A Family Barn House In Bangalow’s Rolling Hills


Before making a permanent move to the Byron Bay area, Claudia Martin and her husband Levi spent a short stint living in region, and getting a feel for the lifestyle. During that time, a five-acre property in their dream location was sold – to someone else.

Two years later, after the couple had decided to move to the area permanently, that same plot of land on the outskirts of Bangalow was fortuitously placed back on the market.

‘Levi had already spoken to many estate agents, and we had looked at quite a few  properties, but this was the only phone call I personally made,’ says Claudia. ‘I knew that it felt right, and as soon as we saw it, we knew.’

The couple had a clear vision for the design of their home informed by their lifestyle, landscape, lessons learned from previous projects, and Claudia’s interest in barn-style farmhouses.

‘I loved the look of other barn homes, but wanted to keep ours a little different and not as modern,’ Claudia explains.

‘We wanted to keep the house primarily one level, with a flat grassy area off the deck.’

Claudia and Levi drew some basic sketches featuring bedrooms and bathrooms down one end, and an informal open-plan living space at the other.

They then turned to their friend and architect at Home Chapter Luke Shields for his expertise, resulting in the remarkable home you see today. ‘It was all very relaxed and informal,’ recalls Claudia of the design process.

The family home was constructed largely from recycled timber, to imbue the newly-built structure with inherent character and charm.

Windows were also salvaged from demolished homes in the region, with the help of North Coast Recycled Architectural Salvage.

‘We wanted to build a new home with some of the old charm of the original homes the area is known for,’ says Claudia.

These windows invite incredible light into the home, and draw the eye out to the rolling hills that distinguish the surrounding landscape.

Dulux Natural White interior walls provide the ‘perfect warm tone’ and canvas for shadows to dance across the home throughout the day.

The bulk of the house was constructed in 10 months by J&E Projects, aided by Levi who assumed the role of owner-builder.

For Levi, this idyllic home reflects his own childhood. ‘Levi grew up on property and loves being on land, his dream was to have the same for our growing family’ Claudia explains. For Claudia, the property offers the perfect balance of open space and rolling hills, without being too isolated.

The result is a dream home for Claudia and Levi’s three young kids – a simple, yet beautiful sanctuary that feels warm, inviting, and not too precious, connecting its lucky residents to the immense beauty of the surrounding landscape.





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