but trust us it will have the most impact. Those 70’s style tiles and laminate bench tops can be easily removed and replaced with marble or composite stone for a fresh, and higher end look and feel. There’s even a stone veneer that can be laid over your existing benchtop – check out http://granitetransformations.com.au
Either pair the bench and splash back with a natural stone for a high-end, refined look or tile the splashback to add texture and pattern – and keep the cost down of course.
3. Lighting – Replacing or adding feature lights and pendants – this is an excellent way to add interest and change the feel of the space, and again it can be taken with you when you go if you’re renting. As kitchens are generally harsh areas full of fixed joinery and hard surfaces we love adding soft natural basket lights which create warmth and softness to the room.
4. Tapware – Call your plumber and replace your tapware for an instant kitchen facelift. We love the industrial style hoses or opt for a modern matt black or brass finish. http://www.astrawalker.com.au/collections/icon/A6908Black
5. De-clutter – This ones the most simple and inexpensive of them all. Give your kitchen a good clean and keep the space fresh with a bowl of fruit or vase of greenery. Stack some cookbooks and style your favourite ceramics on your open shelves. It’s as simple as that!